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Secrets of the Sea House Audiobook

Secrets of the Sea House

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Publisher's Summary

Scotland, 1860. Reverend Alexander Ferguson takes up his new parish, an isolated patch on the Hebridean island of Harris. His time there will change his life, but the Sea House, on the edge of the dunes keeps its silence long after Alexander departs. More than a century later, Ruth and Michael buy the grand but dilapidated building for the family they hope to have. But their dreams are marred by a shocking discovery.

©2013 Elisabeth Gifford (P)2014 W F Howes Ltd

What the Critics Say

"An arresting tale of the things that haunt us." (Liza Klaussmann, author of Tigers In Red Weathe)
"A sweeping summer read, packed with an epic tale of loss, love and hope." (Irish News)
"Secrets of the Sea House is an arresting tale of the things that haunt us. But the real pleasure in this debut novel is Elisabeth Gifford's finely wrought prose; at turns acute, delicate and fierce." (Liza Klaussman)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (138 )
5 star
 (43)
4 star
 (50)
3 star
 (31)
2 star
 (11)
1 star
 (3)
Overall
3.9 (127 )
5 star
 (44)
4 star
 (42)
3 star
 (26)
2 star
 (10)
1 star
 (5)
Story
4.1 (125 )
5 star
 (47)
4 star
 (54)
3 star
 (15)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (2)
Performance
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  •  
    Lucy Chinnor, United Kingdom 13/05/2014
    Lucy Chinnor, United Kingdom 13/05/2014 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
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    "Slow start but really enjoyable in the end."
    Where does Secrets of the Sea House rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Not the most outstanding but still one of the best. I had to make myself listen at first then couldn't stop.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I really enjoyed the Scottish accents of some of the narrators. I liked the fact that it switched between periods in time. I thought it had a good ending.


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favourite?

    Ruth - I though she was quite boring at first but as the story progressed it became clear that there was more to her.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Mainly just wanting to keep listening to find out what happened.


    Any additional comments?

    An enjoyable story.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mrs. Lee Cousins Chicago 21/05/2014
    Mrs. Lee Cousins Chicago 21/05/2014 Member Since 2013

    Avid reader and fan of audiobooks. Favourite authors are Stenphen King and Pat Conroy.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
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    54
    9
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    "Secrets of the Sea House"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would definitely recommend this book to my friends. It is an amazingly touching story and the characters grow on you. I was sorry to reach the end.


    What other book might you compare Secrets of the Sea House to, and why?

    I think this story is a unique one and I wouldn't want to compare it to anything else. It is a mystery, a love story, a gothic tale, atomospheric in its setting of the northern islands and easy to just fall right into.


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favourite?

    I loved all the characters as they were so beautifully presented by the narrators. Such beautiful accents!


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I guess I will have to say that the feelings I experienced, I really can't give a name to.


    Any additional comments?

    No book is for everyone, but this one comes close.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J 14/05/2014
    J 14/05/2014 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
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    "Interesting explanation for mermen/maids!"

    I enjoyed this story and thought the use of different narrators worked well. The story developed in a way that made me want to find out more about Ruth and how her life interacted with the past, the links with the island and the previous inhabitants of the Manse. The story reached point where resolution was revealed but the conclusion was hurried. Perhaps this allows for the listener to assimilate their own conclusion but felt a little rushed. This does not stop me recommending this audio book as a good listen.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lotus PERTH, United Kingdom 10/06/2014
    Lotus PERTH, United Kingdom 10/06/2014 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
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    "History comes to life in this story"

    Although i struggled slightly with the beginning of the story I was soon hooked, the author has written a very compelling and well researched book.

    Some of the descriptive passages about the clearances brought tears to my eyes, and i think that Elizabeth Gifford captured the torment and destruction of lives in a very moving and compassionate way, and i would hope will bring understanding to those who may not already be aware of the suffering caused by landlords clearing the way for sheep, in the flash back portions of the story.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ann-Marie Gavle, Sweden 27/09/2014
    Ann-Marie Gavle, Sweden 27/09/2014 Member Since 2013

    I live in a big house by the Baltic sea in Gävle, Sweden. I am married and have three teenagers and one dog. I read books, buy books and blog about books. If I don´t read I knit, sew or quilt.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "So sad"
    Would you listen to Secrets of the Sea House again? Why?

    Yes I would. It's a lovely story set in the remote island Harris in Scotland.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I think I liked Moira most. A strong and fascinating woman.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    So many I cant't pick one. The finding of the baby, the walk on the shore, the discoveries.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Oh, yes! I can't tell though because it would spoil the story...


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teresa 08/07/2014
    Teresa 08/07/2014 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    42
    7
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    "Twisting and turning"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Whilst this story has expected twists, the outcome continues to evade the reader. Enjoyable and yet easy to listen to, interesting without too much effort to listen.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Secrets of the Sea House?

    The finding of the corpse(whose I am not saying!), the misleading way my mind sorted it out.....I was wrong!


    What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    We'll narrated, and change of narration, very slick causing no jarring to the performance


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Historical mystery solved!


    Any additional comments?

    Unusually I could listen to this book again quite soon, and I am sure I would gain different insights, partially set in the time of the clearance of the Scottish Islands, it holds interest for people who are interested in fiction, mystery, historical..... In fact most people

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mrs Sidmouth, United Kingdom 01/09/2014
    Mrs Sidmouth, United Kingdom 01/09/2014 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    28
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    12
    12
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    1
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    "Absorbing read"
    If you could sum up Secrets of the Sea House in three words, what would they be?

    prose, characterisation, plot


    What did you like best about this story?

    linking mystery between different periods in time


    What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    distinction between male and female characters


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    nothing specifically


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dianne 12/08/2014
    dianne 12/08/2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    3
    3
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    0
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    "A very different story line therefore interesting"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would only recommend this book if the friend was receptive to this type of mystery


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Secrets of the Sea House?

    Alexander & Moira finding each other


    Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    no


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I found it quite dreary & possibly depressing


    Any additional comments?

    no

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol 24/07/2014
    Carol 24/07/2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    14
    6
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    0
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    "it grew better as the story went on"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would recommend this book, if only for the historical content. The story line during the historical part was more compelling than the modern part, the historical part could have stood alone, but not so for the modern part


    Has Secrets of the Sea House put you off other books in this genre?

    No, i quite enjoy books that are set in 2 time period


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed the book but found it a bit slow in parts. I would recommend it but wouldn't listen again unlike some books i have downloaded.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    liz cox 20/07/2014
    liz cox 20/07/2014 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    3
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    0
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    Story
    "like reading a classic black & white film at times"
    If you could sum up Secrets of the Sea House in three words, what would they be?

    ancient faces modern


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Secrets of the Sea House?

    the mythological story of Ishmael and the selkie


    What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

    the three narrators read their characters well


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    satisfied with the explanation and reasoning behind the mermaid / merman mythology.


    Any additional comments?

    good story immersed in folklore

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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