Author: Jane Johnson
Published by: Simon & Schuster on Nov. 17, 2020
Genres: Historical Fiction
Format: Paperback, ARC
Source: Simon & Schuster Canada
Book Rating: 10/10
A broken family, a house of secrets—an entrancing tale of love and courage set during the Second World War.
After Rebecca’s mother dies, she must sort through her empty flat and come to terms with her loss. As she goes through her mother’s mail, she finds a handwritten envelope. In it is a letter that will change her life forever.
Olivia, her mother’s elderly cousin, needs help to save her beloved home. Rebecca immediately goes to visit Olivia in Cornwall only to find a house full of secrets—treasures in the attic and a mysterious tunnel leading from the cellar to the sea, and Olivia, nowhere to be found.
As it turns out, the old woman is stuck in hospital with no hope of being discharged until her house is made habitable again. Rebecca sets to work restoring the home to its former glory, but as she peels back the layers of paint and grime, she uncovers even more buried secrets—secrets from a time when the Second World War was raging, when Olivia was a young woman, and when both romance and danger lurked around every corner…
A sweeping and utterly spellbinding tale of a young woman’s courage in the face of war and the lengths to which she’ll go to protect those she loves against the most unexpected of enemies.
Rich, mysterious, and incredibly absorbing!
The Sea Gate is an alluring, dual-timeline tale set in Cornwall during WWII, as well as present-day, that is told from two perspectives; Olivia, a young girl struggling to survive in a world driven by insecurity and fear and ravaged by war, and Becky, a young woman who unexpectedly stumbles across a slew of long-buried family secrets and an offensive parrot after travelling to the home of her mother’s 90-year-old cousin to help fix it up and prepare it for her return.
The prose is vivid and expressive. The characters are resilient, brave, and determined. And the plot, along with all the seamlessly intertwined subplots, is an impressive blend of drama, emotion, family, secrets, mystique, love, loss, courage, passion, heartbreak, and self-discovery.
Overall, The Sea Gate is an evocative, immersive, moving tale that sweeps you away to another time and place and immerses you so thoroughly into the personalities, feelings, and lives of the characters you never want it to end. It is undoubtedly one of my favourite novels of the year and another fine example of Johnson’s extraordinary ability to write exceptionally memorable storylines.
This novel is available now.
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Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.