Publisher: Headline Review (27 Aug. 2015)
Source : Netgalley
From the author of the Richard and Judy bookclub pick The Book of Summers comes a captivating, moving novel of love and family which will sweep you away to the beautiful coast of Cornwall.
In a remote Cornish cove, on one of the last days of summer, Robyn Swinton is drowning. She is saved – just – by local boy Jago Winters, and it is a moment that will change both of them forever.
Over the next seven years, Robyn and Jago’s paths lead them in different directions, to city streets and foreign shores. Will the bond forged that day Jago dragged Robyn in from the sea be strong enough to bring them back to one another, or has life already pulled them too far apart?
Emylia Hall’s two previous novels, her debut The Book of Summers and A Heart Bent Out Of Shape have been keepers for me. I love Emylia’s writing style and the way I can become totally involved in the time and place she creates with characters who always tug at my emotions. I always feel such sadness when the story ends and this is my life no more.
Did The Sea Between Us have the same effect on me?
Beginning with a prologue in the present time that leaves the reader in no doubt that our two leads are far apart (both in distance and emotionally) I settled down to read what happened 7 years previously and wondering what had led them to the present time in their lives.
Robyn, in her late teens, moves with her parents to White Sands in Merrin. Jago lives with his dad Denny on Hooper’s Farm where they work together making bespoke and upmarket furniture. We see Robyn’s shyness and lack of confidence through her learning to surf in the remote and deserted cove in Merrin where she doesn’t want anyone to see her attempts. Their first meeting in the cove is very dramatic! however, with things happening out of their control, Robyn goes away to Warwick Uni and then the next summer to Italy with a friend. Life seems destined to keep them apart with missed opportunities and misunderstandings.
With a 3rd person narrative from both Robyn and Jago I found it easy to become emotionally attached to them both and didn’t like Robyn’s London life! although I did love Tess and in reality, this is something that could easily happen. Eliot was ok although I felt that the relationship was all on the surface. Robyn is a deep and intense character and you just know she needs something more – a deeper connection. Jago is solid and keeps everything hidden under that facade. Here we have two characters who do a lot of growing up in that 7 year period and become much stronger because of what they have to go through.
Emylia Hall knows how to get her readers emotionally fraught. I’ve grieved along with our characters (oh Tomatillo – cried a few tears there) and felt the bewilderment of Marilyn and how it affects those around her Emylia doesn’t shy away from tackling those mistakes we make in life either and pulls you along with those consequences. I’ve also had moments of laughter (the first time Robyn wears a wet suit springs to mind). I loved the importance of the postcard and how Robyn learns to express herself through art.
There is a beginning at the end … and I’ve amused myself by carrying on the story (in my mind) through to old age.
I think these tweets say exactly what I thought about The Sea Between Us.
— Shaz Goodwin (@shazjera) September 10, 2015
@shazjera ah! I love that. Perfect reaction. Thank you thank you xx
— Emylia Hall (@EmyliaHall) September 10, 2015
If you’re looking for a coming of age story that takes you to the remoteness of Cornwall, the rock band scene in London and ranching in New Mexico then this is the book for you. Be prepared for those all important feels – not only for Robyn and Jago but for their families too.
Emylia Hall has become a firm favourite of mine and I would recommend all three of her novels … and I’m glad she was back in her holiday writing room 🙂 as I’m eager to read her next novel.
|It’s a Keeper|
I would like to thank the publishers for approval via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Connect with Emylia
If you haven’t discovered Emylia Hall’s writing yet now’s your chance to enter my giveaway!
I’m giving the winner the choice of a paperback of any of Emylia’s novels:
Open Internationally (please check The Book Depository delivers to your destination) the giveaway closes midnight 28th October 2015.
Please check the terms and conditions on the Rafflecopter.