Looking for a novel to take with you on your upcoming weekend getaway? … Look no further lovers of Gothic Romance and mystery!
The House Between Tides takes you back and forth in time. The chapters seesaw smartly between 2010 and 1910. In 2010 we meet Hetty who recently inherits land in Scotland and has plans to turn the crumbling estate into a hotel or resort. A body is found within the ruins of the house and we are brought back to 1890 where we meet Hetty’s ancestors. Those who play the biggest roles: Theo Blake, a brilliant painter and owner of the Muirlan Estate, Beatrice (Theo’s new Wife), Cameron (I’ll just call him a man of mystery) Because I don’t want to give away too much!!
The discovery of the body and the collapsing state of Muirlan House has Hetty searching for answers. In comes James Cameron, a caretaker of sorts to the crumbling estate. I know this may get confusing, but each time period has its own Cameron. Present day Cameron comes off cold and guarded and Hetty can’t quite put her finger on exactly what seems off with him. In 1910 as the Blakes come back to Muirlan for the summer, newly married Beatrice feels so much hope for this new adventure that is Muirlan house. However things gets complicated as a local boy (Cameron) is also home on the island. Beatrice has her suspicions as to why Cameron is so special to Theo.
Every small community has their share of secrets, this one is no exception. As the chapters move forward we discover more about Theo Blake and Beatrice… or, at least we think we do. Sarah Maine weaves backwards and forwards effortlessly giving the reader just the right pieces at the proper time.
The real mystery is the body that is found within the ruins of the house but the beauty of the novel is how the secrets unfold. The romance, the perplexities, the electric intensity between some of the characters kept me up a bit too late some nights. In the end, the Mystery that is The House Between Tides is untangled… no cliff hangers here!
A remarkable first novel for Sarah Maine! Extra bonus points for weaving a Canadian connection into this novel. The only addition I’d make to the book would be a map of the estate for reference when reading.
I didn’t mention it before but Theo painted wildlife and landscape, he also had stuffed specimens in his office at Muirlan House. This made me think of an image I took some years ago and I thought I’d share.
The House Between Tides by Sarah Maine – available now in North America
Published by Atria Books an Imprint of Simon & Schuster
Styling credits for this photo go to my youngest daughter who diligently places all the shells and rocks.