The Girl Across the Sea Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
"I need you to find out what happened to my mother. The woman who sent me across the sea to Ireland. And never came to find me."
Mairead's world is falling apart. Recently separated, she has returned to her beautiful childhood home in Ireland to nurse her dying mother. But as Brigid sits pale and papery thin, looking out over the Atlantic Ocean, she has one last request for her only daughter . . .
Brigid hands Mairead a stunning turquoise necklace and a small black-and-white photograph of her mother, Ellen, a woman she never met. She begs Mairead to go to New York, the last place Ellen was seen alive, and find out what became of her. Mairead cannot ignore her mother's dying wish.
But when Mairead arrives in America, she is shocked by the secrets she uncovers. In an old church in Arizona she discovers her grandmother was a wanted woman in Ireland, accused of murder. What lies in her family's past? And what does the turquoise necklace mean?
As she digs deeper, the trail leads Mairead to a small mossy graveyard in Ireland where she might finally learn the truth. But if she does, will she re-open old wounds, and put her own future into terrible danger?
- Limited time offer: 2 month free trial
- An audiobook of your choice each month
- Listen all you want to the Plus Catalogue of Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts
- Exclusive member only discounts
- After 2 months Audible is $16.45/month, cancel anytime
|Listening Length||11 hours and 7 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com.au Release Date||17 May 2022|
|Best Sellers Rank|| 18,881 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
586 in Women's Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
1,181 in Contemporary Romance (Audible Books & Originals)
1,372 in Family Saga Fiction (Books)
Review this product
Top reviews from Australia
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
This is a dual timeline story. The past thread starts with Ellen, who has fled Ireland and a difficult life to live in freedom in America. On the journey over she meets a man and marries him. Together they build a life and have a daughter. Although Ellen finds a measure of happiness in her new world, a darkness still follows her. And in 1933 when it is time to leave New York and return to her homeland, fear grips her and she cannot go. With a shattered heart she looks one last time upon her little girl and husband fast asleep and then makes her exit, after leaving a special turquoise necklace and a letter behind.
In running away from one deadly secret, Ellen becomes enslaved to another more toxic than the first. The pain of abandoning her daughter burns a mark in her heart she can never forget. But even more than the noose of guilt she feels— is the sting of regret— that she can never return to Ireland due to what she escaped. She must accept this new life in America and forget who she was. And even though things don’t go as planned, her love for her daughter and the special necklace she left become symbols of hope. These offer comfort through the nightmares of the past and sustain her through the violations she encounters on her new course.
The present day thread begins with Mairead in Ireland. While caring for her dying mother, she learns of family secrets. Her mother wants to find her birth mother who abandoned her as a young child. Not an easy task for Mairead as she has limited information but it sends her to America, leaving her own daughter at college, to find her mysterious grandmother. Already grieving over her own family losses, she embarks on a journey of self-discovery and healing. But along the way she takes some unexpected turns and meets some unusual, and even sinister, characters. Yet the path leads to surprising revelations, too.
The journeys for both women across the USA and into Canada prove intriguing. The Angel and healing time in the desert, the strangers they would trust and those they should not have. The lament, the brutality, the depth of this story goes on and on. It is a tale that is painful, beautiful and rapturous all at the same time.
Excellent suspense runs like a river through the landscape of this story feeding the plot that blooms with the flowers of sadness and joy. It is deeply complex with many unexpected twists and turns. Not your usual light hearted romantic story. But one of its beauties is in how it addresses the many aspects of the Irish psyche and Ireland’s history—including the fight for freedom. This is shown in many different ways and in a number of the characters. This story contains family secrets so grand and mind bending, that the climax will leave you reeling with many mixed emotions.
Noelle’s writing is very engaging and pulls every emotion imaginable from the reader. You walk in these women’s shoes, feel their pain, mourn their losses. But then you find yourself cheering as they muster new courage and feel relief from fear when an enemy subsides. And you rejoice when the past and present ancestral lines cross over and meet. Then there is the pride and deep devotion, even a connection to the homeland, that is so deep and wide that it travels unlimited miles overseas and reaches a new generation. This is something I can relate to for I have felt the pull in my own DNA— of the call of my own family’s past: for Irish roots know no distance or time. Ancestral memory can be strong as the spirit of place awakens once buried seeds. For as you stand on Irish soil and scan the horizons of your ancestors, up through the turf a sense of connection rises, while shamrocks are bursting forth under a full Irish sun.
