Secrets of the Sea House
***Shortlisted For Historical Writers’ Association’s Debut Crown For Best First Historical Novel***
Scotland, 1860. 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. But 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, Secrets of 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.
Anything this good deserves the largest readership possible and we readers deserve to be treated to novels like this from time to time too; symbiosis in action * Bookbag * This is a book that you'll remember, long after the last page has been turned * Daily Express * A sweeping summer read, packed with an epic tale of loss, love and hope * Irish News * Fans of historical fiction, folklore and Scotland will all enjoy this wonderful debut; Gifford is a writer to watch * We Love This Book * Sure to ignite an interest in sea mythology partnered with real-life ground-breaking sightings and discoveries, this is the perfect read if you're heading to a British beach this summer * Red Magazine * Gifford moves nimbly between the centuries and voices of her intriguing tale. She is a singular and poetic writer -- Rhidian Brook, author of THE AFTERMATH Secrets of the Sea House is an arresting tale of the things that haunt us. But the real pleasure in this debut novel is Elisabeth Gifford's finely wrought prose; at turns acute, delicate and fierce -- Liza Klaussmann, author of TIGERS IN RED WEATHER
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