My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 1 day
Pages - 304
Publisher - Arrow
Source - Review copy
Blurb from Goodreads
The second novel from Melissa Bailey, author of The Medici Mirror...
One summer's day, Freya's husband and son vanish at sea.
A year on, and struggling to cope, Freya returns to the lighthouse-keeper's cottage on a remote Hebridean island, where she and her family spent so many happy times.
Haunted by visions of her old life, Freya's dreams are dark and disturbed. And when a stranger, Daniel, is washed ashore during a storm, they turn even more menacing.
As dream and reality start to merge, Daniel seems to be following Freya's every move. What does he want from her and is he everything he seems to be?
Is her mind playing tricks? Or is the danger that she senses very real?
Freya has lost her husband and young son to the sea, a year on she heads back to the Hebridean island filled with memories of her family. When she and her sister come to the aid of a stranger, Daniel, she soon realises they have things in common. Whilst Freya is struggling with her grief and some eerie happenings Daniel appears more and more, is there more than meets the eye to Daniel?
So this story breaks down into a few parts. The setting, Hebridean island was covered in vivid detail, I could picture the beautiful setting, the land, the sea, the surroundings. It is one of those locations that makes the reader want to go from book location to actual location. I do hope to visit one day.
Myths and legends come up in this book and I found myself putting the book down and googling some of them, Scottish stories and I want to buy a book on them. I love when a book peaks your interest and I used to love stories like that as a kid so I will be rekindling my love of those kind of stories.
Grief and loss is a big part of the story, it doesn't depress you or pull you down, instead taking you on a journey with Freya, adjusting to life and revisting memories. Learning to cope and keep going especially when you have no closure which I think every reader can connect with on some level. It is a story I wasn't expecting to be how it was, grief, love, loss, legend, a bit spooky at parts, snippets of almost a thriller, stories within a story. It was just really well written. 4/5 for me for this one, this was my first dance with Bailey, it won't be my last. I hope she has other books in similar veins or more focused on the old stories and legends, I could have read that all day long!