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4.4 out of 5 stars
339
4.4 out of 5 stars
The House by the Sea (Unabridged Audiobook)
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on 14 September 2013
This is the second book by this author for me and I found it so enjoyable. It spans two time frames one present day in Devon, the other in Tuscany 1960 onwards. Floriana, a young peasant girl from a Tuscany village dreams of the big house with it's breath-taking gardens and beautiful people, far away from her life of poverty with her drunken Father and errant Mother. Spotted by Dante, son of the wealthy Massimo family, he invites her to look around and from then on, for a while at least, Floriana's world is turned upside down as she has a taste of the good life.
Present day and Marina is struggling to keep her dream afloat; a beautiful castle converted to a hotel high on the Devon cliffs overlooking the sea. She employs an artist in residence to come for the summer, hoping to attract more customers but what she gets is a mysterious figure who seems to know quite a lot from her hidden past.
I loved this. It's pure escapism, not an in depth read but perfect to curl up with and devour in a day. Whether you enjoy the past story of little Floriana or present day with Marina you will want to reach the conclusion to see if they have shared any memories and to find out just what their secrets are. Descriptive passages galore here with wonderful images of both the character's beloved gardens. This author certainly knows how to pull at the heart strings too so if you're after a light read with a romantic twist, this is for you.
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on 10 July 2013
My wife previously read "The House By The Sea" by the same author. I thought she might like this title - "The Mermaid Garden" - so
I purchased it from Amazon. To our complete amazement, these two books are ABSOLUTELY IDENTICAL. We are very disappointed with this
complete take-on, especially when I paid £9.57 for "The Mermaid Garden" whereas "The House By The Sea" is on sale at Amazon for £2.99.
My advice to book purchasers would be to do a thorough check first.
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on 5 December 2016
Enjoyed this book immensely; I was gripped from the beginning was sorry to finish it!
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on 7 June 2014
This Book is not as exciting a read as The Girl I Left Behind , but has the same wonderful descriptions of both Characters and sense of Place .Two Eras intertwine , and as the Story unfolds a Mystery is unfolded ....... you are compelled to read on , and just don't want the Story to end . You will be entertained .
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on 18 February 2014
Whilst this book started well and had lovely descriptions of the the Italian house this didn't last. When the story moved to the Uk I found the characters very shallow and stereotypical. Although I had guessed how the end was going to pan out I did finish it. Overall okay however wouldn't recommend to a friend
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on 25 September 2017
Not really my type of book although I thought The Butterfly Box was good
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on 11 February 2017
My wife reads all her books. I think that that tells you what she thinks of the author.
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on 26 April 2017
It is very Santa..a good read...
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on 4 May 2017
Interesting characters and convincing switching between past and present. Good sense of both locations and importance of landscape in storytelling.
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on 1 March 2013
I could not believe it when I started reading The Mermaid Garden, that the story was identical to The House By The Sea by Santa Montefiore which I had read previously and enjoyed.
How can this be allowed, I am really disappointed with Santa Montefiore misleading her readers.
Please do not make the same mistake.
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