The House Between Tides: A Novel by Sarah MaineThe House Between Tides: A Novel by Sarah Maine

The House Between Tides: A Novel

bySarah Maine

Paperback | August 2, 2016

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An atmospheric debut novel about a woman who discovers the century-old remains of a murder victim on her family’s Scottish estate, plunging her into an investigation of its mysterious former occupants.

Following the death of her last living relative, Hetty Deveraux leaves London and her strained relationship behind for Muirlan, her ancestral home in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides. She intends to renovate the ruinous house into a hotel, but the shocking discovery of human remains brings her ambitious restoration plans to an abrupt halt before they even begin. Few physical clues are left to identify the body, but one thing is certain: this person did not die a natural death.

Hungry for answers, Hetty discovers that Muirlan was once the refuge of her distant relative Theo Blake, the acclaimed painter and naturalist who brought his new bride, Beatrice, there in 1910. Yet ancient gossip and a handful of leads reveal that their marriage was far from perfect; Beatrice eventually vanished from the island, never to return, and Theo withdrew from society, his paintings becoming increasingly dark and disturbing.

What happened between them has remained a mystery, but as Hetty listens to the locals and studies the masterful paintings produced by Theo during his short-lived marriage, she uncovers secrets that still reverberate through the small island community—and will lead her to the identity of the long-hidden body.
Title:The House Between Tides: A NovelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:400 pages, 8.25 × 5.31 × 1 inPublished:August 2, 2016Publisher:Atria BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1501126911

ISBN - 13:9781501126918

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent read! Loved this book, could barely put it down. Loved that the story takes place in two different time lines.
Date published: 2017-10-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A pleasant surprise! My sister gave me this book for my birthday. I wasn't sure I would like it, but I was very pleasantly surprised. It read very much like a Kate Morton novel (for those familiar with her work), and I really enjoyed it. I would recommend it.
Date published: 2016-11-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful! The first thing I want to say about this book is that the writing style is beautiful. In a book where art is so central to the story, it feels right to have the writing reflect that as well. Maine writes stunning descriptions, not only of the scenery, but of the characters' feelings. Her writing is poignant and so fitting for this story. The story spans 100 years and we learn it through two different timelines - 1910, when Beatrice and Theo are living in the house, and 2010, when Hetty and the locals are searching for answers about the house's mysterious inhabitants. I was drawn mostly to Beatrice and her story in 1910, and always found myself wanting to read more of her story. She is an independent woman with such gumption, and I found her intriguing. She's brought to this place that, initially, she doesn't care for (she'd rather be vacationing in Europe), but that she tries to enjoy for her husband's sake. She ultimately gets wrapped up in what could be considered a scandal if people found out about it, but I was rooting for her all the way. I felt a kind of disconnect with the love story in Hetty's timeline - I didn't really feel a spark between the two characters and so when something did happen between them, my reaction was something like, "Oh...ok". I wasn't opposed to that pairing, and in fact I think it was a good fit, but there wasn't much leading up to it that had made me root for them. When I was reading her timeline, I found myself mostly interested in finding out who the body belonged to. The mystery unravels at a good pace and I must say, I very much enjoyed this book. If you like mysteries, love stories, and switching between timelines, I definitely recommend reading The House Between Tides.
Date published: 2016-08-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Debut novel that fans of Kate Morton would enjoy The House Between Tides is Sarah Maine's debut novel, releasing in Canada on August 2/16. I always stop to look at a cover before turning the first page and this one definitely caught my eye. A mysterious old house surrounded by water? I'm in. Hetty Deveraux is living in London when she is contacted by a solicitor informing her that she has inherited Muirlan House in the Scottish Hebrides - a house that is only accessible twice a day from the mainland when the tides are out. Hetty is shocked, but sees the inheritance as a chance to escape London and her boyfriend. Perhaps the estate can be fixed up and turned into a hotel? But when she arrives, the damage is greater than she could have imagined. Uninhabited since 1945, the house has fallen into abject disrepair. When a set of bones is located under some floorboards, any idea of repairing the building is quickly halted. Who could the bones belong to? What happened? When? Why? Absolutely delicious! Spanning one hundred years, The House Between Tides is told in a then and now format, alternating chapters from Beatrice's voice in 1910 and Hetty's in 2010. Beatrice is the young wife of noted painter and wildlife enthusiast Theo Blake, who owns the island and manages the crofters. Life on Muirlan is not quite the idyllic experience Beatrice had imagined. There are secrets and simmering tensions between family members as well as the island community - and between Beatrice and her new husband. And neither is it quite what Hetty had envisioned either. Those secrets and tensions seem to have survived the years, affecting the present. Issues brought to light in 1910 are still relevant in 2010. Ahh, what more could you want? A rambling mansion, desolate setting, secrets, a body, suspicious and unhappy locals, love stories (yes, plural, there are two of them - one in each time frame) and a lovely, atmospheric journey to the ending where the narratives finally meet. A decidedly Gothic feel. I enjoyed both Beatrice and Hetty as lead characters. But, I was drawn more to Beatrice, for although she was constrained by the societal expectations of the time, she stayed true to herself and had spunk. Hetty is constrained more by her own self, her insecurities and her inability to speak up for herself. I enjoy dual narrative novels. The reader is privy to both timelines, able to fit together the pieces and see where they might fit together. However, I do find myself staying up late with the back and forth - I always need just 'one more chapter' before shutting off the lights. Maine paints a beautiful setting in The House Between Tides - the sea, the sun, the sand, the sky and the wildlife are all wonderfully and vividly described - making it very easy to imagine the island. I quit enjoyed The House Between Tides and look forward to Maine's next book. Fans of Kate Morton and Eve Chase would enjoy The House Between Tides.
Date published: 2016-07-28

