Women of the Dunes

A Novel

Women of the Dunes

A beautifully told and intriguing mystery about two generations of Scottish women united by blood, an obsession with the past, and a long-hidden body, from the author of The House Between Tides.

Libby Snow has always felt the pull of Ullaness, a headland on Scotland’s sea-lashed western coast where a legend has taken root. At its center is Ulla, an eighth-century Norsewoman whose uncertain fate was entangled with two warring brothers and a man who sought to save her. Libby first heard the stories from her grandmother, who had learned it from her own forebear, Ellen, a maid at Sturrock House.

The Sturrocks have owned the land where Ulla dwelled for generations, and now Libby, an archaeologist, has their permission to excavate a mysterious mound, which she hopes will cast light on the legend’s truth. But before she can begin, storms reveal the unexpected: the century-old bones of an unidentified man. The discovery triggers Libby’s memories of family stories about Ellen, of her strange obsession with Ulla, and of her violent past at Sturrock House.

As Libby digs deeper, she unravels a recurring story of love, tragedy, and threads that bind the past to the present. And as she learns more of Rodri Sturrock, the landowner’s brother, she realizes these forces are still at work, and that she has her own role to play in Ulla’s dark legend.
  • Atria Books | 
  • 384 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781501189593 | 
  • July 2018
List Price $16.00 (price may vary by retailer)
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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Women of the Dunes includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.

Introduction

Libby Snow has always felt the pull of Ullaness, a headland on Scotland’s sea-lashed western coast where a legend has taken root. At its center is Ulla, an eighth-century Norsewoman whose uncertain fate was entangled with two warring brothers and a man who sought to save her. Libby first heard the stories from her grandmother, who had learned it from her own forebear, Ellen, a maid at Sturrock House.

The Sturrocks have owned the land where Ulla dwelled for generations, and now Libby, an archaeologist, has their permission to excavate a mysterious mound, which she hopes will cast light on the legend’s truth. But before she can begin, storms reveal the unexpected: the century-old bones of an unidentified man. The discovery triggers Libby’s memories of family stories about Ellen, of her strange obsession with Ulla, and of her violent past at Sturrock House.

As Libby digs deeper, she unravels a recurring story of love, tragedy, and threads that bind the past to the present. And as she learns more of Rodri Sturrock, the landowner&rs see more

More Books from this Author

Beyond the Wild River
The House Between Tides

About the Author

Sarah Maine
Photograph by Susie McDonald at Brick Lane Studio

Sarah Maine

Sarah Maine was born in England but grew up partly in Canada before returning to the United Kingdom, where she now lives. She is the author of The House Between Tides, Beyond the Wild River, and Women of the Dunes.

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