The Path to the Sea

Liz Fenwick

Book Cover

GENRE

DRAMA MYSTERY SUSPENSE/THRILLER ROMANCE

    Core Theme

    FAMILY WITH A TWIST

    TIME PERIOD

    1960s & '70s,Contemporary

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    ALLIED

    CHARACTER LIST

    JOAN. 30/86. LEAD. CHARMING, STUNNING, SMART AND DISCREET.

    DIANA. 8/62. JOAN'S DAUGHTER. SMART, COLD, WOUNDED, FOCUSED.

    LOTTIE. 16/26. DIANA'S DAUGHTER, JOAN'S GRANDDAUGHTER. SWEET, LOVING, ROMANTIC.

    ALLAN. 36. JOAN'S FIRST HUSBAND, DIANA'S FATHER.

    ALEX. 16/26. LOTTIE'S FIRST LOVE.

    TOM. 30'S. JOAN'S FIRST LOVE, FRIEND.

    PAUL. 30'S. LOTTIE'S MISSING HUSBAND.

    GEORGE. 30'S/80'S. JOAN'S SECOND HUSBAND.

    Logline

    As three generations of women come together for a final time, their trust in each other is tested as family secrets are unearthed and old wounds, reopened.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 35-54

    Target Gender: Female Leaning,Universal

    Setting

    Porthpean, Cornwall and Moscow

    Based on a True Story

    No

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: with a Publisher

    Publisher: Harper Collins

    Year Published: 2019

    Starting Description

    Diana and Lottie return to Boskenna as Joan is dying. Diana is confronted again with her father's death and her distance from her mother Joan. Lottie is closer to her grandmother than her mother. Separately Diana and Lottie begin to unpick the past and discover what Joan has kept secret.

    Ending Description

    Joan, a spy, pushes her husband, a double agent, off the cliff to protect her daughter and her country. She takes Diana from Boscawen. Years later Lottie discovers her grandmother's secret and reveals to the truth to Diana but it is too late for the relationship between Joan and Diana to be healed.

    Group Specific

    It is primarily set in Cornwall, UK

    Hard Copy Available

    Yes

    ISBN

    9780008290535

    Mature Audience Themes

    Information not completed

    Plot - Other Elements

    Happy Ending,Twist

    Plot - Premise

    Other,Quest

    Main Character Details

    Name: Diana Trewin

    Age: 8/62

    Gender: Female

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Confident,Unapologetic,Outspoken,Educated,Adventurous,Blunt,Secretive

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Joan Trewin

    Age: 30/86

    Gender: Female

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Charming,Confident,Empathetic,Gracious,Educated,Honorable,Patriotic,Secretive,Skillful

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Lottie Trewin

    Age: 26

    Gender: Female

    Role: protagonist

    Key Traits: Underdog,Charming,Empathetic,Gracious,Educated,Skillful,Romantic,Secretive

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Allan Trewin

    Age: 36

    Gender: Male

    Role: antagonist

    Key Traits: Secretive,Seductive,Sophisticated,Manipulative,Unapologetic,Educated,Heartthrob,Desperate,Confident

    Development Pitch

    The Path to the Sea is John Le Carre meets Rosamund Pilcher. In a house on the Cornish cliffs in 1962 Joan, Allen and Diana Trewin escape their lives in Moscow. At Allen’s birthday party it becomes apparent that Moscow has followed them to their safe place when two new guests arrive. Joan, a spy like her husband, discovers there is a leak. She knows where to look but she loves her husband. That night she discovers him with the tall blond American with the dubious accent. He's been compromised. In the early hours, Joan steals out to find him drinking on the cliff. He owns up that he's blown and it was all because of their daughter Diana who revealed all to her piano teacher. Allen is about to betray them all and their country. Joan does they only think she can to save Diana and pushes him off the cliff to be discovered the following morning. In 2018 Joan is dying. Diana, a foreign tv journalist never understood her father's death and why she was taken away from Cornwall. Now she discovers her old diary that reads. Daddy’s dead and it’s my fault and she thinks every falls into place. Lottie, Diana's daughter born after Diana’s captivity in Afghanistan has never been told about her father. Lottie has secrets of her own to hide but with Joan saying repeatedly in Russian that she had no choices she sets out to discover her grandmother’s past and to prove her mother’s innocence. The story is about maternal love and what we will do to save our loved ones.

    Genre

    ACTION, SUSPENSE, THRILLER, ROMANCE, LGBT, DRAMA, POLITICS, WAR

    Brief

    Joan is in the end of her life but seems to be unable to let go before asking her daughter Diana for forgiveness. Mysteries arise from the past as Joan's first husband death is investigated by both his daughter Diana and her daughter Lottie - and they proceed to find out Joan has killed him to protect Diana.

    Overall Rating

    EXCELLENT

    Point of View

    THIRD PERSON

    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: GOOD

    Characterization: GOOD

    Commerciality: EXCELLENT

    Franchise Potential: EXCELLENT

    Pace: GOOD

    Premise: EXCELLENT

    Structure: GOOD

    Theme: EXCELLENT

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    Book Profile reflects the book accurately.

    Draw of Story

    This story is highly enticing as it creates a thread in time from years 1962, 2008 and 2018, tied up by beautiful scenarios in Boskenna. There are great stunning parties in the 60's hosted by an attractive couple - however nothing is as it seems and they are actually spies during Cold War. Tragedy and love also follow the family through the next generation represented by charismatic Lottie.

    Possible Drawbacks

    The book is separated by eras - 1962, 2008 and 2018 - however, there are are moments in which this structure gets confusing as some memories from one era come up on another, especially in the first chapters of the narrative.

