Sea of Memories by Fiona Valpy

Sea of Memories

When Kendra first visits her ailing grandmother, Ella has only one request: that Kendra write her story down, before she forgets…In 1937, seventeen-year-old Ella’s life changes forever when she is sent to spend the summer on the beautiful Île de Ré and meets the charismatic, creative Christophe. They spend the summer together, exploring the island’s sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters, and, for the first time in her life, Ella feels tr...

Details Sea of Memories

TitleSea of Memories
Release DateMar 1st, 2018
PublisherLake Union Publishing
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Romance, War, World War II, Cultural, France, Historical Romance, Audiobook, Scotland, Literary Fiction

Reviews Sea of Memories

  • Katya
    Sea of memories2.5*This book is a good example of how a very beautifully written novel can also be very shallow and trivial.How can I describe it? Like a good-looking cake (very classy, stunning and lovely decoration), but without any distinctive taste (as if you are eating a honeycomb.).I really, really liked the descriptions in the book – a fine mixture of beautifully written words. I felt however that the author tried too hard to draw an imp...
  • Renita D'Silva
    I love this author's books - she is one of my favourite authors - and so I was eagerly awaiting this book. And what an amazing read! Gorgeous evocative writing that spills from the page transporting the reader to another place and time. Every character came alive for me and I felt for Ella but my favourites were Finn and Christophe. Another absolutely fabulous story from an incredibly talented author. A spell binding tale that will stay with me f...
  • Nancy Baker
    Perception is everything. An adult looks at a pebble on the sidewalk and sees just that -- a pebble. A child looks at that same pebble and sees a sizable rock. Another person looking through a magnifying glass looks at that pebble and sees a huge boulder. All perceptions feel right to each person, and as much as their views differ, they are all looking at the same thing. So it is with human relationships. We have an innate ability to read what we...
  • Greta Halliday
    I picked up this book and did not put it down until the last page had been read. This poignant and beautifully written story really tugs at the heart strings and totally immerses you. It is one of the best books I have read for a while and one that I will be re- reading in the near future. A story of lives, love and loss is a must read., the writing is superb.
  • Jacqueline
    I have waited a long time for a new release from Fiona, her previous three novels, set among the Bordeaux vineyards, were great reads so I was initially a little worried about the possibility of disappointment, if this new novel didn’t live up to my expectations. Thankfully Sea of Memories, although totally different to her previous books, didn’t disappoint in the slightest.Set partially among the sand dunes and Atlantic coast beaches of the ...
  • Cari
    Sea of Memories by Fiona Valpy was the first book in quite some time that made me ugly cry myself into quite the intense headache, but despite that (or maybe because of that) I found it to be an absolutely lovely reading experience. Much of the novel takes place on the Île de Ré island off the shore of France, which is about as picturesque and serene as a setting can possibly be; however, the tranquility of the island (like all of Europe) was d...
  • caroline Sowersby
    The right time to read a storyI have lost my little brother ( He was 75!! but still my little brother) So many things touched me in the book We were brought up in Edinburgh My brother was a patient in Princess Margaret Rose Hospital Lots of things and places spoke to me.He died while I was reading your story this week . I am not sad as I have faith Thank you for your sensitive writing
  • Melanie
    I’m a sucker for WWII novels, especially ones featuring life on the homefront. I’m intrigued by generational tales, where the young adults realize, with jaw-dropping surprise, that their elders actually had interesting lives – lives that featured sex and risk and purpose outside the family structure. So naturally I was drawn to Sea of Memories. Alas, I was disappointed. Although some of the narrative felt overblown, there were also times wh...
  • Little My
    Whilst I did really enjoy this novel and the descriptions of France I felt in trying to cover the entirety of one person's life meant that the characters became somewhat diluted. At times I felt disappointed that some of the main character's experiences were dealt with in a chapter when they could in fact have been books in their own right. But still a very enjoyable read.
  • Jane Watson
    My, this was a lovely book - well written, good story, great characters, beautiful descriptions, emotional and heart-tugging, but realistic as well. Set in France and Edinburgh, the story moves on through the main character, Ella's life, as told through the setting of her granddaughter writing her story. The whole thing just worked beautifully. I even felt moved to leave a message for the author, who is a friend of a friend of mine, just because ...
  • Christine-Maria Nagy
    Am i so jaded as to be bored by the love story in this book? I found this novel to be superficial and predictable. World War II is the backdrop, but only a backdrop, to losing love and finding love again, and again...... I was hugely disappointed having read the rave reviews before buying the book.
  • Amy Mcpike
    Just wow! What a beautiful and meaningful story. My poor heart broke numerous times throughout (absolutely sobbed on a few occasions) but it equally filled with joy and love. Such a special read which will stay in my heart for a long time, along with Christophe who I adored.Would make a wonderful film!
