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The Island House

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3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  580 ratings  ·  122 reviews
In 2011 Freya Dane, a Ph.D. candidate in archaeology, arrives on the ancient Scottish island of Findnar. After years of estrangement from her father, himself an archaeologist who recently died, Freya has come to find out what she can about his work. As she reads through his research notes, she sees he learned a great deal about the Viking and Christian history of the islan ...more
Hardcover, 436 pages
Published June 21st 2012 by Hodder & Stoughton (first published May 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,652)
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Juliana Haught
This story had so much potential, but the writing was - ick. The parts written in the past were the better parts of the book, but not great. The parts written in the now had the relationships developing inexplicably fast, with one-dimensional characters and cringe-worthy dialogue. This book seemed like it couldn't make up its mind whether it was an otherworldly story of spirit and historical fiction, or a dime-a-dozen romance. I think if the author could have really developed both timelines, slo ...more
Jackleen
I have read Posie Graeme-Evans books in the past and found both good stories and good writing. This book had an excellent premise and a great potential plot. I am not sure where this story went off the rails, as this story had many of the devices I would like: set in Scotland, dual story line, ghosts, archaeology, ancient British history. The historical story line as often was more interesting than the modern story line, but it even seemed to hit snags. The plot somehow managed to feel both rush ...more
Dale Harcombe
I was intrigued by his story from the beginning.It's the story of two women and their lives from different times. Freya and Signy and Freya both live on the Scottish Island of Findnar. After Freya's father who has been absent for most of her life leaves her the island, Freya's plan initially is not to stay long , just long enough to finish her PhD but events conspire to make her decide otherwise.
Signy, a young Pict girl, lived on Findnar at the time of a Viking raid. Her whole family was wiped o
...more
Mary
Freya Dane's late and largely absent father left her the Scottish island of Findnar, and in trying to understand his motivations, she explores his work and uncovers an archaeological mystery. Freya's story intertwines with that of Signy, a Pictish girl from the 800's, whose entire family was murdered by Viking invaders. Signy's ghost is unsettled, and she inhabits the island, coming to Freya in "visions" and driving Freya's search for the treasure trove.

I have a weakness for books set in Scotla
...more
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Singy and Freya are living parallel lives on the Scottish Island of Findnar, but during different times in history. Singy lived on Findnar during the time of a Viking raid where her entire family was murdered and Freya living in present day came from Australia to her dead father's Island House to finish her PhD in archaeology and to complete his research and to find the many historical, hidden treasures on Findnar.

It was exciting to be with Freya as she uncovered items noted on her father's res
...more
Jill
This is the third Posie Graeme-Evans book I have read. The previous two, The Innocent and The Exiled were both set in the 15th century. The Island House, however, is different. It’s set in both present day and 800AD on the ancient Scottish island of Findnar.

It’s the story of Freya Dane, a PhD student in archaeology, and Signy, a Pictish girl. Their stories are beautifully woven together by the author to create a fascinating read. Freya searching for what her father did not find in his archaeolog
...more
Christine Waugh
I really wanted to love this book...but I never did. I normally like books that go back and forth between the past and the present but this story started to irritate me. I did not like the love stories between Bear and Signy or Freya and Dan. Both seemed underdeveloped and unrealistic. I believe this could've been a great archeological suspense thriller...but it turned out more like a bad historical romance novel.
Ehbooklover
2.5 stars. A historical mystery with a touch of romance. An evocative setting kept me reading despite some very two-dimensional characters. Somewhat disappointing.
Beth
My kind of book!!! The kind that permits one to look forward all day to an hour or so in the evening to be living in a different world. Perhaps I should say two worlds. One of ancient times and one of current days. Fortunately, the swing back and forth between the time the Vikings were living and fighting in Scotland and the the time the heroine Freya Dane, a PhD candidate from Australia inherits her archaelogist father's cottage in Findnar, Scotland works comfortably.

I loved the 800 AD story of
...more
Kerry Hennigan
The premise of this book intrigued me, and the hint at archaeological content convinced me to buy it. I like brooding, island atmospheres and links with the past too.

