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Shell House

Shell House [Kindle Edition]

Gayle Eileen Curtis
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Harry Rochester made a mistake. Forty years ago he abandoned his daughter who was convicted of a grisly crime. Wanting to right a wrong Harry makes contact with his daughter only to realise events of the past are glue that bind a family full of dark untold secrets.

Rebecca Banford, had another life and identity stolen from her as a child for a crime that labelled her a child killer. As a grown woman trying to move on with her life she discovers a father's call to bridge a relationship is like shaking the hand of death.

Is Rebecca willing to walk down a road full of mistrust and lies and embrace the girl she had been or will the secrets she's kept locked away finally be broken.

Shell House is a rare shocking, brutally honest novel of a family's struggle to cope with an ugly truth.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 848 KB
  • Print Length: 298 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #41,001 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Many, many years ago, I recall watching a documentary about April Fabb. She went missing in Norfolk in the sixties. Her bicycle was found but there was no trace of April. To this day, no one knows what happened to her.I remember watching the pain of her family and how, many years on, her parents still expected to see her walk up the garden path. It has stayed with me ever since and is partly where the idea for Memory Scents came from. I have always wondered if it's better to know what happened to your child and what I would do in that situation. I would probably write love letters to my child in a desperate attempt to keep them alive...

I also read a lot about Mary Bell when I was younger. She killed two children in the fifties when she was just a child herself. I was intrigued to know what led her to these actions and the never ending question of nature versus nurture. Years later when I returned to a book written about Mary Bell, I came up with the idea for Shell House which is loosely based on her. My sister and I visited The Shell Museum in Glandford near Holt and I was fascinated by the glass cabinets filled with a lifetime of collecting. A few days later, I was going out with a very dear friend and she asked if we could stop via the hospital where she worked so that she could hand in some coursework. She said she might be a little while and did I want to come in and wait. I declined and told her I would buy a newspaper from the shop and was happy to sit and have a read. Whilst I was in the shop I bought a notepad and pen. As I sat in the warm car reading the paper, something began to form in my mind about The Shell Museum and Mary Bell and I began to write. Don't ask me how I connected the two because I have no idea!

I see my books, in a strange way, as children and each one has a private name separate to the title. This is due to the fact that it usually takes me nine months to write a book and I feel that I go through a lot of similar emotions as it is growing and developing...I certainly experience the post natal emotions when I've finished a book! I'm happy, sad, bereft, exhausted, happy, sad, bereft, exhausted...!! So, it seems ironic that Shell House was conceived in the Queen Elizabeth's hospital car park in a vehicle belonging to a Midwife!

A few years ago a ginger cat arrived on our doorstep all the way from Northern Ireland. He has a very strange curly tail and a big personality (not uncommon in ginger cats) and he inspired me to try a new style of writing. His name is Mr. Wilfred Ginge and I quickly became his ghost writer (he struggles with writing having baked beans on his paws instead of fingers)and we began to write a weekly blog which can be viewed on our website It has recently been made into a book, Wilfred, Fanny and Floyd: Autobiographical Sketches of a Culinary Genius.
I enjoy the contrast between light and dark and both subjects suit me well. I am currently writing another psychological thriller similar to Memory Scents called Beneath the Miasma. This is about a sociopath and his twin sister and how they cope with the various events of their traumatic lives. Their father has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of their mother nearly thirty years after she went missing. Both of them have very different opinions about what happened and it threatens to ruin their lives and the lives of those around them. That's all I'm saying about it for now, I don't want to give too much away!
I am also writing another book alongside this called, Anonymous. Shell House has been described as a psychological portrait and Anonymous is along the same lines, although it is an entirely different story. This is about the mental health problems of a young woman who decides to give her baby away, leaving her husband to choose between the two of them. Like Shell House, it's very sad, so I am glad of the light relief that Wilfred's writing brings me!
We are represented by The Feldstein Agency and snippets of my work, and Wilfred's can be viewed there or on the website. All three books are available in paperback and as ebooks at Amazon.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Poignant & at times very moving... 24 Dec 2012
By IntensiveCareNurse TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Again, I find myself breaking my resolve as concerns writing Kindle reviews (as so few people seem to look at them)...
I found the author here to excel at her construction of characters. Far from just making them believable, the text explores their deepest & innermost feelings to the extent that belief in them overwhelms.
The inevitable sadness underlying events & the deeply explored family dynamics were wholly insightful, insightful to the extent I found myself reflecting on the similarly parallel dynamics within my own family system... I have rarely found an author so eloquent as concerns this & the reader is quickly drawn into the book due to their quickly formulated familiarity with the characters.
The tale was believable at first, but perhaps threw me a little mid-point, as the main character invents a fictional outcome of events (this is difficult to explain fully without creating a spoiler).
This, perhaps, was a necessary foil in which the author sought to divide the difference between the imagined & actual story outcomes.
I found myself relieved when I finally realised that this segment of the book had been an intentional fiction created by the main character, as it had begun (slightly) to challenge my belief in the tale. The sense of realism that returned near the end of the book put the tale firmly back on track for me, however.
This, for me, was a free Kindle download, although I would encourage its purchase unreservedly should it develop a modest price-tag.
Gayle Curtis is (I believe) an exceptional writer, and I would be interested to find out what processes in her own life have led to her own ability to create such insightful character studies.
I will be looking out for more work by her.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Confuseddotcom 8 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I reluctantly give this book three stars, purely for the fact that A) the author took the time to write it and B) I DID actually read it, but in all honesty, it is more a two to two and a half.

