The Storyteller by the Sea

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Pub Date 14 Sep 2023 | Archive Date 30 Sep 2023

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Description

A heartwarming and uplifting new novel, perfect story for fans of Sally Page and Hazel Prior.

Melody spends her days combing the shore for items washed up on her beach. She collects them in her basket and takes them back to Spindrift, her weathered little bungalow overlooking the sea, and weaves stories about her treasures.

Everything Melody thinks she could ever need is right where she is, cupped by the rocks that shape her bay. But Melody has been keeping a secret…

When she learns that her little corner of Devon is under threat from developers looking to modernise the strip of coast on which Spindrift stands, Melody realises she is about to lose all she has ever known. Is it time for her to tell her own story - a story of love, loss, secrets and lies?

A heartwarming and uplifting new novel, perfect story for fans of Sally Page and Hazel Prior.

Melody spends her days combing the shore for items washed up on her beach. She collects them in her...


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ISBN 9781803281384
PRICE £2.99 (GBP)
PAGES 352

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Average rating from 60 members


Featured Reviews

I was drawn to the colourful cover, and the title and description intrigued me.

This was a delight to read. It was lovely and summery - in fact, reading it was just like taking a trip to the seaside, and that setting came very much to life while I was reading, with some beautiful imagery. It was also a very heartwarming story to read, though it did have me tearful in places.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for a free copy to review.

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Lots of secrets, lots of drama, new beginnings, family history, learning to find yourself and who you are again. A well written book, with great characters and a really good storyline.

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I loved this story because the setting of Shelly in Exmouth was familiar to me in 1970s. In the late 1980s the leases on the land most of these seaside holiday homes were built on expired, and there was wholesale redevelopment of the area. Melody has lived there all her life and feels the potential loss of her home very keenly. There is much about loss of different kinds in this novel and the different ways people find to deal with it. Melody also discovers that her family is not quite as she thought it was and has to come to terms with this too. However this is a truly heartwarming novel that I thoroughly enjoyed reading

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I received an ARC of this novel from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Lovely book about family, community, and home. I love the characters, the storylines, and the vivid descriptions.

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A very poetic, very British novel full of love of the ocean about loss, pain and not being able to let go. Sometimes the way to a new start and to a new love is very long.

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This was a delight to read. Reminded me of holidays - in fact, reading it was just like taking a trip to the seaside, and that setting came very much to life while I was reading. It was also a very heartwarming story to read, though it did have me tearful in places.

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A lovely story by the seaside, a tranquil and idyllic town and the perfect place for Melody to spend her days. But the developers what to come in and Melody could loose it all.

This is a book about life, community, family and friendships and about living in a seaside town. It is a great holiday read yet still has a bit of substance in the form of some drama and secrets, changes and how life can throw you curve balls and you must stick together to deal with them.

A wonderful heart-warming read which I really enjoyed.

Thank you NetGalley and Aria & Aries for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book.

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What an amazing book, it covered so many topics grief, family secrets, regeneration, job loses. Loved the whole beach theme, brilliantly written really tugged at the heart strings, everything Melody had been through. Could not out it down. Thank you netgalley for the advanced copy

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It was an interesting book. It’s set mostly in the 80’s with some flashbacks. It’s a story of endurance and loss. It’s also a story of starting over and opening up oneself to the possibilities. It’s a good book. I read and reviewed an advanced free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

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4.5 stars

Exmouth, Devon, June 1988.

Melody combs the seashore for “treasures“ to take back to her beloved bungalow, “Spindrift“, located by the sea. She weaves each item into a story. However, while the magic of her home endures, a harsh reality creeps in and she can’t ignore the real world or the secrets that she’s keeping. The story is told over several timelines from the 1950s onwards.

