Secrets of the Sea (Paperback)

By Nicholas Shakespeare

Harper Perennial, 9780061474705, 402pp.

Publication Date: June 24, 2008



Torn by tragedy from his early life on a remote farm in Tasmania, Alex Dove has returned years later to start over. A chance encounter with quiet, alluring Merridy Bowman--a young woman similarly haunted by a tangled and catastrophic history--results in marriage, as two damaged souls unite to build a home, family, and livelihood far removed from civilization's bustle. Soon they are drawn into the unpredictable dynamics of small-town island life--and into the destructive orbit of an unscrupulous real estate agent who maintains a secret hold over both Doves. But when a shipwreck off the shore thrusts a troubled, possibly criminal teenage castaway into their world, Alex and Merridy's tenuously forged happiness is suddenly at grave risk, as they are forced to confront deeper questions about the true meaning of fulfillment.

Praise For Secrets of the Sea

“Shakespeare, a master craftsman, pulls the narrative string and his beguiling story is complete, as intricate and miraculous as a ship in a bottle.”
-Los Angeles Times Book Review

“His mastery shines through his characters...”
-Time Out Chicago

“…quiet and moving…trouble, as ever, is in the offing, and when it arrives, Shakespeare allows it to run its natural course without dipping into melodrama. Expertly crafted, the novel illuminates love’s craggy depths.”
-Publishers Weekly

“I read it with complete absorption, wholly immersed in its world. It has a palpability and veracity which is quite mesmerising. A tremendous piece of work.”
-William Boyd, award-winning author of The Blue Afternoon and Restless

“Masterful...The delicate account of [two lovers’] coming together and drifting apart...A work of rare beauty. ”
-Financial Times

“Gripping...subtle but arresting.”
-The Times (London)