title: Die gestohlenen Stunden
original title: Bhalla Strand
author: Sarah Maine
translator: Sonja Hauser
publishing date: 15.02.16
publishing company: Goldmann
original publishing company: Freight Books, Glasgow 2014
prize (Germany): 9,99€
prize (UK): 8,99£
A beautiful debut novel set in the Outer Hebrides, Bhalla Strand combines archaeology and dark mystery. In the present day, Harriet Devereux returns to the family home of Bhalla House on a remote Hebridean island estate following the untimely death of her parents. Torn between selling the house and turning it into a hotel, Harriet undertakes urgent repairs, accidently uncovering human remains.
Who has been lying beneath the floorboards for a century? Were they murdered? Through diaries and letters she finds, Harriet discovers that the house was occupied at the turn of the century by distant relative Beatrice Blake, a young aristocratic woman recently married to renowned naturalist and painter, Theodore Blake. With socialist and proto-environmentalist leanings Beatrice is soon in conflict with her autocratic new husband, who is distant, more interested in Cameron, a mysterious young man from the island.
As Beatrice is also drawn to Cameron, a single kiss sets off a chain of events that will change all their lives, leaving Harriet to assemble the jigsaw of clues piece by piece one hundred years later, as she obsessively chases the truth.
My opinion: ♥♥♥
I got this book as a review copy. Thanks @Goldmann Verlag.I liked the cover and the synopsis so I thought the book would be nice and yes it kinda is. But it doesn't get 5 of 5 stars bc it was often a bit to much too difficult. Especially the beginning. There were 4 chapters act in 4 different ages and without knowing the characters it was just to difficult to understand and I read a few parts twice to understand it. But by the time it got easier bc it acts only in 2 different ages and the story is really good and interesting and I learned much about the 20th century. I liked that the book acts in two ages. You understand it much better that way and the different ages explain each other in an interesting way. Like the end of the book. The think I can't comprehend is why in 1911 are people who are named like people in 2010. That makes the book at first so difficult. There's Emily Armstrong, the sister of Theo Blake in 1911 and Emily who wants to help Hetty by her plans to get a hotel in 2010. Than there's Cameron Forbes in 1911 and James Cameron in 2010. Ok Why they are both named Cameron is explained in the end. But even Giles, Hetty's bofriend, has a namesake in 1911. A church named St. Giles. I just can't find a sense. I read the scene at the end when Ruairidh finds the letters and the quiz is revealed twice bc the whole family thing is also so difficult, i think it would have been a good idea to take a family tree at the end the book so you can watch up the names. But nevertheless it was a good story.