This is another lovely book by this wonderful storyteller to lose myself in from the realities of the real world. I alternate between having a smile on my face to tears rolling down my cheeks! First of all, via the fantastic setting of Shelley, Exmouth, there’s a thought-provoking exploration of what your home means to you and what makes a community. This 1980s community is brilliant and I love spending time with them, especially when Mrs Galespie is on the page, she’s a hoot! Everyone needs a Mrs Galespie as a neighbour!

The characterisation is outstanding with free spirit Melody at the centre and her cousin Juliana who are such a terrific contrast to each other but who share an unbreakable bond. The extended family are all wonderfully portrayed and the author takes you on an emotional journey through them. It has joy, resilience and overwhelming selfless love, but also heartbreak and sadness. How Melody becomes the storyteller by the sea is so poignant, but yet at the same time it’s uplifting. Here are the strongest and closest of connections.

This novel really captures the 80s vibe (and my heart), big hair, neon and all but also the wider context of massive change and upheaval as old traditional industries take their last gasps of breath. “Spindrift” comes alive too, as it’s chockablock with Melody’s

I daresay the book follows a certain predictable path but it’s one I’m more than happy to tread as it’s a delightful book from beginning to end.

With thanks to NetGalley and especially to Aria and Aries for the much appreciated arc in return for an honest review.

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I couldn't put this bittersweet
book down..
A wonderful descriptive coastal story of a family with a special needs child. An emotional roller coaster of a tale. Full of loss, love and hope.for all of the family. An very uplifting book..

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What a poignant story of transformation and emotional healing, wrapped in the warmth of nostalgia, love and longing. This novel proved to be quite a pleasant surprise as I had never read any books by author Phylidda Shrimpton before this one. I am delighted to say it delivered on all counts in plot, characters, atmosphere and setting. The descriptions are vivid and definitely strike the emotional heart strings. It is so well-written, it was easy to be transported to the quaint coastal village in Devon.

The Storyteller By the Sea first caught my attention with its gorgeous cover and title. From the first page, I was drawn in quickly to the tumultuous lives of the main cast. I felt a strong connection to the story, its message and main character Melody. I also grew up in a small coastal village with the pull of the sea strong on my heart and often scavenged the beaches for coastal treasures to make pieces of art. I could hear the imaginary surf sounds in the shells and the music of the waves. I played piano and guitar with those natural sounds behind me. So, walking in Melody’s shoes was easy for me (even her name is appropriate!). Though I did not have the disadvantage of seeing my actual dwelling taken over by a large developer who wanted to build high rise apartments. But I did see another industry swallow up the cove in front of my house! And it affected the sea-life that had so beautifully survived there for hundreds of years. It is very sad to see the destruction of nature – its value and innocence disregarded. And Melody, understandably, wanted to preserve her piece of paradise.

The theme of change resounds through this novel. It is never easy when forced upon us. For the villagers, it was the destruction of a close knit community. It meant they had to find new homes, with many forced into aged care. As for Melody, it left her homeless. Without family to support her, the challenge was overwhelming. I was deeply sympathetic to her loss. This novel shows how memories are often attached to our dwellings. A place where our lives have played out: a roof that has sheltered our heads and nurtured our hearts. There are so many memories and ghosts tied up in Spindrift cottage for Melody— and to see it all evaporate— leaves her grief-stricken and overwhelmed. She feels as though she is losing her parents and brother all over again. She has tried to maintain their presence by holding on to the cottage and their belongings. The demolition means all that will be taken away.

There are other things about Melody we learn, that are positive. She is gifted in the arts. She makes treasures from items brought in by the sea. She also has the ability to tell stories to lift children’s hearts and to put some magic in their lives. How she gets to develop this talent is amazing. I loved reading about her story-telling abilities and the wonderful tales she shares.

This novel has a fabulous cast of characters. The community gatherings are delightful and the support for each other is heart-warming. It is sad when they are torn apart by the changes that are occurring. There is nothing Melody can do to stop it but she turns to her neighbours and cousin, Juliana. And then there is a man she has grown up with. He's been a constant presence in her life. Their relationship gets shaken and the changes separate them physically for a while but eventually these events clarify the next steps she must take.