To the extent that The Island House contains all of that, I enjoyed it. However, I found it rather long in the telling, and about half way through became impatient to ‘cut to the chase’. When the reader can easily deduce what’s coming, it’s best to get them there without much further ado, or at least surprise them with some unexpect
...more
Bree T
Sydney PhD student Freya Dane receives word that her long-ago departed father has died in an accident off the coast of an island in Scotland. She inherits the island and its contents and finds herself longing to understand the man that she was long estranged with. She travels to Findnar, determined to learn more about him and his work and the reason he left her and her mother so long ago.

It appears that the island has an extensive Christian and Viking past that dates back to around 800AD and Fre
...more
Book Him Danno
Freya Dane is a young woman lost in the world. First abandoned by her father as a child, and then with his death he leaves her again. Having hit a rut with her PhD in archaeology she essentially decides to give up on life (not suicidal, but rather she has given up trying) and travel to the remote island off Scotland that her father has left her.

In losing herself she finds herself. With this act of resignation she stops trying to lead the life she believes she should be experiencing and begins t
...more
Cornelia
From the ancient past, when the gods of the Picts, the Vikings, and the new Christian religion vied for power on a small island off the coast of Scotland, springs the tale of a Pict woman and a Viking man whose lives came together during a tragic raid when they were children. The story of the struggles and separation their deep passion endures until they meet a tragic end, is mingled with a contemporary tale. After her father’s death, a daughter, embarks on a journey to discover what happened in ...more
BOOKAHOLIC
The Island House by Poise Graeme-Evans

“Alternating between present-day and ninth-century Scotland, The Island House is an intertwined story of fascinating discoveries and two women connected to each other over centuries."


This book had everything I love in a great story. It combined a good contemporary mystery and suspense with a historical thought provoking story with interesting characters and plot, even a feeling of the supernatural at times. I did really enjoy reading this book, and it could
...more
Meg - A Bookish Affair
This is another book with one story set in the present and one set in the past. There's Freya, a woman, who is looking for clues after her absentee father's death. Then there's Signy who lives in 800 AD who is trying to decide between religion and love. This book has a little touch of the paranormal too; which adds a little more interest.

Unlike many of these books that have both a past and present story, I actually liked the present-day story better. I don't know a lot about the Viking times tha
...more
Kathy
Posie Graeme-Evans is just an incredible author for sure. The Island House – combining historical and modern times – is the style of book that I just love. Signy, a young Pict girl in 800AD, Bear, the young Viking warrior and Freya moving from Australia to the Scottish Island of Findnar after the death of her father. I loved the story in the ancient past after the Vikings raid when Signy is pushed by the nuns living on Findnar to be Christian, and as only a small girl tending to the young injure ...more
Aimee
Posie Graeme-Evans has written an interesting story about two interesting women, Freya from the present day and Signy from the past. Both characters were interesting to read about and both story lines are blended together into this story well. The setting of a Scottish island was wonderful and I enjoyed reading about this beautiful country and its people.

The only real problem I had with the book was the relationship between Freya and Dan, a local man Freya meets. At first they hate each other an
...more
Wendy Hines
This is the first book I have read by Posie Graeme-Evans and she definitely has my attention! I just adore a compelling tale that the real world just falls away as I find myself immersed in the story. The Island House did just that. Two different times are told but in a fashion that the reader can easily follow along. Freya and Signy are extraordinary characters, doing the best they can with the hand that fate has dealt them. Both have tragedy in their lives and both have made life changing choi ...more
Haley
Really hated her writing style. From the stunted, choppy, dialogue to the back and forth between time periods that made it hard to get into the book, and her lack of being able to paint a picture with my mind, either of the characters or of the setting, I found this book to be overall pretty lackluster.

Not to mention the hastily thrown in subplot at the end with Simon and Robert that really added nothing to the book. I really didn't find too many redeeming qualities about this work. In the inte
...more
Dar
Loved this book all the way up to the end, then was a little disappointed. Almost felt like the author was in a hurry to finish the book and just threw the last of it together. Not sure of the purpose of Simon and Buchan; if it was to add suspense, it didn't do a very good job. The book could have been just as good without either of them if they weren't going to be developed any more than they were. Also, I would have liked to know more about Katharine and her relationship with Michael.

