26. ‘Beyond the Sea’ by Melissa Bailey

A family tragedy, a mysterious stranger, a missing diary and just a hint of the fantastical: Melissa Bailey’s Beyond the Sea makes for an entertaining read. And if you like a good, tense opening, this book will hook you from the beginning.

beyond the sea

After losing her husband and son in a strange accident at sea, Freya returns to the lighthouse where they lived together and tries to piece together the truth behind their disappearance. Along the way she is helped by her sister, Marta, and a man called Daniel who suffered a similar tragedy when his wife drowned at sea. Add in the discovery of Freya’s son’s diary and a good dollop of myth and legend, and you’ll find plenty of intrigue to keep you turning the pages.

I particularly liked the opening of this book: Bailey quickly creates a very eerie atmosphere, which sets the tone for the rest of the story. The character of Daniel is complex enough to keep you guessing about his real motivations (goody? baddy? something in between?), and I liked the ambiguity of the ending. For most of the things that happen in the story you can find a rational or a mystical explanation, and it really boils down to what you choose to believe, which I really like.

This is a fairly quick read, so it would probably be perfect for reading on a sunny afternoon in the garden, although taking it to the beach and reading it in sight of the sea would probably be the best way to enjoy it! There are some lovely, poetic instances of writing in it as well, like this description of Freya’s loss:

“It became apparent to her then that grief had hit them all hard, jumbled them up and put them back together somewhat differently.”

Thank you to Melissa Bailey for kindly sending me this copy for review.

Want to read this? You can buy the book here.

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