Words leave imprints in your mind like footprints in the sand...
Prague, Czech Republic
Uluru, Australia
  • Location: Devon, Tuscany, Florence

The House by the Sea

The House by the Sea

Why a Booktrail?

1966/present day -Also known as The Mermaid Garden, this book has an epic story of secrets, mystery and lush locations

  • ISBN: 978-1849831062
  • Genre: Fiction, Romance

What you need to know before your trail

Tuscany – Ten-year-old Floriana is captivated by the stunning Tuscan villa just outside her small village. So when she meets Dante, the villa’s owner’s son, she soon starts to imagine living there – and living there with him. but things are set to change and  there are clouds on the horizon.

Devon – Decades later,  we meet Mariana who lives in a gorgeous house in Devon who  has fallen on hard times so she invites an artist to come and teach her guests to paint. The artist she finds does more than paint over the cracks in both the house and her life. But behind the cracks, there are still problems, and the real damage is merely hidden.

Travel Guide


From the opening lines we are immediately transported to Tuscany and see it through the eyes of a little girl –

The little girl stood outside the imposing black gates of Villa La Magdalena and peered up the drive. A long avenue of cypresses cut straight through the ground, climaxing at the end in a tantalizing glimpse of a primrose- yellow palazzo.

With the bright Tuscan sun throwing inky shadows across the drive, so begins a warmfuzzy picture – rather something that the painter who we meet later in the story would paint with his brush. but here Santa paints with words and emotions just as the house is emotive for Floriana


With the story shifting to Devon, another lush location is recreated on the page and we meet Mariana whose husband run a hotel on the cliff. The Artist who comes into their lives is Rafa, a rather good looking Argentinian with the looks and the colouring that would certainly turn heads in a small seaside town.

The hedgerows were high and luxuriant, laced with pretty white cow parsley and forget-me-nots. A spray of sparrows took to the sky where feathery clouds floated inland on a salty wind.

Montefiore does a wonderful job of bringing these two very different locations to life. The Devon chapters, fill our heads but sadly not our stomachs with cream teas, and the smell of fish and chips along with the clanging of the fishing boats and the swell lapping of the water. Tuscany is quite simply magical and a world you will not want to escape.

Booktrail Boarding Pass Information:

Twitter: @SantaMontefiore

Facebook: /SantaMontefiorebooks

Web: santamontefiore.co.uk

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