Dark, Brooding....

The House Between Tides - Sarah Maine

The House Between Tides is a story that has a story line is about a house and it's past inhabitants that connects with the present day. Hetty Deveraux is left a house located in Scotland's Outer Hebrides, which is a series of islands, after a distant relative dies. She has plans to renovate and turn the house into a hotel. Unbeknownst to her the house is a crumbling mess and will cost a fortune to rebuild. 

Upon arriving at this house that can only be accessed when the tide is out, Hetty realizes just how difficult her intentions are. There has been a body found among the rubble that appears to have been there a long time. Not only will there need to be massive renovations but the locals do not want her to be there. They want things left as they are and let the sea claim the house. What is the identity of the body and what is the story?

Theo Blake brought his wife, Beatrice, to the house around 1910 as newlyweds. Theo is a painter who is famous for his work but is now chronicling the local bird population with paintings. He has a local man assisting him with this project. Beatrice is often left to her own devices as her husband is so wrapped up in what he is doing that he neglects and seems to push his bride away. She finds companionship with the local man.

Hetty slowly uncovers the secrets of the Blake's, the small community and its inhabitants all at the same time trying to figure out exactly what she should do with the property. Developers are pushing her one way but her heart is pulling her in another. 

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.

I enjoyed this story and hoped for happy endings, but as sometimes happens, that is not always the case. A definite 5 star for me.