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Women of the Dunes

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  1,482 ratings  ·  202 reviews

The new gorgeously sweeping historical novel from Sarah Maine, the acclaimed author of The House Between Tides and Beyond the Wild River, perfect for fans of Kate Morton and Jenny Ashcroft.

On the rugged, sea-lashed coast of west Scotland lies Ullaness: home to the Scottish legend of Ulla, a Viking woman who washed up on Scottish shores centuries ago. The legend will

Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published July 24th 2018 by Hodder & Stoughton
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Average rating 3.99  · 
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Oct 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Women of the Dunes by Sarah Maine is a 2018 Atria Books publication.

“Perhaps that’s what a legend is, a memory preserved over many generations”

What a fascinating and thought- provoking Scottish tale spanning centuries and generations, examining legends, the truth behind them, and the way history tends to repeat itself.

Libby and her university team have arrived on Ullanessm Island for the summer to work on an excavation project. For Libby, the trip is just as personal as it is professional. Her
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
4 fascinating Scottish stars to Women of the Dunes!

The description of this book captivated me. My alter ego in college enjoyed archaeological digs, so I’m up for anything with an excavation, multiple timelines, and history.

Women of the Dunes is told in three timelines, including a Norsewoman in the 9th century, a 19th century woman, and a contemporary archaeologist, Libby. A Scottish island, Ullanessm, draws people to it with its ancient stories and myths, including the main characters.
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Women of the Dunes is a beautifully written historical tale about treasures, mysteries, murder, and even a little bit of a romance.

The story is told in three alternating viewpoints which includes a Norsewoman in the 9th century, a 19th century woman, and Libby who is an archaeologist. The story slowly but beautifully connects the three timelines together.

The author effortlessly builds upon her research and experience in this historical tale which heightens the story even more.

And.. let me just
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
The first book I read by Sarah Maine was THE HOUSE BETWEEN TIDES and I was blown away by the wonderful story and the atmospheric setting. I was eager to find out if WOMEN OF THE DUNES would be as good. And it was!

To be able to effortlessly write a book with three different storylines without confusing or making any of the storylines less interesting than the others is a gift and I think that Sarah Maine has this gift. I'm so used to dual storylines that getting one with three storylines feels
Jul 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, kindle
Thanks to Netgalley for an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review

Well, I was quite excited to receive this story after being refused a copy of Sarah Maine's earlier book, The House Between Tides. Whoever designs the covers for Maine's books should know they are stunning and suit her stories well. However I am feeling(surprisingly) lukewarm over my reading experience. The writing is strong, the multi narrative, an intriguing story, but the pace was slow and the pagan story was probably the most
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Scotland, back and forth in time, murders, illegitimate children, missing jewels, secrets, buried treasures, legends, a permitted excavation, authentic characters, and an old estate all greet us in WOMEN OF THE DUNES.

We follow Libby as she and her university team have gotten permission to excavate the estate of Hector Sturrock and an estate where Libby's great grandmother worked as a servant.

Libby's grandmother told her of the legend of Ulla that was part of the estate and the town of Ullaness.
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Like her great-grandmother before her, Libby Snow is obsessed with Ullaness, a Scottish Island and the Viking Maiden Ulla whose legend gave the island its name. Libby is an archaeologist and she's excited to finally have permission to dig on the site where Ulla allegedly lived. Instead of finding artifacts relating to the legend, the dig uncovers human remains dating back to the Victorian age. The man was murdered, shot to death and his body unceremoniously dumped in a hollow. Clues to the ...more
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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Happy Reading, friends!

Women of the Dunes by Sarah Maine Book Review
Three tales all surrounded by mythology, secrets & tradition on the western coast of Scotland. If you're wanting to leave your life behind for a bit, head to Ullaness with Sarah Maine to meet the Women of the Dunes.

An ArchaeologicalDig That Uncovers Secrets
Libby Snow has deep-rooted family history to the coastal sea town of Ullaness. Growing up, her grandmother
I am giving up on this one, and boy do I hate to have to give up on a book. I forced myself to read up to the 60% point, but feel I am getting very little enjoyment out of this book. Time to call it a day unfortunately.
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of a contemporary/historical combination mystery
Her most engaging novel so far, WOMEN OF THE DUNES by Sarah Maine toys with the reader, teasing us with mysterious tidbits until the final page.

Libby Snow’s family history is entrenched in folklore, told over and over through the generations. As an archaeologist, she jumps at the chance to assist with a dig in Scotland where her family’s history supposedly took place.

Rodri Sturrock lives at Sturrock House, acting as his brother Hector’s agent regarding the upcoming excavation. He’s adamant about
Apr 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
enjoyed this novel which was split into 3 parts based in western Scotland and all the 3 parts are interlinked and at the end you see how all the parts fit together
The Lit Bitch
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Can I give this one more than 5 stars?!?

Sometimes a book comes along and it’s like it was written just for you. I have been a huge Sarah Maine fan since reading Bhalla Strand, which is now known as The House Between Tides.

When I saw that this one was out, I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get a chance to read it earlier, so I checked it out from my library and brought it with me to Seattle for vacation.

