Format:
Book
Web Site:
Author:
Title:
Edition:
First U.S. Edition.
Publisher, Date:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 2014.
Description:
308 pages : map ; 25 cm
Summary:
"In 1860, Alexander Ferguson, a newly ordained vicar and amateur evolutionary scientist, takes up his new parish, a poor, isolated patch on the remote Scottish island of Harris. He hopes to uncover the truth behind the legend of the selkies--mermaids or seal people who have been sighted off the north of Scotland for centuries. He has a more personal motive, too; family legend states that Alexander is descended from seal men. As he struggles to be the good pastor he was called to be, his maid Moira faces the terrible eviction of her family by Lord Marstone, whose family owns the island. Their time on the island will irrevocably change the course of both their lives, but the white house on the edge of the dunes keeps its silence long after they are gone. 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? To heal her own demons, Ruth feels she must discover the secrets of her new home--but the answers to her questions may lie in her own traumatic past. The Sea House is a sweeping tale of hope and redemption and a study of how we heal ourselves by discovering our histories"-- Provided by publisher.
Notes:
Originally published as: Secrets of the sea house, Rearsby, Leicester ; WF Howes Ltd, 2013.
Genre:
Subjects:
Other Title:
LCCN:
2013045689
ISBN:
9781250043344 (hardback)
1250043344 (hardback)
Other Number:
846545608
# Local items in:
1
System Availability:
5
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0
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"In 1860, Alexander Ferguson, a newly ordained vicar and amateur evolutionary scientist, takes up his new parish, a poor, isolated patch on the remote Scottish island of Harris. He hopes to uncover the truth behind the legend of the selkies--mermaids or seal people who have been sighted off the north of Scotland for centuries. He has a more personal motive, too; family legend states that Alexander is descended from seal men. As he struggles to be the good pastor he was called to be, his maid Moira faces the terrible eviction of her family by Lord Marstone, whose family owns the island. Their time on the island will irrevocably change the course of both their lives, but the white house on the edge of the dunes keeps its silence long after they are gone. 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? To heal her own demons, Ruth feels she must discover the secrets of her new home--but the answers to her questions may lie in her own traumatic past. The Sea House is a sweeping tale of hope and redemption and a study of how we heal ourselves by discovering our histories"-- - (Baker & Taylor)

A century after a young vicar investigates his family's link to a Scottish island's selkie legend, a young couple buys a once-grand home by the sea and discovers the bones of a baby with fused legs. - (Baker & Taylor)

A century after a young vicar investigates his family's link to a Scottish island's selkie legend, a young couple buys a once-grand home by the sea and discovers the bones of a baby with fused legs. 60,000 first printing. - (Baker & Taylor)

In 1860, Alexander Ferguson, a newly ordained vicar and amateur evolutionary scientist, takes up his new parish, a poor, isolated patch on the remote Scottish island of Harris. He hopes to uncover the truth behind the legend of the selkies--mermaids or seal people who have been sighted off the north of Scotland for centuries. He has a more personal motive, too; family legend states that Alexander is descended from seal men. As he struggles to be the good pastor he was called to be, his maid Moira faces the terrible eviction of her family by Lord Marstone, whose family owns the island. Their time on the island will irrevocably change the course of both their lives, but the white house on the edge of the dunes keeps its silence long after they are gone.

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? To heal her own demons, Ruth feels she must discover the secrets of her new home--but the answers to her questions may lie in her own traumatic past. The Sea House by Elisabeth Gifford is a sweeping tale of hope and redemption and a study of how we heal ourselves by discovering our histories.

- (McMillan Palgrave)

Author Biography

ELISABETH GIFFORD has written articles for The Times and The Independent and has a Diploma in Creative Writing from Oxford OUDCE and an MA in Creative Writing from Royal Holloway College.The Sea House is her debut novel. She is married with three children. They live in Kingston on Thames, a suburb of London, but spend as much time as possible in the Hebrides.

- (McMillan Palgrave)

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Booklist Reviews

Set in a house on the windswept coast of the Outer Hebrides, this 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. In 1860, novice vicar Alexander Ferguson takes up his new post as parish priest and moves into the Sea House. Fast forward 130 years and newlyweds Ruth and Michael purchase the dilapidated house and begin renovating it. After they unearth the bones of an infant whose legs and feet are fused together, Ruth realizes she must discover what really happened in order to face and destroy her own very personal demons. Stretching seamlessly back and forth through time, layers upon layers of secrets are slowly and effectively peeled away in this evocative debut. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

Library Journal Reviews

In British novelist Gifford's debut (first published in Britain as Secrets of the Sea House), Ruth and husband Michael buy a ruined manse in the Scottish Hebrides to renovate into a bed-and-breakfast. A mysterious and shocking discovery under the floorboards brings the police and raises questions about the local myth of the Selkies (seal people). Ruth's harrowing past unfolds in tandem with the story of the house's inhabitants in 1860: doubting minister Alexander Ferguson; his uneducated and tragic maid, Moira; and the pretty but troubled daughter of the local landowner. In part a thoroughly researched and moving historical novel about the terrible injustices of the Scottish enclosures and clearances of the 18th and 19th centuries, when peasants were thrown off their land to make way for their landlords' sheep, the story always comes back to Ruth and her mental and physical struggles to build the family she never had. VERDICT Gifford deftly manages the disparate plot elements, bringing them to a satisfying conclusion. Ruth's abusive childhood is linked to historical injustices so it provides much to consider for book clubs and sophisticated teens.—Jan Marry, Williamsburg Regional Lib., VA

[Page 63]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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