The Storyteller By The Sea is a beautiful story about grief, love, loss, starting over, change, family secrets and healing of broken hearts. The story sweeps backwards and forwards like the waves on the sand in timelines (between the 50's to current), delivering its gems and pieces of history. It concludes on a warm note and I truly had tears of both joy and sorrow before turning the last page. I highly recommend this story with heart, nostalgia and imagination. 5 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thanks to publisher Aria & Aries and Netgalley for my review copy.

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This is the first book I’ve read by this author and I enjoyed the time spent with Melody and Milo, on the seaside in Shelley Exmouth England. This heartwarming, emotional, and ultimately uplifting story is told over several timelines from the late 1950s with a lot of time spent in the 1980’s and then wrapping up in present day. I loved the author’s exploration of home and community, and especially loved the 1980’s sections, as I was a teenager of the 80’s. Although you might shed a tear or two, this book is worth the read.

Thanks to NetGalley and Aria & Aries for an eARC in exchange for an honest opinion.

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Such a wonderful and delightful read. It is just perfect for lazy afternoons at the beach. Told over several timelines with a great cast of characters. I found it heartwarming, heartbreaking, but incredibly uplifting. I just loved the 80's vibes from the book. It was the perfect escape read.

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A lovely seaside story of both heartbreaking sadness and uplifting joyfulness. For anyone that has every cared for a family member this will resonate highly and highlight what a rewarding job it can be.
The story follows Melody and her childhood in a seaside town in flashbacks and her current situation of waiting for the only home she has ever known to be demolished. An ever just out of reach romantic touch keeps the story moving along as does family relationships that get to explored as Melody uncovers truths about her early existence.
Enjoyed this book so much.

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This book is essentially about grief and loss and how it can completely take over your life, and in places is so desperately sad that it is difficult to read. Having said that it is also joyous and life affirming with such likeable and believable characters - I so adored Melody, Flora, Milo and Julianna. By the end of the book I felt as though I’d enjoyed a weekend trip to the Devon coast, complete with cobwebs blown away. A simply gorgeous book that will stay with me for a long time. Phyllida Shrimpton does not disappoint ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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*5 Stars*

Copy kindly received via NetGalley for an honest review.

A very interesting read with great characters. Melody went through a lot of good and bad in her life. She had the determination to do things her way and I liked how things worked out for her. I liked the ending. Would recommend.

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I was sent a copy of this book in return for an honest review.

I’m a big fan of Phyllida’s books and this one was as beautiful and well written as the others. There’s a lot of love in this book and I could almost feel myself transported to the sea. I’m already looking forward to the next book.

#NetGalley #TheStorytellerByTheSea

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The book is told entirely from Melody’s point of view. This is a very character-driven story, and even though there is a big family secret it is Meldoy as a character that carries the story. Melody and Jules didn’t let the family secret tear them apart, in fact, it brought them closer than ever. The story has two timelines; the current timeline starts in 1988 but we also have flashbacks as far as 1968 and we move forward in time to 2023. As is usual for me I enjoyed the earlier timeline explaining what happened in the past much more.

Melody is a paradox she seems both older and younger than her years, she is stubborn and set in her ways like an older person might be yet she is also not very street-wise or versed in romance and the dating scene. Although there is a bit of a romance going on I was so glad the book wasn’t romance focused. I loved how much Melody grew as a character and a person, I cheered Melody on in her endeavours.

As sad as this story was at times it is ultimately a book about hope, letting go and moving on and letting people in. Melody’s love of the sea is second only to her love and devotion to her family. Her love for her family shone through every page I loved the coastal location and the author’s descriptions took me there. Phyllida Shrimpton certainly has a way of writing about time and place. I felt like I could feel the sea spray and smell the fishy air.

