Following the death of his parents in a car crash, eleven-year-old Alex Dove is torn from his life on a remote farm in Tasmania and sent to school in England. Twelve years on, he must return to Australia to deal with his inheritance. But the timeless beauty of the land and his encounter with a young woman, whose own life has been marked by tragedy, persuade him to stay. They marry, and he finds himself drawn into the eccentric, often hilarious dynamics of island life.
Longing for children, the couple open their home to a disquieting guest, a teenage castaway, whose presence on the farm begins to unravel their tenuously forged happiness, while at the same time offering the prospect of a much greater fulfilment. Secrets of the Sea is Nicholas Shakespeare's finest novel to date.
NICHOLAS SHAKESPEARE was born in Worcester in 1957 and grew up in the Far East and Latin America. He is the author of The Vision of the Elena Silves, winner of the Somerset Maugham and Betty Trask awards, The High Flyer, for which he was nominated as one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists, and The Dancer Upstairs, selected by the American Libraries Association as the best novel of 1997 and adapted for the film of the same title directed by John Malkovich. His last book was In Tasmania, winner of the 2007 Tasmania Book Prize. He is also the author of an acclaimed biography of Bruce Chatwin.