Read from the Book

The House Between Tides Chapter 1 2010, James The first bone he had dismissed as dead sheep. There’d been others—ribs decaying amidst rabbit droppings and debris from the collapsing ceilings, or bleached vertebrae. But the next one was a long bone, and he held it, considering a moment, then rocked back on his heels. This was no sheep. He leant forward, interest sharpening, and scraped at the sandy soil, revealing more stained bones and recognising a tangle of threads from decaying textile. A rotting plank half-covered the remains. He tried to move it aside, but it stuck fast, then he straightened, aghast, as certainty came. The plank was an old floor-board, nailed down, and the bones were underneath it. He stared down at the remains, thrown off-balance, then bent again, his mouth dry, and explored further until he came to the pale orb of the skull. Then he stopped. The body had been placed on its side with the head hard up against a boulder in the foundations, the chin dropped to the chest, exposing the side of the skull. Exposing not a smooth roundness but a fissured depression, choked with sand. His mind roared as he reached forward to clear crumbs of mortar from the half-buried jaw, flicking an indifferent wood louse from the bared teeth, his hand trembling as he uncovered more of the crushed temple and the dark orbit of an eye. Then he straightened again and stood looking down, the trowel hanging loose in his hand. It was the snapping of fast wing beats that broke the spell, and he ducked instinctively as a rock dove bolted from its roost in an alcove—bloody bird!—and he glanced at his watch, twisting it on his wrist. Out of time. The tide had turned, and the wind was strong. Storm coming. He quickly bent to cover the bones again, then grabbed his jacket and ran to the Land Rover. The empty stretch of sand which, for a few short hours twice a day joined Muirlan Island to the main island, was disappearing fast. Had he cut it too fine? He revved the engine hard as the vehicle descended the track and he reached the point where track met sand. Then the battered vehicle sped across, through the shallow water, spray arching from its wheels as it rounded the rocky outcrop at the midway point, following the vanishing tracks which had marked his route across that afternoon. Swooping terns accompanied the incoming tide as it flooded the sandy stretches between the headlands, closing in behind him. He glanced in his rear-view mirror at the grey bulk of the house silhouetted on the ridge, and gripped the steering wheel. A body, for Christ’s sake! Then, as he tore across the wet sand, he glimpsed a figure in a long dark coat standing on a little headland, staring out towards the house. A woman? He looked more keenly. A stranger— The Land Rover plunged drunkenly into the last deep channel and he revved the engine again to pull up the other side, releasing his breath as he felt firm ground beneath the tyres. Then he swung the vehicle to the right, wiping damp palms on worn jeans, and headed down the single-track road, skirting the edge of the bay, to find Ruairidh.

Editorial Reviews

The House Between Tides reminds me of books written by Phyllis Whitney, Victoria Holt or Mary Stewart in that they all have the same style of writing, moody, dark and atmospheric stories that involve romance and mystery where the male characters are often brooding and the women are bound to fall in love them in spite of their moodiness and mystery."