The Lantern by Albert Zaylor
Jago Trehearn is 20 years old and living in Cornwall in 1744. Following the death of his parents, he inherits the family business and with the help of his friends, John and James, maintains his smallholding and the ale house, The Lantern. Living was hard in the 1700's and although penalties were severe and life was fraught with danger; Jago turned to smuggling, making several enemies along the way...
This is the story of Jago Trehearn, a twenty-year-old, living in Cornwall, in the year 1744. He has inherited the local alehouse, and a small holding which he runs together with his wife Tamsyn, and his two friends, James and John. He supplements the paltry income with smuggling, which he organises through his French associate Pierre. Although this illicit activity has grave consequences if they are caught, the whole community is involved in order to survive, from the Squire down, and including the colourful character the Reverend Hicks. I found this endearing story to be a rural idyll from a romantic era, of good people coming together during hard times. It had a definite feelgood factor and a good escape from the pressure of modern-day living. People had so much less, but so much more. The style of writing was light and, in many parts, humorous. Having read the book, Jago Trehearn’s young age suggests this could be just the start of a series of books, following his life through different ages, with scope for many more adventures to come.