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, Romance, Fiction, Cultural, France, War, World War II

Reviews Sea of Memories

  • 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 ...
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Meital Ben-Daniel
    I read Ella's story with a trembling heart...Do not miss this book!
  • Ashley
    I liked the way this story was told, with Ella talking to her grand daughter. I felt so bad that she waited so long to tell her story though. Ella and Christophe and Angus were all great characters, I didn't like some of them at some parts of the book. This was kinda sad but also really happy too, even the super sad things had something really good happen after them.
  • Sheryljacobs2
    This book is beautifully written, and I loved the descriptions of the beach and ocean.
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Amira
    For my full book review, please visit my blog The Bookish!To say that I absolutely loved 'A Sea of Memories' would be an understatement! This was one of the most touching, moving, and emotional stories that I have ever read - and is, without a doubt, my favourite book of 2018. Valpy drew me in with the delicately vivid, mesmerizing descriptions that were infused with heartfelt emotions and loving characters. The perfect and seamless way in which ...
  • 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...
  • Weston H.
    A heartwarming beautifully written treasure This is not the genre of books I usually read and at first questioned my decision, fearing that this was just a romance novel that I would end up hating. The quality of the writing and the historical context piqued my interest and I ended up loving the book. Yes, there was romance but with a depth of humanity and reality that taught important life lessons. I learned or had reinforced the importance of r...
  • Linda Diers
    Beautiful Love StoryThis is a beautifully written story of young love that is free and gay and love that is strong and steadfast. It is written as a memoir by the granddaughter, Kenda, of Ella Dalrymple . The purpose the Ella`s story is the hope the Ella's estranged daughter will understand the things that happened and forgive her. Writing the story, Kendra gets to know there great grandmother whom she barely knew because of her Mother not wantin...
  • Shirley Miller
    Kendra reconnects with her grandmother Ella who is in a retirement center near death. She is hoping she can find the reason her mom and her grandmother Ella stopped speaking to each other many years ago, long before Kendra was born. Ella has a story to tell and asks her granddaughter if she will write it. Kendra accepts because she wants answers. Ella’s story is pretty amazing . At 17 she went for the summer from Scotland to a beautiful island ...
  • Cindy Woods
    Four and a half stars!I loved this book by the end. The last third had me blubbering like a baby! For someone who rarely cries, that's telling! The story is about an old woman relating her life story to her granddaughter so that she writes a book of her life. Her memories mostly surround the WWII Era in Scotland and France where, as a young woman, she finds love.I don't want to be spoil the story, but it's a very creative plot......a heart wrench...
  • Sharon Alexander
    A Story Filled With Hope, Joy and LoveMy initial impression was far removed from my final one. As I began to read this book, I thought it might not hold my interest. It was not a slow read, but something made me wonder if I would love it. Before long I was drawn into Ella's life with a passion that is hard to express. I rarely ever rate a book 5 stars, but this one deserves all the praise I can offer. I feel like I want to be Ella or that I could...
  • 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...
  • Tab
    Captivating & EntrallingI don’t usually get books with audio, however, this book was the exception. After hearing the first few chapters, I was hooked. Due to discovering my own English & Scottish heritage recently, that is what peaked my interest in this book. After listening to the first few chapters I was so impressed with such eloquent descriptive wording, I felt like I was standing on the beach’s and envisioning the sights, right along s...
  • Robert E. Vojslavek
    Swept Away...I adored this book, so it might seem incongruous that I gave it only four stars. Truthfully, it’s a solid 4.5 just not a 5. Read this, you will come to know and respect Ella. You just might grow to love the person she was. Her story has so many layers to it, so many lessons to be learned from Ella’s living. How profound to share that some hearts will know both a first love and a lasting love, Ella’s fate. The author does a good...
  • Jackie Hawes
    Wonderful page turner.Fantastic. First book I have read by Fiona Valpy but definitely won't be my last. I did not want the story to end. Full of love, hope and seeing things from a different perspective, it transports the reader across the years, showing how time and circumstances change things but also intertwine in life's tapestries. I could literally feel the emotions and feelings of the characters come alive from the pages. A gripping love st...
  • Sharon
    Fiona Valpy has written a book that is meant to read and savor. Like some of the other reviewers, I did not want to put down the book; I even dreamed about it at night which is a sign the book has definitely left its impact. Ella meets the love of her life when she is seventeen and on holiday in France. Her story progresses through WWII when she loses her love and finds love again, has children, and faces a terrifying medical emergency with her s...