Heavy topical fare is dealt with in this tale; about the differently abled (like me as I am deaf), the environment, grief, and secrets. A memorable story I won’t soon forget and oh so poignant. I also have to say that I absolutely love the cover as it suits the wonderful story inside perfectly.

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This author excels at character relationships. This is my second book to read by her, and I was just as invested and impressed with it as I was the first.

Melody spends her days collecting washed-up items from her beachfront cottage and weaving stories around their past lives. When her leased land is taken over by a modern developer, she is both heart-broken and terrified of moving forward with her life.

I won’t go into details here as this story needs to be approached fresh and savored with each page. As Melody’s past (told in a dual timeline) unfolds with its secrets and heartbreaking events, we watch a woman who is valiantly holding on to her memories begin to take tentative steps toward a new future with the help of family and friends.

Simply beautiful writing and yes, definitely a few tears, this book is one to take one’s time with and is one that will linger with me for quite a while.

Highly recommended.

My sincere thanks to the author, NetGalley and Aria for providing the early arc of The Storyteller by the Sea for review. The opinions are strictly my own.

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Developers are threatening the peace and stability Melody has found in her small beach town. This moves back and forth (a bit) in time to tell the story of her life, her secrets, and her future. It's thought provoking in some ways and yet still light reading. Thanks to netgalley for the ARC.

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A family split by outdated conventions. Melody Wilder is happy with her life on the Devon coast, though grieving for her mother and disabled brother. She loves beachcombing and working at her local pub. Then her peaceful life is thrown into turmoil. Confusing at first due to the story flitting between different times and narrators, but worth persevering with. Heart-warming and poignant.

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This is story telling at its best. It will wrap you in a blanket of community and love and break your heart all at the same time.
Set on the Devon coast it centres around a community of worn out , run down houses whose ground lease has run out and eviction notices given. All has to make way for shiny new blocks of fancy apartments. Melody, who has lived her entire life in one of these houses with her mother and brother is not accepting of this. The house has become a shine to her deceased parent and sibling full of articles she collects from the beach each day and creates stories around.
However this is not just a story about Melody, her difficulties and secrets, it is also about changing society and our environment. I finished the book thinking I must visit this town and do so in the most environmentally friendly way possible.
Many thanks to NetGalley.Co.uk and the publishers for a copy of this ARC.

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This is a sweet tale with unexpected disclosures of hidden secrets. It is a tale about love, the love of parents, of siblings, of family but also the love of a place, in this case the idyllic sounding Shelly with its bungalows and community living by the sea.

Melody is in her thirties and has always lived by the sea where she collects flotsam and jetsam and weaves sea stories from her finds. But now her home is now under threat from developers and she is at a turning point in her life.

I took a while to get into this story which is over written at the beginning with too many descriptions crowding in. Gradually, I found a reading rhythm and became hooked, wanting to know how the plot would evolve.

I recommend this novel for those who like a love story and it is a good holiday read. I read a copy provided by NetGalley and tge publishers but my views are my own.

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The first thing I noted on beginning to read this book was that the language and style I had fallen in love with in 'Every Shade of Happy' was just as much in evidence here. Phrases such as 'The dipping sun threw Melody's long shadow across the sand where she stood, casting a shining cloak of golden light over the windows and rooftops of the bungalows behind her' jump off the page as you read them and bring to life the beautiful setting of the novel.

The story is by no means depressing, but at its core is grief and bereavement. However, it's not a story about death, but one of life. Melody has lost her family and is about to lose her home. Somewhere along the way, she lost her dreams as well. Nevertheless, the book is a celebration of life and all its associate joys.

Indeed, there are many other examples of loss scattered throughout the book (I can't refer specifically to these because of spoilers) and it really brings home the fact that death is not the only reason people lose loved ones. Melody spends the vast majority of the novel trying to convince people that she is absolutely fine and doesn't need anyone for anything. Of course she isn't, but I understood completely where she was coming from and why she worked so hard to make it seem as though she was coping with life. Like many others, I often fall into the same trap of thinking that if I say 'I'm fine' out loud enough times, this will make it true. It doesn't, but it allows Melody the time she needs to process the changes in her life. Ultimately however, it is only with the help of her friends and family that she is genuinely able to be well again.