    Use of Special Effects

    THE STORY RELIES A LITTLE BIT ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

    Primary Hook of Story

    I would watch this movie due to the visually rich parties in Boskenna on the 60's hosted by an attractive couple, who also happened to be spies during Cold War. The process of solving this mystery demands that the audience realizes nothing is as it seems and how unsolved issues may affect families generations to come.

    Fanbase Potential

    It could have a large fanbase as the story revolves around three strong and smart women of the same family which have had their lives deeply affected by a secret kept for decades. Their estranged relationships and vulnerabilities are highly relatable for women in general.

    Awards Potential

    This story, if adapted, could have awards potential because good casting would be mandatory, as it covers the lives of three generations; and brings along visually rich scenarios. There is also an important historical background - Cold War - which could be well explored.

    Envisioned Budget

    MEDIUM BUDGET

    Similar Films/TV Series

    ALLIED, THE GREAT GATSBY

    What’s New About the Story

    The most original thing about this story is that it brings along the secrets that can be hidden behind the image of an apparent perfect family in the 60's. Cold war, spionage, betrayals, homossexuality, tragedy, love and passion are well tied-up in a well-written narrative. One suggestion for improvement is that the narrative involving Lottie and Alex could be looked into with more detail and more chemistry added to their story. The eras 2008 and 2018 could also have more stunning descriptions as the author sure knows how to create tasteful scenarios.

    Lead Characters

    Allan is an outstanding character, charming, surprising and dubious. Joan is mysterious, smart and stunning and as we find out she killed her own husband, more layers are added and she becomes even more interesting. Diana is a successful journalist who's turned cold after going through a lot of pain in her life, however her character becomes softer as she solves mysteries. Lottie and Alex are both pure at heart and audience is certainly rooting for them to take another chance on love.

    Uniqueness of Story

    It is a rare gem as narrative is mostly original and characters are charismatic and relatable.

    Possible Formats

    Film - Indie, Film - Streaming, Film - Studio, TV Series - Cable, TV Series - Limited Run / Mini-Series, TV Series - Network, TV Series - Streaming

    Analyst Recommendation

    RECOMMEND

    Justification

    I recommend it because premise is original, descriptions are rich and visually exciting, characters are complex and narrative is well-tied up.

    Brief

    Three generations of women struggle to heal their own wounds as matriarch's life come to an end and she seeks forgiveness for her mistakes. As Diana and Lottie find out Joan killed her first husband and Diana's father - a spy who put their lives at risk during Cold War - , they try to make sense understand and fix estranged relationships between them.

    What We Liked

    Three generations of strong, smart and charming women make sense of estranged relationships between them as they recall a tragedy happened during a party in the 60's - the death of Joan's husband and Diana's father, a spy who had put the life of his family at risk while betraying his country.
    Beautiful parties in the 60's, perfect families which are not what they seem, family wounds being solved and a second chance on love are the themes involving this interesting story with appealing and complex characters - which are certain to entertain and involve the audience.

    Film: It would be a great adaptation for Film, especially, because this story managed to comprise romance, action, tragedy, suspense, love and mystery in a well-tied narrative - and even though all those elements are present, its author managed to find just the right tone to bring them to surface.

    TV: This story would be a great adaptation for TV as many stories may arise from not only from Joan's family, but also the families who are involved in their lives in Boskenna through generations.

    Key points: - Great scenarios - lavish parties in the 60's;
    - The secrets behind the apparent perfect English family;
    - Cold war espionage;
    - A murder being solved;
    - The journey of three women and their difficulties on love.

    Synopsis

    As Joan, the ever-stunning matriarch of the family, is dying, her daughter Diana and granddaughter Lottie get together in Boskenna to face old memories, each one with their own traumas.

    As Joan's death approaches, all she asks her daughter Diana is for forgiveness, but no one seems to know the exact reason for her guilt. Diana then begins to investigate the greatest mystery surrounding their lives - the death of Allan, her father - and decides to look closer into his mysterious death.

    Lottie, Diana's daughter, goes to Boskenna to see her beloved grandmother, but also to escape her life after being abandoned and robbed by husband Paul.

    Broke and facing her first love again for the first time in ten years, Alex, Lottie also investigates what happened in 1962 when her biological grandfather had fallen off a cliff - the same cliff she tragically lost a friend, John, ten years ago, a fact that traumatized her life and put an end to her romance with Alex.

    George, Joan's loving second husband, who Lottie considers as a grandfather but who is not very close to Diana, observes as their investigations unfold still trying to cover Joan's secrets.

    Lottie finds out more about her grandfather, grandmother and, consequently, her mother's life and, with the help of Alex, she is able to understand better the coldness and distance of her mom towards her.

    Diana recovers her memory slowly and uses her investigative skills to understand what happened with her father and also manages to understand better why she has a hard time trusting people.

    As Diana and Lottie find out Joan pushed Allan off a cliff, they also understand the reason why she did it and have a chance on fixing their own relationships - and also understand the crucial role of George in their family.

    As Diana is able to flow through life, Lottie and Alex are able to give a second chance to their love story.

    About The Author

    “Dubbed 'the queen of the contemporary Cornish novel' by The Guardian, I am an award winning author of eight novels and one novella. Writer, expat expert, wife, mother of three, dreamer turned doer, my books are translated into twelve foreign languages. I was born in Massachusetts, but after nine international moves I now make my home in Cornwall on the rugged far west coast of the United Kingdom. My heart is forever in Cornwall, creating stories that weave in the magic and history of the Cornish landscape filled with strong compelling characters.”