Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.
Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.
Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!
Title: Secrets of the Sea House
Author: Elisabeth Gifford
Length: 303 pages
What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):
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.
How and when I got it:
I bought a copy several years ago, after hearing recommendations from book group friends.
Why I want to read it:
Okay, a) Scotland! But b) it just sounds like a good story, with a dual timeline, the myth of the selkies, and family secrets. I’ve heard really good things about this author, but haven’t read any of her work. Have you?
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4 thoughts on “Shelf Control #143: Secrets of the Sea House by Elisabeth Gifford”
Oh wow, this sounds amazing! I’ve never heard of this one but it’s going straight on my TBR – I love selkie myths. 🙂
Me too! 🙂 There are a few great adaptations of selkie stories out there — I”m excited to read this one.
This sounds really interesting-something I would enjoy since I like historical fiction. Here’s mine this week- a more popular title this time: https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/101045559/posts/982#comment-786
Thanks for your link! Historical fiction is definitely one of my favorite genres.