The Sea Gate By Jane Johnson – Book Review

*AD-gifted: I was gifted a copy of The Sea Gate in exchange for this post

Today I’m back with another book review set in Cornwall. My happy place and home. The Sea Gate by Jane Johnson is a beautiful story, with mystery, suspense, and romance. It tells us the story of two different women in two different times, in the same house.

The Sea Gate by Jane Johnson - Book Cover and Review

Book Description

Following the death of her mother, Becky begins the sad task of sorting through her empty flat. Starting with the letters piling up on the doormat, she finds an envelope post-marked from Cornwall. In it is a letter that will change her life forever. A desperate plea from her mother’s elderly cousin, Olivia, to help save her beloved home.

Becky arrives at Chynalls to find the beautiful old house crumbling into the ground, and Olivia stuck in hospital with no hope of being discharged until her home is made habitable.

Though daunted by the enormity of the task, Becky sets to work. But as she peels back the layers of paint, plaster and grime, she uncovers secrets buried for more than seventy years. Secrets from a time when Olivia was young, the Second World War was raging, and danger and romance lurked round every corner…

The Sea Gate is a sweeping, spellbinding novel about the lives of two very different women, and the secrets that bind them together.

What I Thought

I have to start with a mention of the book cover. It gives off a sense of atmospheric moody, mystery Cornwall. Not forgetting a secret or two in the salty air.

The Sea Gate centres around the characters of Becky and Olivia. Becky is drawn to Cornwall to her late mum’s elderly cousin Olivia. Olivia is in hospital and can’t come home until her run-down house is brought up to scratch. This is Becky’s job to organise, which I think is her opportunity to escape her present life. But the house holds many secrets.

The book flits between different times – present day and Olivia’s life when she was a 16 year old girl during World War II. It’s interesting reading seeing what Olivia had to go through back then.

I have really enjoyed reading The Sea Gate, and have therefore gave it 4 out of 5 stars. It would have been 5 stars for me, but it did start off a little slow paced. I will definitely be on the look out for further novels by Jane Johnson as I do like her writing style.

About the author

Jane Johnson is a British novelist and publisher. She is the UK editor for George R.R. Martin, Robin Hobb and Dean Koontz and was for many years publisher of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. Married to a Berber chef she met while researching The Tenth Gift, she lives in Cornwall and Morocco.

Where to buy



To be in with a chance of winning 1 of 2 eBook copies of The Sea Gate please fill in the competition widget below.


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The giveaway ends 23:59 28th June 2020

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20 thoughts on “The Sea Gate By Jane Johnson – Book Review

  1. Liskeard because its where my Grandad was born and grew up before moving to Northumberland to become a coal miner after his father was killed in a tin mining accident

  2. I’d love to go to St Ives! I’ve never been to Cornwall and have always wanted to go to St Ives ever since I learned the nursery rhyme ‘As I was going to St Ives’ when I was a kid!

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