The Shape of Sand
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The Shape of Sand

3.38 of 5 stars 3.38  ·  rating details  ·  84 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Life at Charnley was blessed, or at least so it seemed to the Jardine children. But one night their dreams of a propitious future suddenly come crashing down when a family scandal catapults them into the headlines.

Nearly four decades pass and the Second World War is won, but still the exact events of that fateful night remain unknown. However, when builders working on Char...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published December 27th 2005 by Minotaur Books (first published January 1st 2005)
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Mo
Jan 14, 2014 Mo rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Highly Recommended
4 ½ stars

This book was an unexpected pleasure.

It had been sitting on my shelf for the past 2 months, completely neglected, because I was reading “feel-good” books that revolved around the Christmas holidays. I actually had forgotten all about it, and almost did not get around to reading it before it was due back to the library. I picked it up and starting reading it “blind”, not really knowing what the book was about. Thank goodness I had not read the blurb on the book jacket (and had forgotten...more
Amy
Great character development an absorbing plot. A suspense novel set in post WWII Britain. In 1946, when Harriet Jardine receives a cardboard box of letters and notebooks found during the demolition and remodeling of Charnley, her family's former country house, she knows that she and her two sisters will have to face memories they would rather leave alone—in particular, their mother's disappearance decades earlier after an elaborate birthday party. Determined to seek out the truth, Harriet and he...more
Melanie
This is exactly the kind of guilty pleasure I love curling up with on a rainy day: a proper mystery firmly grounded in all things English. The multiple POVs keep the story interesting; the characters are crafted with the real flaws of real people; the mystery is intriguing without crass shock value. I spent a lot of time in my childhood reading my older relatives mysteries from the '40s and '50s; this is a nice throw-back to those sensibilities.
Mary
... the shape of sand, like life, is whatever we wish it to be.
And later in the book, when nearly everyone is hiding something, or suspecting something awful ...
... the sand obscures the shape of whatever lies beneath it.

I really enjoyed this novel. There were lots of plausible suspects, and such a vivid description of life in 1910 and 1946 England.
Naomi
I had read this book in 2008 and remember loving it. I didn't think it quite went to a 4 star level but it was an incredibly sad mystery.
Janet Rosfeld
Interesting historical mystery. I enjoy a slow character driven story and thought the characters were extremely well drawn.
Bee
In 1946 London, a forty-year-old mystery comes back to haunt sisters Harriet, Vita, and Daisy Jardine after the remains of a body are found within the walls of their family's previous home, the palatial estate of Charnley. Flashing between Edwardian and post-WW2 England & Egypt, THE SHAPE OF SAND unravels what really happened to the sisters' mother Harriet, who disappeared after her birthday party in 1910. Journals of her trip to Egypt shed light on the subject, but figuring out the truth fo...more
Melissa
"Life at Charnley was blessed, or at least so it seemed to the Jardine children. But one night their dreams of a propitious future suddenly come crashing down when a family scandal catapults them into the headlines. Nearly four decades pass and the Second World War is won, but still the exact events of that fateful night remain unknown. However, when builders working on Charnley uncover a shoebox stuffed full of old letters, photographs, and a diary, it finally seems as though some of the answer...more
LeAnne
A unique story taking place pre WWI and 40 years later. When I started reading it, I wasn't sure I was going to finish it because the first part of the book was full of information about the family members and friends and I skimmed it to get to the actual incident hinted at. But then it got interesting and I realized that I missed some clues, so I went back and reread parts. I'm a reader who likes to be pulled into the story a bit quicker, but by the time I got to the last half I was hooked.

The...more
Karen Lowe
This is a delightful, old-fashioned murder mystery, with subtle characterisation, a wealth of period detail, and a real feel for the Edwardian & post war eras. The sense of menace was nicely developed, and the pace really picked up through the latter half of the book.
Cathy
Lovely British mystery, well written, nice characters, and a sufficiently juicy plot --about a disappearing society lady who seemed to be hiding some secrets from her trip to Egypt-- to propel my reading late into the night. I'll look for Eccles again.
Roberta
The mystery of the murder of Beatrice Jardine just couldn't hold my interest. It was ok, but I just didn't feel compelled to keep reading. Had it not been a library book, I could've set it down and not looked at it again for months.
Debby Kean
Absolutely wonderful! Not just your standard read-it-and-forget-it crime novel - this has vivid characters, an absolutely sad story, that nevertheless grows out of the characters, and is wholly believable. Well worth it...
Clare
What a family thought happened years ago is suddenly proved wrong when something shocking comes to light.
Bev Hankins
Not nearly as good as anticipated. Two 1/2 stars, actually.
Lisa
A bit slow in parts, but enjoyable enough.
CLM
Oct 19, 2011 CLM rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to CLM by: Bethany Pheneger
Shelves: mystery, 20th-century, uk
Fans of Kate Morton will like this book.
Nora
A well written mystery...
Hawley
Hawley marked it as to-read
Jul 20, 2014
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Jul 06, 2014
Margaret
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May 22, 2014
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Nancy Wellman marked it as to-read
Apr 25, 2014
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278181
Aka Judith Bordill, Jennifer Hyde

Marjorie Eccles has written several romantic and crime novels, which have been published both in the UK and in the US. Many of her book shave been translated and serialised around the world. She has one grown up son and now lives in Hertfordshire
More about Marjorie Eccles...
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