It was after reading Project Lectito’s review of The House Between the Tides that it made its way to the top of my reading pile. Having likened it to Du Maurier’s Rebecca – one of my very, very favourite books – I was immediately sold, and with the bleak and blustery weather we’ve been having of late in Sydney, I took the opportunity to spend a weekend curled up with a blanket and copious mugs of hot chocolate accompanied by Maine’s debut novel.
Evocative from the opening page, The House Between the Tides offers its readers a windswept setting comprising of rugged Scottish landscapes and a crumbling country estate. It tells the tale of Hetty Deveraux, who, upon visiting Muirlan, her ancestral home in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides, finds herself in the middle of a century-old murder mystery with few clues to help identify either the victim or the perpetrator of this heinous crime. As she delves deeper into the history of Muirlan, she learns more about her distant relative – the acclaimed painter Theo Blake – and his bride Beatrice, who lived there during their short-lived marriage at the beginning of the twentieth century.
Much like her ancestors, Hetty soon finds herself immersed in the small-island community and she begins to unravel a past that has long since been hidden. Atmospheric and abundant in both mystery and an easy charm, The House Between the Tides is the ultimate in escapism, and the perfect kind of read for a dark and stormy night.