There are so many things in this story I love, including the Irish song lists, the books and poems mentioned, the Sleeping Beauty reference, the Haunted Lake, the Irish fairy lore, the enchanting wildflowers such as Forget-Me-Nots and Bluebells.
I was very inspired by this moving narrative. Its depth was far greater than I could have imagined. Being my first Noelle Harrison novel, I did not know what to expect. But I am delighted that her powerful story telling ability really captivated me. I have always been drawn to Irish generational stories, so The Girl Across the Sea appealed to that interest and satisfied the hunger. And I was so impressed I purchased two of Noelle’s previous novels immediately!
Many thanks to Noelle for her wonderful descriptions for they transported me back to Ireland—a place I deeply love. Without a doubt, this story will stay with me forever. I highly recommend this brilliant Irish novel that is guaranteed to win your heart as well. 5 Shining Stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Thanks to Bookouture and Netgalley for a copy to review.
It had just the right mix of mystery, drama and emotion and tugged at the heart strings in all the right places.
The story opens in 1933 with Irish-born Ellen making the heartbreaking decision to leave her husband and baby as they set sail for Ireland. An unspecified secret from her past is so bad that she cannot reveal it to her husband and cannot risk returning to Ireland. She cannot risk taking her baby with her as she knows her husband would do everything he could to track them down and bring them to Ireland with him - her only choice, she feels, is to run away and disappear, to once again start a new life.
Fast forward to 1984 and the story is picked up with Ellen's grand-daughter who is going through her own share of upheavals in her life. Mairead has never had an easy relationship with her mother, (Brigid) and never understood why her mother pushed her away until yet another life-changing event prompts her mother to tell Mairead about her birth mother (Ellen) - a woman Mairead resembles in appearance. With the secret now out, Brigid asks Mairead to help her find Brigid.
What follows are the stories of two remarkable journeys alternating between the women and their timelines. Brigid's story moves forwards as we learn what happened to her after she left her husband and baby and her eventual fate, all the time preserving the mystery of why she could not return to Ireland in the first place. Mairead's story moves forward in her hunt for her grandmother by first digging in the past for clues, then by learning how to move on with her own life.
Both women face challenges along their journeys that cause them not only to question who they are but to reinvent themselves several times over.
It is not until the very end of the book that the book finally delves further back into the past and we find out what happened in Ireland that meant Ellen could not return and some closure can finally be had by all.
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Am I glad I read it - absolutely, I loved it
Was it a waste of my time - not at all
Would I sit down and read it all over again - absolutely
Would I read more by this author based on this book - yes, I've just added one right now to be 'to be read' pile.
Top reviews from other countries
In The Girl Across the Sea we are introduced to our first protagonist Ellen as she mysteriously abandons her husband and young daughter Brigid as they set sail to Ireland from New York in the 1930s. We are told there's a terrible past and secret awaiting Ellen in her native homeland, one that forces her to give up her family and try to eek out a new life alone in America
Fast forward to 1980s Ireland where recently separated Mairead is visiting her emotionally distant artist mother. But this visit turns out to be a lot different to all the other strained stays when her mother seeks her help to find out what happened to Ellen Lavelle, the woman who gave birth to her but abandoned her at 3 years old with only a turquoise necklace to remember her by.
We are lead on two emotional and often challenging journeys as Ellen and Mariead attempt to find resolution and ultimately forgiveness and closure. A huge twist that I didn't see coming brings a satisfying and original conclusion to the lives of the three generations of women.
If you are wanting to read a story full of depth with robust female characters, sublime imagery and poetic prose, look no further. Noelle writes with an emotional sensibility that is the literary equivalent of curling up in your favourite chair, cradling a hot cup of coffee and having a good cry. Reading one of her books is a cathartic experience
The twists and turns will grab you right until the end.
I feel sad I have reached the end.