Blog Tour/Book Review: I Will Find You (Seal Island #2) by Daniela Sacerdoti

I Will Find You Blog Tour Poster

Having read and enjoyed the first book in Daniela Sacerdoti’s Seal Island series, Keep Me Safe, I’m delighted to be hosting the final stop on the blog tour for the next book in the series, I Will Find You.

I Will Find YouAbout the Book

After her beloved mother dies, Cora is heartbroken. When she discovers her mother has left her a cottage – a crumbling shelter on a remote and beautiful Scottish island – Cora hopes that travelling there will help her feel closer to the person she has lost. The moment she arrives on the wild, windswept island of Seal, Cora instantly falls under its spell. She is drawn to Innes, recently returned to the island to confront his past.

As Cora begins to unravel her mother’s connection to Seal, she learns the island has a dark, turbulent history. She is not the first lonely traveller to have sought refuge at Gealach Cottage. And there may be far more to her attraction to Innes than she could have ever imagined…

Format:  ebook (320 pp.)        Publisher: Headline Review
Published: 17th May 2018      Genre: Contemporary/Historical Fiction, Romance

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Find I Will Find You on Goodreads

My Review

Following the death of her mother, Cora and her brother, Stephen, find out they didn’t know everything about her.  Far from it.  A box containing a key leads them to discover their mother owned a cottage on the remote Scottish island of Seal.  For Cora, handling the key evokes a strange sense of yearning, a feeling a little like déjà vu.    Already, with her mother’s death, she feels a sense of displacement from her current life – like ‘a stranger in a strange land’.  No longer do the busy streets of London fill her with excitement: ‘I’d begin to feel overwhelmed by the noise and the smells if the city.’ Something has changed for Cora.  ‘My mum’s death had been like that – a tiny event in the big picture of things, no more than a minute shift of the axis, and yet it had brought a monumental change in my life, a change to everything I was, everything I loved, everything I’d built up to then….I existed in a world that had changed all its rules.’

The cottage offers Cora the prospect of a new start, a way to leave behind her grief at her mother’s death, a failed relationship, her current struggle to make progress with the book she has been working on and a feeling that maybe her heart is ‘asleep’.  (Don’t worry, it won’t be long before it is awoken.)  Those familiar with Daniela Sacerdoti’s books won’t be surprised to learn that, along with the romantic storyline, there is an underlying sense of the mystical or supernatural, a strong element of folklore and an atmospheric sense of place.   The location, on a remote Scottish island, at the mercy of the wind and weather, is the perfect place for these different strands to come together.

There is also a strong sense of the past and present intertwining as the present day story of Cora is interspersed with a complementary story from 1745 recounting the experiences of Margaret McCrimmon, caught up in the climax of the Jacobite risings.  The narrative moves seamlessly between the two stories with the two women’s lives following a similar trajectory that involves love and hope for the future, but not before very real dangers have been navigated.

I’ll confess that I sometimes struggle with books that have dual time narratives, often finding the story set in the past more compelling than that set in the present.  I’m pleased to say I Will Find You was an exception.  I think this is because the main characters in the present day storyline, Cora and Innes, felt absolutely believable as characters.  In particular, Innes, for whom the author creates a complex and traumatic back story.  His memories of deeply unsettling events from his childhood help to explain his restless spirit, his history of failed relationships and his feeling that he is in some way ‘tainted’, doomed to spoil everything – and everyone – he touches.

The book is structured with a Prologue and Epilogue framing three sections appropriately titled, because of the pivotal role the sea plays in the book, ‘Low Tide’, ‘Flood Tide’ and ‘High Tide’.  For those who don’t know (and I had to look it up), a flood tide is the incoming or rising tide that occurs between the time when the tide is lowest and the time when the following tide is highest.

For those who have read the first book in the series (although this isn’t essential, as I Will Find You works perfectly well as a standalone), there are walk on parts for a couple of the characters from Keep Me Safe.   Finally, I need to mention the final section of the book, entitled ‘Book of Souls’, which addresses another theme common to the author’s books, that of the past repeating itself – or perhaps, echoing is a more apt word – down the years.

If you’re a reader looking for a compelling, emotional story with an atmospheric setting and who has a few tissues handy for the end, then there’s good news – I Will Find You has found you!

I received an advance review copy courtesy of publishers, Headline, and NetGalley in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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In three words: Romantic, atmospheric, haunting

Try something similar…Secrets of the Sea House by Elisabeth Gifford or watch the classic film I Know Where I’m Going (1945).

About the Author

Daniela Sacerdoti is a mother and a writer. Born in Naples, but brought up in a small village in the Italian Alps, she lives near Glasgow with her husband and sons. She steals time to write when everyone has gone to bed, or before they wake up. She’s a Primary teacher, but she chose to be at home with her children. She loves being with her boys, reading anything she can get her hands on and chatting with her girlfriends. But she also adores being on her own, free to daydream and make up stories.

Daniela Sacerdoti
Photo credit: Josephine Tunney

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