21 August, 2016

The House Between Tides by Sarah Maine Book Spotlight! @SarahMaineBooks

Atria Books | Paperback | ISBN: 9781501126918
On-sale: August 2, 2016 | 400 pages | US $16.00
eBook ISBN: 9781501126932, $11.99


Kate Morton meets Daphne du Maurier in this atmospheric debut about a woman who discovers the century-old remains of a murder victim on her family’s Scottish estate

Following the death of her last living relative, Hetty Deveraux leaves her strained relationship behind in London and returns to Muirlan, her ancestral home in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides. Hetty has every intention of renovating and reselling it as a hotel, but before she can dive headfirst into the repairs, century-old remains are discovered by the house’s caretaker, with few physical clues left to identify the body. Only one thing is certain: he or she did not die of natural causes.
Hungry for answers, Hetty sets out to learn more about the body and the house’s owners from the 1910s, including her ancestor, Theo Blake, an acclaimed painter who returned to Muirlan to paint the local birds, and his new bride, Beatrice, who fell for Theo’s brilliance, even as she grew increasingly disturbed by his fascination with a local boy.

Following whispered rumors and a handful of leads, Hetty learns that something ruptured in the Blakes’s marriage, forcing Beatrice to leave the country and Theo to withdraw from society. The exact cause has never been known, but as Hetty studies the paintings produced by Theo during his short-lived marriage, she uncovers secrets that will reverberate throughout the community—and lead her to the identity of the long-hidden body.

About the Author

Sarah Maine was born in England and emigrated to Canada with her family at the age of ten. A small northern Ontario community was home for the next two years before the family moved south, and Sarah went to high school in Toronto. She returned to England to study archaeology, stayed on to do research and work, married there and has two sons. 
Books were always important. She grew up on a diet of Arthur Ransome and Robert Louis Stevenson but also the classics, Jane Austen and the Brontés and, of course, Daphne du Maurier - but now enjoys a wide range of contemporary fiction. 
The House between Tides will be published in 2016, followed, in 2017, by Beyond the Wild River. A third book, Ullaness, is work in progress.


My Thoughts

The House Between Tides is a story that has a story line is about a house and it's past inhabitants that connects with the present day. Hetty Deveraux is left a house located in Scotland's Outer Hebrides, which is a series of islands, after a distant relative dies. She has plans to renovate and turn the house into a hotel. Unbeknownst to her the house is a crumbling mess and will cost a fortune to rebuild. 

Upon arriving at this house that can only be accessed when the tide is out, Hetty realizes just how difficult her intentions are. There has been a body found among the rubble that appears to have been there a long time. Not only will there need to be massive renovations but the locals do not want her to be there. They want things left as they are and let the sea claim the house. What is the identity of the body and what is the story?

Theo Blake brought his wife, Beatrice, to the house around 1910 as newlyweds. Theo is a painter who is famous for his work but is now chronicling the local bird population with paintings. He has a local man assisting him with this project. Beatrice is often left to her own devices as her husband is so wrapped up in what he is doing that he neglects and seems to push his bride away. She finds companionship with the local man.

Hetty slowly uncovers the secrets of the Blake's, the small community and its inhabitants all at the same time trying to figure out exactly what she should do with the property. Developers are pushing her one way but her heart is pulling her in another. 

The House Between Tides reminds me of books written by Phyllis Whitney, Victoria Holt or Mary Stewart in that they all have the same style of writing, moody, dark and atmospheric stories that involve romance and mystery where the male characters are often brooding and the women are bound to fall in love them in spite of their moodiness and mystery.

I enjoyed this story and hoped for happy endings, but as sometimes happens, that is not always the case. A definite 5 star for me.

I received a copy of the book for review purposes.


Sherri said...

Kathleen, I have been trying to find a really good book to read this summer and I think this might be it!! Thank you so much for posting about it! I love both Kate Morton and Daphne du Murier!!

Kathleen Kelly said...

I agree Sherri! This book is close to the top of my TBR stack! Thanks for stopping by!


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