Before I dive into reviewing the book, can we take a moment to appreciate the cover? I think this is by far one of my favorite covers this year. It also makes me miss the ocean and those British Isles. Sigh….
Reverend Alexander Ferguson, naive and newly-ordained, takes up his new parish, a poor, isolated patch on the Hebridean island of Harris. His time on the island will irrevocably change the course of his life, but the white house on the edge of the dunes keeps its silence long after Alexander departs. It will be more than a century before the Sea House reluctantly gives up its secrets. Ruth and Michael buy the grand but dilapidated building and begin to turn it into a home for the family they hope to have. Their dreams are marred by a shocking discovery. The tiny bones of a baby are buried beneath the house; the child’s fragile legs are fused together — a mermaid child. Who buried the bones? And why? Ruth needs to solve the mystery of her new home — but the answers to her questions may lie in her own past.
Based on a real nineteenth-century letter to The Times in which a Scottish clergyman claimed to have seen a mermaid, The Sea House is an epic, sweeping tale of loss and love, hope and redemption, and how we heal ourselves with the stories we tell.
Gifford’s writing skills and prose are excellent. She’s talented and creative. She was also able to weave back and forth during the time periods with ease. Yet, despite her talent with the pen, I found I was hard pressed to connect on a deeper level with the story and characters.
Now, I can see that looking a bit contradictory, but I’m sure you’ve been there; whether it’s the plot or characters, we’ve all comes across those books people are raving about and then it’s your turn and you don’t have the same reaction. It happens. So while this wasn’t one of my top reads, I know there are many who will have a different experience with it.
What about y’all? Have you ever read a book and wish you could have connected more with it?
(Thank you to Litfuse for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)
Don’t miss The Sea House, a stunning fiction debut from the UK. Set in a house on the windswept coast of the Outer Hebrides, Elisabeth Gifford‘s haunting tale effortlessly bridges a gap of more than a century. Adeptly interweaving two tales involving residents of the titular house, Gifford sets up an absorbing mystery revolving around local lore and myths about mermaids, selkies, and sealmen. Stretching seamlessly back and forth through time, layers upon layers of secrets are slowly and effectively peeled away in this evocative debut (Booklist).
Celebrate with Elisabeth by entering her Kindle giveaway!
- A Kindle Fire
- The Sea House by Elisabeth Gifford
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 19th. Winner will be announced October 20th at Elisabeth’s Blog.