The other major theme in the book is about community. Shelly may be a bit rundown, but they are a strong community. They look out for each other. They take care of their own. And that's a large part of the reason why the people don't want to move, even if it is - on the face of it at least - to somewhere better. I recently attended a book event which brought together writers from all over our local area. One of the attendees was talking about community and she referred specifically to the area of Jaywick. Jaywick is famous - or perhaps infamous - for being the focus of the programme 'Benefits By The Sea' and was shown to be a particularly rundown location. (If you don't know the history of Jaywick, have a look at its Wikipedia page. It's fascinating and shows how badly the residents have been let down by various governments, organisations and greedy landowners etc.) I watched a couple of episodes as it had come up on a local search when we were trying to buy our house here and I didn't know anything about the area. I guess it was intended to show the place up as being an awful area to live in, but actually the overwhelming impression I got from watching it was the strong sense of community instilled in its residents. They may not have had much in terms of material possessions, but their communal identity was a vital part of their lives and they looked out for each other. The residents of Shelly had that same sense of who they were and it was that which shone through from start to finish.

The other major topic is how poor the treatment of those with medical conditions that affected their ability to learn in the traditional way was, in the middle of this century. We have made huge strides as a society in terms of both our understanding of and our way of helping such people to live fulfilling lives. However, I think most people would agree that we still have a long way to go in this area.

Although the book is set in Exmouth, it could be relocated to almost any other coastal location and its impact would be the same. Although the location is beautiful and I fully understood why Melody was reluctant to leave, the problems the community faced (the book is predominantly set in the 1980s) were similar to those faced up and down the country at the time. I grew up in Blackpool and it was a time of increasing unemployment as seaside towns became more impoverished, as people began to take their holidays abroad and docks and ports closed down because of the increasing traffic coming through the larger container ports.

I spent quite a long time trying to work out how to describe this book and I think it probably fits best in the 'uplit' genre. However, I think it spends much longer dwelling on the reasons why Melody is in need of help than I would normally expect in such a book. That's not to say it doesn't work or that it's depressing. It certainly isn't. I think it needed the time devoted to it because there is so much to unpack about her family and her situation and had her history been glossed over, I don't think the revelations would have had as much of an impact as they did.

The story is beautiful and the language is utterly glorious in places. This is definitely another 'must read' book and I can't wait for the launch event.

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A wonderful book which made me chuckle in places and weep in others. This is a book about love, family, what home is and above all, hope. The characters are so well drawn that you feel you’re one of the neighbours. The tone of writing is so exquisite that never do you feel sorrow for the strong people but want to cheer them on and even the characters who are vulnerable made me champion them without pity. Simply one of the best books of this genre I’ve read this year (to clarify, I usually read crime thrillers but occasionally need something different).

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Melody has lost her parents and invalid brother. She still lives in the cottage where she grew up. The world outside her cottage is changing, but inside everything is still the same. When developers come to the village to bring regeneration, Melody is heartbroken and lost. The love and the loss of her cottage, the village and friends, are not easy for Melody, but her wonderful gift of storytelling eases the pain and we learn how through learning of a secret she is able to begin to live a different life. She can take her memories and weave them into stories from her heart. I received an arc of this poignant novel of how memories can become so important that they hold us back from moving forward. book from Netgalley and Publisher Aria and Aries. The comments and review of this wonderful book is my opinion.

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Melody lives in a little cottage by the sea with her mum and disabled younger brother. The highlight of the tear is each summer, when her cousin comes to stay for six weeks. Her idyllic childhood however, is tainted by a secret buried deep within their family.

