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Staff Reviews


Another wonderfully atmospheric & intriguing tale from Maine. Set on the western Scottish coast, the story revolves around a centuries old legend that has had lasting effects for generation to come. Libby Snow, an archaeologist, but also entangled by family in the legend, is sent to excavate the dunes where bodies are rumored to be buried. She butts heads with land owner Rodri Sturrock, but eventually they join forces to preserve the legend and the land. Rife with family drama, romance, and tragedy that repeats itself through the years, this is a tale worth reading.

— Sue

Description


A beautifully told and intriguing mystery about two generations of Scottish women united by blood, an obsession with the past, and a long-hidden body, from the author of The House Between Tides.

Libby Snow has always felt the pull of Ullaness, a headland on Scotland’s sea-lashed western coast where a legend has taken root. At its center is Ulla, an eighth-century Norsewoman whose uncertain fate was entangled with two warring brothers and a man who sought to save her. Libby first heard the stories from her grandmother, who had learned it from her own forebear, Ellen, a maid at Sturrock House.

The Sturrocks have owned the land where Ulla dwelled for generations, and now Libby, an archaeologist, has their permission to excavate a mysterious mound, which she hopes will cast light on the legend’s truth. But before she can begin, storms reveal the unexpected: the century-old bones of an unidentified man. The discovery triggers Libby’s memories of family stories about Ellen, of her strange obsession with Ulla, and of her violent past at Sturrock House.

As Libby digs deeper, she unravels a recurring story of love, tragedy, and threads that bind the past to the present. And as she learns more of Rodri Sturrock, the landowner’s brother, she realizes these forces are still at work, and that she has her own role to play in Ulla’s dark legend.

About the Author


Sarah Maine was born in England but grew up partly in Canada before returning to the United Kingdom, where she now lives. She is the author of The House Between Tides, Beyond the Wild River, and Women of the Dunes.

Praise For…


Praise for Women of the Dunes

"By alternating viewpoints and eras and carefully dispensing details, Maine (Beyond the Wild River, 2017) has created an intriguing tale of discovery that celebrates her beautiful setting’s past and present."

Praise for Beyond the Wild River

“Maine’s (The House between Tides, 2016) beautifully detailed descriptions of the American hinterlands provide a stunning setting for this historical tale of intrigue and suspense.” 

“ [A] thrilling historical adventure… Meticulous research and descriptive passages of lush, beautiful landscapes frame Maine’s riveting portrait of a thoughtful young woman who yearns for more than is offered by her station and her gender, and the rough-and-tumble young man who is inexorably drawn to her.”

“Maine’s gift of setting the mood shines in her latest novel, taking readers on an almost tangible journey from the Scottish Highlands to the Chicago World’s Fair to the Ontario frontier. Sights, sounds and smells come alive even as a years-old mystery swirls up the characters’ senses and emotions.” 

Praise for The House Between Tides

“Scotland’s Outer Hebrides provides the sensuous setting for [this] impressive debut…[a] beautifully crafted novel.”

Maine skillfully balances a Daphne du Maurier atmosphere with a Barbara Vine-like psychological mystery...The setting emerges as the strongest personality in this compelling story, evoking passion in the characters as fierce as the storms which always lurk on the horizon. A debut historical thriller which deftly blends classic suspense with modern themes."

“Maine contrasts Hetty’s present-day consternation with the past story of Blake and his wife, delivering details at a perfectly suspenseful pace… the historic mystery will keep readers guessing right up until the end.”

“The stark setting proves to be the perfect backdrop for Maine's well-plotted debut. The novel weaves secrets from both past and present with a bit of a romance and the feel of the Outer Hebrides to build a mystery that is as eerie and complex as the house of Muirlan itself.”

“Reminiscent of the Gothics of the 1970s, THE HOUSE BETWEEN TIDES by Sarah Maine takes the reader on a stimulating stroll through two time periods, igniting the senses with a classic mysterious aura. The moodiness of the location easily placed my mind on holiday in the past while unraveling the mystery in the present.”

"Evocative...Much is left up to the reader to interpret, which showcases the skill of this debut author. The novel is a haunting story of loss and longing in an unusual setting. Recommended."

“I really enjoyed the ambiance of the book… It felt like a great harmony between the environment and the mystery taking place. You could feel the mood of people in keeping with the landscape, the mood adapting to the elements... A very enjoyable atmospheric novel, spanning over a few generations, rich in landscape descriptions and suspense."

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."
Product Details
ISBN: 9781501189593
ISBN-10: 150118959X
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: July 24th, 2018
Pages: 384
Language: English

Women of the Dunes: A Novel (Paperback)