The House By the Sea

The House By the Sea

The irresistible new novel set between 1960s Tuscany and present-day Devon, from number one bestseller Santa Montefiore
Ten-year-old Floriana is captivated by the beauty of the magnificent Tuscan villa just outside her small village, and dreams of living there someday. When Dante, the son of the villa's owner, invites her inside, she knows that her destiny is there, with him. But as they grow up they cross an unseen line, jeopardizing the very thing they hold most dear…
Decades later and hundreds of miles away, a beautiful old country house hotel on England's Devon coast has fallen on hard times. Its owner, Marina, hires an artist-in-residence to stay the summer and teach the guests how to paint. The man she finds is charismatic and wise and begins to pacify the discord in her family and transform the fortunes of the hotel. However, it soon becomes clear that he is not who he seems…
From the Italian countryside to the English coast, The House by the Sea is a moving and mysterious tale of love, forgiveness and the past revealed.

This book has been published in the US under the title The Mermaid Garden.
  • Simon & Schuster UK | 
  • 512 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781849831062 | 
  • April 2012
List Price £7.99

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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for The Mermaid Garden includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Santa Montefiore. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.

INTRODUCTION

Marina, the owner of a charming seaside hotel in England, is struggling with the potential loss of her business, her tumultuous relationship with her stepdaughter, and the lingering repercussions of her mysterious past. In an attempt to improve at least her business outlook, she hires a dashing Argentine artist to teach her guests how to paint, not knowing that he will be the one to unveil her true self and change the course of their lives. Spanning four decades and alternating between Tuscany and Devon, The Mermaid Garden is a story of pain, loss, and the healing power of love.

TOPICS AND QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION


  1. Gardens play an important role in both Marina and Floriana’s individual, but connected stories. What do the gardens represent to this character? Does the garden have a different significance for “Marina” than it does for “Floriana”?
  2. How did you react when you found out that Marina and Floriana was the same pe
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More Books from this Author

Daughters of Castle Deverill
Songs of Love and War
The Italian Matchmaker
The Beekeeper's Daughter

About the Author

Santa Montefiore
Photograph by Elaine Fattal

Santa Montefiore

Born in England in 1970, Santa Montefiore grew up in Hampshire. She is married to historian Simon Sebag Montefiore. They live with their two children, Lily and Sasha, in London. Visit her at SantaMontefiore.co.uk.

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