Book defi
...more
Linda
Freya Dane's dad disappered when she was a child, she has always hoped/dreaded that she would hear from him. But when he unexpectedly passes away and leaves her not only a house, but an island, she is drawn to explore it and discover what drew him away.
This book is written from the viewpoint of Freya in modern times and from the viewpoint of Signy, a Pictish girl who lived on the island a long long time ago.
Freya is an archaeologist and starts to search for the secrets of the island.
I really en
...more
Mary-Ann Fuduric
Great idea for a book, horrible read. I read this for book club so I kept at it. I feel cheated of all the hours I spent on this book. The story line was predictable. The character names? Horrible! Signy, Freya? What? Did not flow in the story nor did all those fictitious locations. Flip-flopping between the periods horrible. Works for some books - this one, it was a pain. Honestly, I have never felt so cheated when reading a book. I am surprised how many stars some people have given which just ...more
Catherine Heloise
I received this book as part of the Australia Day Book Blog Hop Giveaway last year. The Island House is hard to classify - somewhere between dark historical fiction, coming of age fiction, and ghost story.

Freya Dane, halfway through her PhD in archaeology, inherits a house on an island off the coast of Scotland from her estranged archaeologist father. Through the book, we see her move from urban Australia to an island and a house that, while picturesque and historically fascinating, have basica
...more
Janine Cobain
I found this book challenging at first; it took me three attempts at it to get beyond the first couple of chapters, but once I got used to the time-switching of chapters, and began to learn more about the two female leads, I relaxed into the story. The author’s ability to vividly describe a setting, giving a comprehensive description of the sights, sounds, and feel of a scene, is quite captivating.
As we follow Freya Dane’s journey to get to know her absent father, through his work as a fellow ar
...more
Joyreader
I loved the evocative mood of this book. I know the portions set in the ninth century will really stay with me.

Unfortunately, the end fell very flat for me. There was no satisfactory or logical tie-in between the storyline set in the past and the storyline set in the future. In fact, the one tenuous thing the present characters might have done for the characters in the past was actually accomplished through some unexplained and silly supernatural event and sort of rendered the storyline in the p
...more
Venetia Green
I thoroughly enjoyed this time-slip novel situated off the northern Scottish coast and set simultaneously in the 9th and 21st centuries. A modern Australian undertaking her PhD in archaeology inherits a remote Scottish island from the father she barely knew. When she moves there in an effort to finish off her doctorate (and to connect to her father posthumously) she finds herself increasingly haunted by the island's traumatic medieval past. The physical remains of the past are explained by Freya ...more
Caitlin
Okay, I lie. I only got halfway through this. I tried so hard - and I never, ever abandon books once I get halfway. I put it down, read other stuff, came back to it, then found other things to read...

This book should have worked. On paper it sounds awesome - but on 450+ pieces of paper bound together it just didn't work. I mean, I love the absolute pants off history. So here was an Australian author who'd rocked the Tudors writing about the mysteries of a Scottish island and its secret history.

T
...more
Debby Zigenis-Lowery
For the first thirty pages or so, I kept debating whether I wanted to keep reading this novel. I found the omniscient viewpoint very annoying. However, the story had caught hold of me, and I kept going. The two main protagonists really hook you in as does the interweaving of the two plots. By the time I was halfway through, I did not want to put the book down.
Gaile
This story has two timelines; modern day and 800 A.D. Both revolve around a comet believed to bring ill luck when it appears in the sky. Freya Dane comes to her father's house on an isolated island off mainland Scotland to finish her thesis which is not going well. She finds her father left a heap of information about the ruins on the island. In Portsolly on the mainland she makes friends, two of whom are men attracted to her and an enemy who is angry he still doesn't own the island.
Meanwhile an
...more
Sherri Dub
This is a lush tale of a Father-Daughter relationship, new love & archaeology with a historical twist. I loved every page. I savored this book, though I could've read it in one day. I am now a HUGE fan, Ms. Posie Graeme-Evans. HUGE!
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Posie Graeme-Evans has worked in the Australian film and television industry for the last twenty-five years as an editor, director, and producer on hundreds of prime-time television programs, including McLeod's Daughters and Hi-5. She lives in Sydney with her husband and creative partner, Andrew Blaxland.
More about Posie Graeme-Evans...
The Innocent (War of the Roses, #1) The Exiled (War of the Roses, #2) The Uncrowned Queen (War of the Roses, #3) The Dressmaker Wild Wood

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