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Down to the Sea
Sue Lawrence
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Down to the Sea

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  54 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Historical mystery set in Newhaven, Edinburgh with a dual timeline. One strand is set in the present day and the other in the 1890s, when superstitious fishwives blame a young girl for the deaths of their menfolk at sea, and she is forced into the Newhaven Poorhouse.
Published February 21st 2019 by Contraband
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Average rating 3.93  · 
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 ·  54 ratings  ·  16 reviews

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Kelly Lacey
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With Down to the Sea, you have two stories in one. You get to follow Jessie Mack in 1898 as she makes her way to the poorhouse at Wardie House in Newhaven, Edinburgh. Then you meet Craig and Rona in 1981 as they move into the same house to open up a luxury care home.

If you read my reviews often you will know that I love a flip flop book. I love going between the two time periods and with this story the house itself is the main character.

Sue Lawrence is sublime at creating a spooky atmosphere and
Melanie (Mel's Bookland Adventures)
I just realised that this Sue Lawrence is the same as the author of Scottish Baking, should have baked one of her cakes to eat while reading. I really enjoyed this dual timeline narrative and it creeped me out in places. I may have muttered “eek” in some places, I am easy to be scared. An enjoyable read for a Sunday afternoon:)
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Down to the Sea is set in Newhaven, just a short way along the coast from me. It was once a thriving fishing village and still prides itself on being a very distinctive part of Edinburgh.

There are two tales running in parallel in this book. In the more contemporary part of the story set in the 1980s, Rona and Craig have bought the old run-down Wardie House and set to work converting it into a luxury nursing home. As the residents begin to arrive, they start to learn more about the sad and somewh
{3.5 stars}

This book wasnt bad and its a fast read and a story that pulls you in. I considered bumping it up to a 4 star for entertainment value, but I couldn't in good conscious. The main problem with this book was the dialogue was just so poorly written. The rest of the book was more or less okay, if a bit amateur. But the dialogue was just not great, this isn't how people talk! This is how amateur writers think characters talk! I tried to look past it in the beginning but by the end.... Yeah.
The Literary Shed
May 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sue Lawrence’s Down to the Sea joins the number of novels, at the moment being published, set in dual timelines. Moving between the early 1980s, when the book opens, and the late 1890s, it’s set in the Newhaven area of Edinburgh, by the sea.

From the first words, we’re plunged into Rona and Craig’s new life as they move into their renovation project, a large Victorian house that they’re turning into a luxury care home. The building has a lot of history, reportedly built by a sea captain who never
Aug 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Set in Edinburgh’s Newhaven, and moving between the 1980s and 1880s, Down To The Sea opens with Rona and Craig taking possession of Victorian mansion Wardie House, which they intend to turn into a luxurious care home. Meanwhile, in 1898, Jessie Mack is making the short trip from the fishermen’s cottages of Newhaven up the hill to a new world – Wardie House is in this period a poorhouse, where the teenager has been dispatched after being blamed for the deaths of ten men and boys at sea, including ...more
Misfits farm
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing

I’m not usually into historical fiction but this one drew my eye being a mystery and was recommended by a friend so I gave it a go and I am very glad I did. Set across two timelines, the 1980’s and 1890’s it tells the story of a house. Wardie house was a poorhouse and Jessie has been sent there after losing her father and brother to a sea tragedy. Everyone believes that she is cursed and she is called a Winzie, after she stepped on their boat that was lost at sea with many others lost. In the 19
Sandra Ireland
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is set on the east coast of Scotland, north of where I live, so that was a huge draw for me. I love to read a story with local flavour, and I've always been fascinated with the life and customs of the fisherfolk. In this story, the author gives us a dual timeline. In the 1980s, Rona and Craig are in the process of setting up a care home in a creepy old Victorian building. Decades earlier, young Jessie Mack is forced to live in the same building, then a forbidding poorhouse. Jessie has ...more
Lynn Johnson
Feb 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I picked up this book when Sue Lawrence came to do an author talk in Orkney. I hadn't read her work before. As a dual time novel it raised my interest straightaway but I have been busy with my own writing and only last week picked up Down to the Sea to read. And I have thoroughly enjoyed it. Sometimes in dual time writing one strand is better than the other and the reader might well skip the pages to get to the other strand that has held their interest. Not so with this novel. Both were equally ...more
Heather Dunn
Nov 22, 2019 rated it liked it
I expected to enjoy this book more than I did. I found it very slow in the middle and the characters Rhona and Craig from the 80's storyline were boring. I enjoyed reading about Newhaven in the 1890's and learning more about local history.
Jul 15, 2019 rated it liked it
This book wasn't particularly well written and the 1981/82 characters were rather flat and one dimensional.However, I was interested in the life of the girls in 1899 and history of the fishergirls in Newhaven which made it a worthwhile read in the end.
Marsha Welsh
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Beautifully written story!The characters really seem to jump out in this story so real .kept me gripped whole way through.shall certainly read more books by sue
Elizabeth Findlay
Mar 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Light read but predicable
Rachel Patrick
May 25, 2019 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this even though it is not what I usually read. It was quite a quick read. I enjoyed the dual time frame and finding out how the 2 stories would come together.
Fast, atmospheric read.
Jul 12, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 perhaps. Found it very slow in the middle. Read it while in Scotland!
Linda Thomson
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Mar 29, 2019
Gwen J Sidgwick
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May 06, 2019
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Feb 25, 2019
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Helen McBay
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