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Secrets of the Sea: A Novel
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Secrets of the Sea: A Novel

3.3  ·  Rating Details ·  189 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Torn by tragedy from his early life on a remote farm in Tasmania, Alex Dove has returned years later to start over. A chance encounter with quiet, alluring Merridy Bowman—a young woman similarly haunted by a tangled and catastrophic history—results in marriage, as two damaged souls unite to build a home, family, and livelihood far removed from civilization's bustle. Soon t ...more
ebook, 0 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jan 20, 2011 Heidi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
A very good book.

About more than love and loss, infertility and infidelity, more than peace and despair.... it is about sailing ships and sheering sheep and bowling and Tasmanian summer and electricity and forgiveness of self and oysters and ghosts and a mysterious coin. All of those things and none of them.

Instantly jealous of the author's name, I picked this book up at my library after contemplating not checking anything out, as I'd left my reading list at home and it had well over 100 books
Aug 03, 2010 Scott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
What a gem of a novel that I suspect has yet to be discovered by a broader American audience. Shakespeare a British writer who splits time living in England and Tasmania, paints a colorful canvas of contemporary Southeast Tasmania. He scripts his characters with such psychological depth that one feels the remoteness of the setting. A setting of which the early Europeans said, "represented the literal end of the world: if you travel any further you are on your way home again." His main characters ...more
Jan 19, 2014 Liviu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mainstream, read_2014
Secrets of the Sea was one of those books that I almost couldn't put down and had to finish it asap - just bought it a night before this review and while at 400 odd pages not that short, I put everything else down and read it with passion; a love story, a story of a marriage, a story of secrets and a story of life in a small town in a remote area of the world.

the structure of the book - with an intense beginning (in 1988) and an intense ending in 2004-2005, while the in-between, "normal" years o
Mar 03, 2011 Franzi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alex seine Eltern Sterben sehr früh bei einem Autounfall. Er wird nach England auf ein Internat geschickt. Nach vielen Jahren kehrt er zurück und will die Farm eigentlich Verkaufen, da sie das Verschwinden von Merridys Bruder nie verkraftet haben. Nach dem sich Merridy und Alex näher kennengelernt haben beschließen sie zu Heiraten. Bis ein schrecklicher Sturm kommt, doch seine Kindheit lässt ihn nicht mehr los. Also beschließt er die Farm aufzurüsten. Kurze Zeit später lernt er Merridy kennen. M ...more
Tadzio Koelb
From my review in the New Statesman:

"The episodic nature of this long novel about a family’s fortunes can sometimes recall such Victorian dramas as The Newcomes, but whereas Thackeray’s characters demonstrated the slow, weighty effects of empire and society, Alex and Merridy live in a time seemingly absent of larger forces. The emphasis shifts uneasily between inner lives minutely recorded and the places and experiences that surround them. Events occur not exactly in isolation, but their relatio
Dec 21, 2013 Sandrine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really good book - took a while to get into it but the plot is quite unusual, so is the setting "Tasmania". All characters are skilfully described and introduced in the story in unexpected circumstances. I probably did not fully capture the depth of the writing as vocabulary used is quite unusual/nautical.
This story is set in Tasmania and follows the life of a young couple struggling to make the family farm profitable. I really enjoyed the book, however, at times the story seemed to be a bit disjointed. It reminded me a bit of Tim Winton's book "Shallows"- mostly the main female character and the story location.
Jul 29, 2011 Brad rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this was an amazing book. absolutely loved it! beautiful writing, captivating story line, one of those books that i bit into and couldn't let go of. i'm always so happy when i find new authors i like who have already written other books... i've got this guy's next one already lined up in my queue.
May 22, 2015 Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Feel that I just visited Tasmania. Took me a bit to get into the style but ended up really engrossed. Love story, a woman entrepreneur growing oysters, ship wreck, a farm,...all elements I enjoyed. A sleeper.
I liked this book. It was slow to start, but I haven't been to Australia. Most of my Australian knowledge comes from Crocodile Dundee. Thank goodness I know I'm a Sheila so when I go to the Outback I choose the right restroom. Anyway, good story. Took a little while to get going.
Heather Boundy
I don't think I have read any Nicholas Shakespeare before, but I really enjoyed this. Great Tasmanian setting and very interesting characters. A perfect read for the Australia Day long weekend.
Mar 11, 2009 Lee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a bookclub selection. The pace was slow, perhaps like the location. The conclusion (by an overwhelmingly Brit audiance)? Poorly executed and boring, like Tasmania. Hey, I kinda liked it!
May 10, 2012 Mandy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good read. The characters are very human (read: falible!) which can be frustrating but it's interesting to see where their good and bad decisions take them. Lovely to read a book set in Tassie.
Wonderful setting, intricate characters in difficult relationships, each with human flaws and hidden dreams. Loved this book.
Nicole Poepping
This book explores the dynamics of small-town life in Tazmania. I never tire of reading about the social dynamics of rural communities.
Caroline Nelson
Aug 20, 2012 Caroline Nelson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book which I read while in Maine, the perfect beach/vacation read. Unique, interesting story line and characters.
Leen Decaluwé
Aug 10, 2015 Leen Decaluwé rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written and interestimg read. I kept thinking it was set earlier, not 2004 probably due to,the farming lifestyle and locations. Found the endomg a bit confusing amd rushed.
Paul Fulcher
Paul Fulcher rated it it was ok
Jul 27, 2014
Radhika rated it it was ok
Aug 25, 2016
Lindy rated it really liked it
Aug 13, 2011
Lindsey rated it liked it
Aug 18, 2008
Neil Dufty
Neil Dufty rated it liked it
Apr 06, 2014
Krista rated it really liked it
Feb 26, 2012
Jason rated it it was amazing
Aug 22, 2010
i spy fred
A bit cheesy but a fun beach read after visiting Tasmania.
Annie rated it really liked it
Apr 03, 2014
Aleksandra rated it it was ok
Oct 18, 2014
Musicgasm rated it liked it
Mar 10, 2011
Karin rated it it was amazing
Oct 05, 2008
Jenny rated it it was amazing
Oct 16, 2011
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Nicholas William Richmond Shakespeare is a British novelist and biographer.

Born to a diplomat, Nicholas Shakespeare grew up in the Far East and in South America. He was educated at the Dragon School preparatory school in Oxford, then at Winchester College and at Magdalene College, Cambridge. He worked as a journalist for BBC television and then on The Times as assistant arts and literary editor. F
More about Nicholas Shakespeare...

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