The Sea Gate – Jane Johnson

I always like to challenge myself with new authors, it can be too easy to get into the habit of sticking to the same all the time and eventually they can have a tendency to merge into one big story.

The premise for this book intrigued me and still does now, long after I have finished it.

Rebecca along with her brother is sorting through her recently deceased mother’s possessions. Rebecca stumbles across some letters from an elderly cousin, Olivia in Cornwall. Feeling rather bereft at the death of her mother and the worry of her own health, Rebecca takes herself off to Cornwall.

Olivia’s letters tell of her desperation to save her home Chynalls. Olivia is in hospital after a fall, the circumstances are all a bit sketchy and she will not be discharged unless the house is brought up to a good standard.

There lies Rebecca’s first problem. Add to that the lack of money, the foul mouthed parrot and the discovery of what looks to be a finger in the cellar and Rebecca finds herself caught up in Olivia’s mysterious life.

As Rebecca starts to rebuild the house, which she sees as her mother’s dying wish, but she stats to rebuild herself and rebuild the life of Olivia. The book use the dual time narrative to show what Olivia was like as a young girl during the Second World War and what life was like and why perhaps events of the present day were all tied up with the long held secrets of the past.

This book starts slowly, perhaps too slowly, but perseverance with the plot and the characters sees a story develop from the house and the page. This was an intriguing read and I was swept away with the plot and the unlikeability of some of the characters and of course the wonderful setting of Cornwall which added it’s own unique charm to the story.

A book to sweep you away into the past from the present.

Thank you to the publisher via netgalley for the opportunity to read this book. 

The Sea Gate is published on 4 June 2020.