(Review) The House Between Tides by Sarah Maine
Publisher: Atria Books
Genre: Women's fiction, family secrets, mystery
Rating: 4 stars for very good
"Hetty" Harriet Deveraux inherits an ancestral home, Muirlan House, in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. She had already quit her magazine job. She left a controlling boyfriend behind in London. She needed to get away, to think and plan afresh. The Muirlan House is in ruins. Hetty had planned to renovate the home. She does not have experience in renovation work. Meanwhile, bones have been found near the home. They have not been identified.
The story moves back and forth from 1910, a brief 1945, and 2010. The characters in the 1910 period, are the painter, Theo Blake, and his new wife, Beatrice. The modern period is Hetty.
What attracted me to the story is the background of the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. This is a remote area, cell coverage and Internet are unavailable. It is an area of the world that seems wild and untamed, and also mysterious.
The human remains gave the story a mystery, but further mysteries are discovered.
The House Between Tides is remarkable in its setting. Muirlan House holds memories and secrets. It has its own unique personality.
Theo Blake is a painter. It is apparent from the first page, he is a person who is hiding something. He is a person with polar personalities. He is a strong character.
Beatrice Blake lives during the Victorian era when women were not independent. However, she is a strong character.
Hetty is not a strong character. She is a mediocre character. She is not assertive. She is not a person who stands her ground, but instead takes flight. If she were a coffee, she would be decaf. I found it interesting to portray Hetty, as a modest and mild person. I wondered if it was meant to be a counter-balance for the characters? I tend to pick apart the psyche of characters. She had close family members who'd died, and she has a controlling boyfriend. Her non-assertive nature maybe in response to the feeling she has no control over her life. I'm pleased her character had a transformation in the story.
The House Between Tides held my interest until the final page.
The strong points in the story are the family secrets, mystery of the remains, characters, and the environment of the home and landscape.