Now left on her own, Melody is facing the prospect of losing her home and having to get rid of all the “clutter” with its associated memories. Told with a dual timeline which alternates elements of Melody’s childhood with her as an adult, the secret is gradually revealed.

This is a story in which not much happens, but it is told in such a gentle and unassuming way that you can’t help but be drawn into the story and begin to feel something for the character of Melody, who has sacrificed so much for the sake of her family. A truly charming book.

I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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I loved Every Shade of Happy so when Amy ? At aria fiction emailed me to let me know Phyllida had a new book out I jumped at the chance to read it.
The Storyteller by the Sea is a beautifully written tale of love, loss and hope. Melody is a character to fall in love with - she has lost so much yet finds comfort in her home and surroundings at the seaside and I felt her every emotion as she had to deal with losing everything she holds dear. The memories she holds were brilliant threads of the story and as we learnt more of her childhood and earlier years her character opened up before us. Heart wrenching at times this story is also filled with hope and I loved it.

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Another beautiful, poignant, moving read from Phyllida Shrimpton. Loved it.

My thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC of this book.

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This story made me smile and think. The risk of losing everything you always knew, the loss of the beauty, the sense of community and family.
There's a lot going on this story and I enjoyed it
Recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher for this ARC, all opinions are mine

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I loved this utterly charming book which I found to be gentle, heart warming and totally engrossing. There was sadness, laughter and so much love. The residents of a little place called Shelly on the Devon coast are a close, caring community who are about to lose their lifelong, idyllic little homes as the area is up for regeneration. Mel is a keeper of items and memories that tell stories covering decades. The chapters go backwards and forward through those decades but is easy to follow. The descriptions of the area are beautiful and I could almost smell the sea and feel the whole atmosphere of this delightful area. I adored the often breathtaking prose which was gloriously awesome and inspiring. This story will stay with me for a long time. My thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC. My review is voluntarily given.

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A cozy and warm read during the -ber months. This novel proves that healing comes in many forms and happens at places unexpected. Smalltown and sun-kissed sceneries as backdrop add to the atmospheric story of the book. A worth read this holiday season even though it brings back the memories of summer.

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EXCERPT: There were, Melody knew, two reasons that the pair of them had begun to drift apart. One, the things she'd discovered in the old book could never be unseen. Two, Juliana herself had changed and, no matter how pleased they were to see each other, these days they could never quite seem to rekindle the easy friendship they'd shared in their youth.
Juliana's criticisms from her previous visit still hung in the air as if she'd visibly hooked them from the ceiling in every room like butchered carcasses. Melody still couldn't believe that Juliana had accused her of living with ghosts. She'd survived grief, that's what she'd done.

ABOUT 'THE STORYTELLER BY THE SEA': Melody spends her days combing the shore for items washed up on her beach. She collects them in her basket and takes them back to Spindrift, her weathered little bungalow overlooking the sea, and weaves stories about her treasures.

Everything Melody thinks she could ever need is right where she is, cupped by the rocks that shape her bay. But Melody has been keeping a secret…

When she learns that her little corner of Devon is under threat from developers looking to modernise the strip of coast on which Spindrift stands, Melody realises she is about to lose all she has ever known. Is it time for her to tell her own story - a story of love, loss, secrets and lies?

MY THOUGHTS: Melody is a woman who carries her scars deep inside her. She is still grieving the loss of first her dear mother, and then her disabled brother for whom she cared. She still trawls the beach each day, collecting items of interest and the plastic and fishing nets which have washed up. The items of interest she used to spin tales of adventure for Milo, bringing the outside world into his restricted one. It's something she can't stop doing although Milo is long gone.

Juliana, her cousin, is determined to bring Melody into the present by whatever means works. But Juliana has problems of her own to deal with and is unaware that Melody guards a secret that may change both their lives forever.

There are some extremely emotional moments in The Storyteller by the Sea. There were times when my heart felt broken beyond repair, and others where I found myself laughing at the absurdity of a situation. Phyllida Shrimpton obviously has a wicked sense of humor, and this shines through in several places.

