I am hugely indebted to Bookbridgr and Ella Bowman at Headline for a review copy of Emylia Hall’s ‘The Sea Between Us’ in return for an honest review. It was published by Headline Review on 27th August 2015.
Robyn and her parents move to Cornwall where the enigmatic Jago rescues Robyn from near death when her first attempt at surfing goes horribly wrong. This incident forms a bond between them that will endure. However, not having declared their love for each other, even to themselves, the years pass and they go their separate ways, but fate hasn’t entirely finished with them.
This is a lovely story. It is divided along the lines of the tides from ‘Spindrift’ to ‘Spring Tide’ and the lyrical writing reflects the ebb and flow of the sea. The storytelling is completely satisfying as Robyn’s life changes and develops so that it is never entirely certain that her happiness can last. Her own experiences affect and alter her perception of her parents’ lives too.
Underlying the story is an incredible exploration of memory and fate and we see how a missed comment, letter or opportunity can change the whole course if our lives. It is a salutary lesson in making the most of opportunities as they arise.
The characters are warm and human so that it is impossible not to care about them as you read. I’m sure I would have fallen for Denny too! The emotions conveyed are stunning and so much is expressed through creativity with Jago’s wood working and Robyn’s paintings that it made me want to visit a gallery and buy a piece of their work to try to retain the closeness I felt when reading the book. The title has multiple interpretations, from the physical separation of the Atlantic to a shared love of a single place and the sea becomes a character in its own right.
I thoroughly enjoyed Emylia Hall’s ‘The Sea Between Us’ and found it pulled at my emotions the way the moon pulls at the tides. It is a gorgeous book.