This book is very much a tale of two halves. Part One is written as a 'diary entry' type style and held my attention well. The story premise is strong and I was intrigued to find out what happened - then part two comes along.

It is almost as if this book was written by two different people!

As soon as the author switches to a third person narrative, the whole writing quality changed. It became tedious to read, all tell and no show and some shockingly bad dialogue. I wanted so much for it to get better, but it didn't.

Very disappointed as before that, I was enjoying it and that is no mean feat due to its genre, not something I would normally read.

I then interestingly read the author bio as I was convinced that this HAD been written by two people and was surprised to find that the author ghost writes for a cat...

The only logical conclusion I could come to is that maybe Mr. Ginge wrote the second half with his paws...

A shame.

Three stars.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tense 23 Sep 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this over all although I did find it excruciatingly slow in places. It is very tense and moody and kept me reading as I really wanted to find out what happened in the end. I liked the diary entries in the beginning but got confused when they stopped and the writing style seemed to change. It would have been more helpful to explain what was going on as I didn't know until later on in the book. I think I would read another book by this author.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really good read! 1 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book and got so caught up with the characters that I ended up reading late into the night! It's the best thing I've read for a long time.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book 19 Feb 2013
By Abbi G
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Its a good read, found it hard to put down and didnt want it to finish :( thumbs up for the author
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good book 8 Sep 2013
By P james
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Just finished this book with tears in my eyes. Very sad. Very uplifting. Very emotional. And what a twist!!! I ordered this book for free but I wouldn't hesitate to pay for it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shell House 8 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A beautiful, sad and endearing story. Wonderfully written and very thought provoking. So descriptive and emotional. I loved the authors portrayal of the characters and felt as if I almost knew them. I found myself wishing that Gabrielle's story was the real version. I would recommend the book without hesitation. I am sure I will think of this book for many days to come.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant. clever storyline with a twist 24 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Loved it, really kept me wanting more. Couldn't put it down. Great characters and very well written. Best thing I've read in ages.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!
I'm not a big reader but love a book on holiday. Easy to read. The story kept me wanting to find out more and entertained until the end. Read more
Published 10 days ago by mrs b a golding
5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected pleasure
I took ages to get round to reading this book so I forgot what the book was about and the title does not give any hint to the storyline. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Steve MacBeath
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Good plot with twists and turns, easy reading and even better it was free. Can recommend and will read more from this author.
Published 3 months ago by Carol Drinkwater
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Nothing was quite what it had first appeared. Very enjoyable. Kept me wanting to start the next chapter when I should be doing other things!
Published 3 months ago by heatherhr1
3.0 out of 5 stars Started of well.
Nice idea behind this story, but didn't work for me. The first half was good enough but the ending. Mmm.
Published 4 months ago by Ziggy52
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good
This is a really nice book that makes you want to read on. The twist at the end was unexpected.
Published 4 months ago by L N DAILY
3.0 out of 5 stars Shell House
A woman returns to her childhood home after many years away . The story is about relationships, regrets and forgiveness.
Published 5 months ago by Kath Pressey
5.0 out of 5 stars SHELLED
Very good read - enjoyed the outline of the families' issues along with the hardships involved. Trust was sadly missing for a long time to them as individuals but would certainly... Read more
Published 6 months ago by andsand
1.0 out of 5 stars Wasn't For Me-No Dialogue
This wasn't for me at all. The actual story is right up my street but there's no dialogue. Just endless description which I just never get along with. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Lynda Kelly
5.0 out of 5 stars what a good book
Nice to get a free book, then for it to be a really good book as well was a bonus.
Published 7 months ago by Trevor Hill
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