Litfuse Blog Tour: The Sea House by Elisabeth Gifford (My Review)

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The Sea House
by Elisabeth Gifford
Copyright 2013
St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 9781250043344
The Story:
Scotland, 1860. 

Reverend Alexander Ferguson, naive and newly-ordained, takes up his new parish, a poor, isolated patch on the Hebridean island of Harris. His time on the island will irrevocably change the course of his life, but the white house on the edge of the dunes keeps its silence long after Alexander departs. 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? Ruth needs to solve the mystery of her new home – but the answers to her questions may lie in her own past.

Based on a real nineteenth-century letter to The Times in which a Scottish clergyman claimed to have seen a mermaid, The Sea House is an epic, sweeping tale of loss and love, hope and redemption, and how we heal ourselves with the stories we tell.

My Thoughts:
Elisabeth Gifford's The Sea House is a book I could not put down. I know that has become something of a cliche in the book review world, but it's true! Even if I had not been on a deadline to get this story read, I honestly think I would have read it in one sitting. Not only is the setting wonderful (The Hebrides), but the story revolves around an old house on the seaside and an intriguing decades old mystery that haunts its new owners.

Readers get a little bit of everything with this fascinating book. It isn't a light-hearted story, in fact it deals with many heart wrenching topics including death, suicide, and abuse, but it still the reader is left with a sense of hope after the last page is turned. Ruth and Michael both must face her past and its toll on their relationship as they try to repair the old sea house in time to open for tourists. As they learn of a new and unexpected blessing, Ruth's mother and her disappearance and death when Ruth was a child, come to the forefront.

There is something relevant to almost every reader. Faith, depression, family matters, money, history -- it's all in between the pages of this wonderful and powerful book. The Sea House is one of my favorite general market books so far this year, especially since it covers so many topics while remaining uncluttered and easy to read with a thread of Scottish folklore.

Read what others are saying about The Sea House.

~ My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars ~

*I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.*


THE SEA HOUSE Kindle Fire Giveaway from Elisabeth Gifford 

Don't miss The Sea House, a stunning fiction debut from the UK. Set in a house on the windswept coast of the Outer Hebrides, Elisabeth Gifford's haunting tale effortlessly bridges a gap of more than a century. Adeptly interweaving two tales involving residents of the titular house, Gifford sets up an absorbing mystery revolving around local lore and myths about mermaids, selkies, and sealmen. Stretching seamlessly back and forth through time, layers upon layers of secrets are slowly and effectively peeled away in this evocative debut (Booklist).

Celebrate with Elisabeth by entering her Kindle giveaway!

E.Gifford, The Sea House Giveaway

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • The Sea House by Elisabeth Gifford
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 19th. Winner will be announced October 20th at Elisabeth's Blog.


Watch the trailer:

Happy Reading!


  1. Sounds like a good read; thanks a ton for the fabulous review, Renee. That cover also pulls potential readers in! So good. :)

    1. It's one of my favorite covers right now... could be the fact that I'm missing the ocean though. ;-)

  2. Renee, this sounds very engaging. The cover is lovely and it sounds as if you enjoyed the book a lot.

  3. Wow. I love it. I love a good mystery. The bones reminds me of another book I totally love, A Grown Up Kind of Pretty.

    I'm totally adding this to my tbr.

    1. That one sounds great! I'll have to check it out!

  4. I'm on this tour and I need to get this read! I'm glad it is so good.

    1. Even though there was a little part that featured some strong language, I thought it was really good and I'm glad it was part of a Litfuse tour. Hope you enjoy!

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