This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Reviewed by Jennifer Joyce
Ruth and Michael are renovating their dilapidated house by the sea, which they have purchased to turn into a guesthouse and raise a family in. While fixing one of the rooms, they make the grim discovery of a body, buried in a trunk over a hundred years ago. The body is of a young baby, its legs fused together and resembling a mermaid’s tail. Back in 1860, Reverend Alexander Ferguson lived in the house by the sea, spending his free time studying the local legends of mermaids and Selkies – or seal men. After discovering the child’s bones, Ruth is determined to discover all she can about the Reverend and the baby that was buried beneath his house.
I have mixed feelings towards Secrets of the Sea House. I was intrigued by the blurb and it started off well, catching my attention with the discovery of the bones, and I was eager to discover the identity of the child and how she ended up buried in the trunk. However, I felt the middle of the book dragged and my attention waned. I still wanted to discover the secrets contained within the house and its residents, but I lacked any urgency until the last 40 or so pages when the pace picked up again.
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Ruth also has a past, which she must learn to overcome before she can fully understand who she is. My favourite character from the book was Moira. She’d had quite a harsh childhood before being taken under Alexander’s wing, which had made her into a quite a toughened young woman, but she also had a soft heart. Some of her thoughts are a little dark, but understandable, and her actions often made me smile.
Overall, I thought the stories were enjoyable and cleverly woven together, but the pace in the middle was a bit of a problem for me.