I enjoyed the characters: the cousins who are trying to recapture their childhood relationship; Melody's wonderfully eccentric neighbors; and Will, Melody's friend on whom she has quite a crush. Even the doomed town of Shelly has a character all of its own, as has Spindrift, Melody's home.

I thought I had a secure grip on the mystery, but my grip was far more tenuous than I thought. I was partly right in that I had the right idea, the wrong people.

I liked that Melody was taking care of the ocean well before it became fashionable. The timeline is non-linear and takes in from the 1960s to the late 1980s, then jumps forward to the present day 2023. I didn't find this a problem, but some might.

I would have liked to have seen more made of Melody's storytelling abilities and her crafting with her beach finds. She was obviously very talented with both. Despite the title there is not much focus on the storytelling.

The epilogue? I'm not sure how much I liked it or found it necessary. If you are a reader who likes everything tied up nice and neat with a big shiny bow, then you will like it. Personally, I would have ended the book with the previous chapter.

This was a well written, emotional read, but one I am unlikely to remember a few weeks further on.

⭐⭐⭐.7

#TheStorytellerByTheSea #NetGalley

THE AUTHOR: Phyllida Shrimpton is a full-time mother of a teenage daughter and currently lives in Essex with her husband, badly behaved, small Jack Russell and a rescue Newfoundland called Nina.

She achieved a Post Graduate Degree in Human Resource Management, but soon jumped ships to work with teenagers, including students with Asperger's syndrome on an Essex based agricultural college farm before eventually moving to live temporarily in the Netherlands.

Her interests are reading, producing fine detailed black and white ink artwork and writing.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Aria and Aries via NetGalley for providing a digital ARC of The Storyteller by the Sea by Phyllida Shrimpton for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

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Published by: AriaDate: 14th September 2023Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Melody spends her days combing the shore for items washed up on her beach. She collects them in her basket and takes them back to Spindrift, her weathered little bungalow overlooking the sea, and weaves stories about her treasures.
Everything Melody thinks she could ever need is right where she is, cupped by the rocks that shape her bay. But Melody has been keeping a secret…
When she learns that her little corner of Devon is under threat from developers looking to modernise the strip of coast on which Spindrift stands, Melody realises she is about to lose all she has ever known. Is it time for her to tell her own story - a story of love, loss, secrets and lies?
When we first meet Melody she seems to be living in the past, and missing the present and future. I wanted to shake her and ask her to start living. She has a small cottage by the sea - which she loves- and is surrounded by the past, her home filled with all kinds of odd rubbish. Her cousin Juliana wants her to clean it all up, but only seems to put her foot in it, and become off side with Melody.
Yet as we learn about Melody's life, the early loss of Flora her mother, and her brother Milo who was disabled and lived life in a wheelchair, we come to understand what has led Flora to where she is now. And... we see what a kind hearted and loving person she is.
There is a secret waiting to be revealed, I guessed half it but not the whole when it was revealed. It will eventually bring changes for Flora. We also learn how Flora is a storyteller, bringing items from the beach that she has gathered and made up stories to go with them to tell Milo.
This is a book of an inner journey really, as we see Flora develop. The story is filled with wonderful characters, and it is both heartwarming and sad to see the wonderful community spirit and how change happens whether we are ready or not. By the end of the book it was with regret that I closed the pages on the lives of small place in Devon, England.

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I really enjoyed this novel, it was uplifting and heartfelt.

The imagery was astounding! It took me immediately to the sea and I was transfixed.

I enjoyed the story, it was well told and felt healing in some way.

Many thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for gifting me this arc in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

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Devon, England
A beautiful and uplifting story about the ability to start over.
Can main character, Melody, go forward in her life and reveal her story of love, loss, secrets and lies?
The characters are endearing.
A story full of hope.
Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and author for the opportunity to read this book for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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