  • L F
    Love is an everyday occurrence. This is a real page turner as it twists and turns it’s way to a wild island just off the French Coast. We follow a young British woman as she visits this magical place that will forever change her life just prior to WW II. The author explores different types of love as our protagonist discovers one must always hope, but not to an extent that you do not recognize the wonderful things already in your life. Later, i...
  • Eileen
    3.75 stars (liked it)I enjoyed this book. The author did a nice job with setting descriptions and crafting a story that was fulfilling overall. My one main wish was that the time spent on the modern storyline had instead been invested on further developing the older one.
  • Sylvia
    CaptivatingLovely plot and we'll written characters. Such a beautiful story on love and what it entitles and the sacrifices people make everyday for their families whether it's out of desires of morals. Love it 😍
  • mindful.librarian ☀️
    Ahhhhhh, one of the most soothing audiobook experiences ever. So happy my sister found it in Kindle Unlimited and recommended it to me!
  • Pat
    Kendra writes her grandmother's story and finds healing for her family.
  • Suze Lavender
    Kendra's grandmother is old and doesn't have long to live anymore, but she has one last wish. She wants Kendra to write down her memories. Kendra has a busy life, being the breadwinner at home and taking care of her autistic son, but she's intrigued by her grandmother's request and decides to give it everything she has. Ella's lead an interesting life and before Kendra knows it she's entirely enthralled by her grandmother's story.It's 1938 and se...
  • OjoAusana
    5 starsThis was actually not a bad romance, i really love ww2 fiction and tho this isnt really completly centered around the war imo i havent read many other ww2 books like it.
  • Sheila
    Available on KindleUnlimited.This novel is a delightful novel of love and the second world war. It’s refreshingly free of swearing and offensive expletives. Ella is in her twilight years and asks her granddaughter, Kendra to write her story for posterity. The imagery swept me away. A love of nature is evident and so beautifully descriptive. It takes you to Ile de Re which sounds idyllic. The era of the 1940s is reflected well contrasting the be...
  • Rebecca Stonehill
    This was the first of Fiona Valpy's novels I have read and I was enormously impressed by this evocative and poignant novel. With a strong sense of place and first-rate, believable characterisation, I was swept along by Ella's story from beginning to end, hardly putting the book down. I really enjoyed the dual time scales as well - while at first I was unsure of the relevance of the modern setting, as the story unwound, I could see how Kendra's an...
  • Katie
    Fiona Valpy is a new author to me but one I'm so glad I've discovered, I absolutely adored this book. I loved the journey we went on with the characters and I just loved the setting. This was the perfect book to read to escape life, I was fully immersed into the story whilst reading. This book is emotional, have some tissues at the ready when reading! The characters are so beautifully written and I just loved Fiona's writing style. This is a book...
  • Georgina Roberts
    I loved this book, the descriptions of France were so well written and really took me there. I loved the story, how it goes back and forth to the past and the present day and just everything about the book in general. I even had a few tears at the end which to me is a sign of how much the book has moved me. First book I’ve read by Fiona and I’ll definitely look for more. Five stars
  • Gail Atkins
    A beautifully written book about love, friendship and relationships.A dying grandmother asks her granddaughter to write her memoirs of her time in France during the early stages of WW2, in a hope that her estranged daughter would read it and their rift would be healed.Secrets shared and heartache bond the two women, changing their lives forever.
  • Linda
    This is the life story of Ella as written by her granddaughter Kendra. But wait--It is amazing . Don't question buying this book. It gives you the feels. All of them! It ranks right up there with Lilac Girls and Sarah's Key. I loved it and look forward to more books from this new to me author. Thank you thank you Goodreads and Lake Union for picking me to review this.
  • BrittanyElizabeth Wilson
    WowWhat a beautiful read! This story really just grabs you and takes you on its journey with the characters. Such a beautiful story of loss, love, redemption, and hope. So gorgeously written that one can almost smell the salty French sea air, and feel the sunshine on your face. This is a story that won’t leave your mind for a long time. Definitely a Must read.
  • Jayne Long
    Interesting read about first love, love won, love lost and how you don't always get what you want in life and how sometimes, you have what you need all along, but sometimes you don't always see it, but with maturity and some perspective you realize that what you had all along was exactly what you needed at that exact moment.
  • Mircina
    Unexpected delightI was not expecting this to be the wonderful sorry that ice just finished reading. I have fallen in love with Ella and her life story and have already looked up Il de Re as next year's holiday destination. Fantastic beautify written story x
  • Bobbi
    I gave this 5 stars and 4 tissues. This book is about 3 young people that meet in the summer of their 17th year and spend an idyllic time on an island off France. They become friends forever but WWII changes their lives completely... The years that follow are joyful, scary, sad, and sweet.
  • Sheryljacobs2
    This book is beautifully written, and I loved the descriptions of the beach and ocean.