Her books are always so atmospheric and have this kind of dark romantic prose so I
Sarah Maine weaves not one, not two, but three timelines together in this novel set in Scotland. Highly enjoyable, with interesting characters and an intriguing premise.
Blodeuedd Finland
This book has 3 big POVS, even if Libby is the main one.

Libby comes to Scotland for a dig. But her great grandmother was from there and she knows the legend they are to uncover.

Then there is Ellen in 1890, a servant at the big house. She loves the old legend. And the question is, why did she leave for Canada? What happened back the? Ellen had her head in the clouds. I get that she was pretty, but everyone sure went crazy for her. Also, she was not alone with her POV, the priest Oliver has a POV
Kathleen Ernst
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this tale set on Scotland's western coast. Not a mystery in the traditional whodunit sense, but a story of family history, legends, and lore. Viewpoints include Libby, an archeologist seeking answers to a long-lost family secret, and an ancestor who once lived on the estate Libby is now studying. The author creates a wonderful sense of place. All in all an enjoyable read.
Rebecca Hill
Aug 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Legends are just that - legends. As the stories are passed down from generation to generation, pieces of the stories get lost, but other stories are added in. But what if some of the family legends had more truth than originally thought?

Libby was drawn to the area where the legend started. With an archaeological dig planned there for the summer, she is excited to get started and uncover more about the stories that Ellen used to share. As her Nan shared the stories from Ellen, Libby was drawn in
Melanie (Mel's Bookland Adventures)
It's been nearly two weeks now that I finished this and it is interesting what time does to your opinion of the book. I can say that I did enjoy reading it because after all I stayed up until 2 am to finish this, but there was just one storyline too many. A Viking one, one set in Victorian time, one in present day. As much as I adore dual timeline narratives, I don't think triple timeline is really working for me, and it was the present day timeline that I was mainly interested in and that kept ...more
Well, I was quite curious about this one. Love the name and the cover.

It's a bit slowed pace for me,but I enjoyed reading it.

It's narrated through 3 different times. But I didn't really understand why sometimes in same chapter it showed to times. I didn't fell right, I read 2 similar books in terms of construction this year and I kind of compared them unconsciously I suppose.

It's a mystery.

You don't understand if there's a slow burn romance going on or just some complicity happening. It's
Kim Wagner
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a one sitting book. Did not want to put it down. A story that continues to play in your head even after you’ve turned the last page. 5 Stars in my opinion. Three different time lines, the wild Scottish countryside, and a mystery all mixed together. Enjoy!
Jeanne Adamek
Aug 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars
I wish I had read this about a month earlier during the time I was visiting Scotland because it would have made a wonderful story even better! Sarah Maine has written an engrossing tale of an old Scottish myth, complete with a dig for buried treasure, a budding romance, murder and mystery.

The story centers around Libby Snow, a young archaeologist who becomes involved in an excavation on a Scottish island that also has a connection to her own family history.
The story is told in the form of three
Bree Hill
I was so excited about this book and my fingers were crossed that it would maybe help me fall back head over heels in love with historical fiction again but it just didn’t do it for me.
May 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I seriously loved this ...more
Nika Huffman
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book does have some mystical elements discussed in theory. It does not actually contain mystical elements. The writing and imagery is just, so, good!
Angelique Simonsen
A real good historical whodunit entwined with a present filled with mystery. Some nasty characters but some really likeable ones too. Enjoyed this read
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So many interesting layers in this story, each one as fascinating as the other. And mysteries abound.
From the ancients to their, sometimes surprising dependents, each character has weight.
There’s much to enjoy here and it’s all cleverly done.
May 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Thank you to NetGalley, Atria Books and the author for a free advanced copy.

*3 stars rounded up to 4*

When I am reading a synopsis of a book and I come across the word Scotland, I don’t have to read any further. Scotland is my absolute favorite location for a book. “Women of the Dunes” is a charming story that tells the legends of two women and the story of our modern day archeologist

There are three time lines at play here, a bit much but not confusing. The setting was absolutely
Helen Carolan
Mar 30, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was the same as her first.Same plot, same setting. Only the names of the main characters changed. Boring.
Rosario (
Just like The Boundless Deep, which I recently reviewed, this is the kind of book I love, a story about women in different time periods, their lives tied together in some way.

In the present day, Libby Snow is an archaeologist. She's soon to be part of a project to excavate a burial mound in the remote island of Ullaness, in the West Coast of Scotland. Libby has a personal connection to the area: as a child she spent a lot of time in Nova Scotia with her grandmother, who loved to tell young Libby
Guylou (Two Dogs and a Book)
I would like to thank NetGalley and Atria Book for providing me an ARC of Women of the Dunes by Sarah Maine in exchange for an honest review.

The story goes back and forth between three timelines which described the lives of three women. The first timeline is about a Norsewoman in the ninth century named Ulla who escaped her evil Viking husband with her lover and sailed to Scotland. There, Ulla meets a monk upon her arrival and asks him to help to save her lover who was seriously wounded. Her
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Sarah Maine was born in England and emigrated to Canada with her family at the age of ten. A small northern Ontario community was home for the next two years before the family moved south, and Sarah went to high school in Toronto. She returned to England to study archaeology, stayed on to do research and work, married there and has two sons.
Books were always important. She grew up on a diet of