Search:  Catalog  Site
Book Details

Search by Subject

The Sea House

     by Elisabeth Gifford

The Sea House

Plot/Summary:
Ruth and her husband Michael purchase the Sea House on the Island of Harris with the intention of turning it into a bed and breakfast. During the renovation of the dilapidated house, they discover the skeleton of a small baby buried under the floorboards. Ruth's research on the history of the house points her to Alexander Ferguson, a young clergyman from the 1860s. Ferguson's passion was to find the roots of a family story about a selkie ancestor. His research is interrupted by his relationships with two women living on the island who change his life.  

Comments:
In Elisabeth Gifford's atmospheric novel, Ruth and Alexander narrate their personal stories and describe life on the Island of Harris in alternating chapters a century apart. In the historical part of the novel, the author explores the selkie legend and possible explanations for its origin. She also gives a heart-wrenching description of the forcible transportation of islanders to North America and Australia during the enclosure of agricultural lands by aristocratic landowners. Themes of motherhood and loss dominate the 20th-century story. The Sea House has the haunting, gothic tone found in the novels of Kate Morton.


Reviewed by ds, 4/14. Other reviews by ds.