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Book Review: Dreams of a Corning Cottage by Nancy Barone

Publication Date: 7th Nov 2021

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance, Contemporary

3.8 Stars

Natalia Amore is trying to start afresh after divorcing her unfaithful husband, Neil. She plans to sell the mansion they lived in and buy her favorite childhood home, Lavender Cottage. Until then, she decides to lease one of the 5 bedrooms to a lodger, Connor, a charming Irishman.

No sooner, her sister dumps her twin girl on Nat (again), her elder daughter comes home nursing a broken heart, and her mother ends up with a broken ankle and has to be brought to the same house. To add to Nat's woes, her job seems to be in jeopardy.

To say Nat feels overwhelmed would be an understatement. Wanting to breathe freely, trying to hold the family together, and asserting her role become impossible for her. Connor’s presence and help appear to be the only silver lining. But for how long? Can Nat find happiness and lead her life the way she wants?

What about Connor and her? What about Lavender Cottage?

Dreams of a Little Cornish Cottage is a cozy book about family, relationships, healthy boundaries, and individual freedom. We see Nat trying to do everything for her family though she knows they take her for granted. With nudges from Connor, she tries to take a few breathers only to end up dealing with more trouble. Neil keeps visiting being the GP and doctor of Nat’s mother, and this only adds to her headache.

What I Like:

Nat’s decision about her ex-husband (man! He’s such a jerk!) doesn’t ever waver. She might take more than her fill for her family, but she is clear about his place in her life.

The narration is quite steady, though there is a wee bit of rambling. But since it provides readers with more insights into her past, it’s not a problem.

There are some funny and light moments, which are truly endearing.

The twins, Amy and Zoe (nice names, by the way), have a good character arc that justifies their space in the book.

Connor is a dream-come-true sort of man a woman would love. He isn’t the brooding macho man with bursts of random anger. He is calm, composed, friendly, assertive, and helpful. Yeah, there’s more (no spoilers), but he is still a compassionate guy.

Most of the time, the characters are realistic. They do make stupid decisions and say the wrong things. Except for Neil, who doesn’t ever seem to say the right thing.

Even though I couldn’t relate to any of them, I could understand them to a good extent, and that counts.

There is a happily ever after at the end.

What Could Have Been Better:

As much as I understand that not everyone is comfortable with the woman being older than the guy, there was a little too much emphasis on it. Since the narration was the first person POV, some of it could be justified. Still, there are many happy families out there, irrespective of the age gap rules.

The thorn in Nat and her mother’s relationship was dealt with almost as an afterthought. It could have been given more space, considering it’s one of the vital aspects of the book. In fact, there were instances when I thought Nat would come to know of the reason. It seemed like a wasted opportunity.

As someone who loves reading about the setting and atmosphere (especially in a location like Cornish), I wanted more about the surroundings and the impact of the changing weather on characters and their lives.

Nat’s sister could have had a better character arc. The change seems rather abrupt though the author tries to justify it.


Dream of a Little Cornish Cottage is a warm and sweet book that might infuriate you (more than) a couple of times. But you know it will end well, and it does. The book would make for a decent summer read on a beach.

I received an ARC from NetGalley and Aria & Aries.


About the Author: Srivalli Rekha is a blogger, writer, and amateur photographer. She got a degree in MBA and MA English Literature and chose to become a writer and a poet instead of a corporate professional.


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