Secrets of the Tides Paperback – 30 Aug 2012
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The theme of a cataclysmic event that continues to shape the lives of all those involved is central to Hannah Richell's ambitious, wide-ranging family saga (DAILY MAIL)
A compelling tale of grief and forgiveness (Fanny Blake WOMAN & HOME)
A compelling debut tale of infidelity, betrayal and tragedy that will have you turning the pages until the early hours (GRAZIA)
Moving between the past and present it's a gripping story of troubled young women (STAR MAGAZINE)
The Tides in Hannah Richell's forceful debut are a family ... the revelations of what happened, and the burden of guilt the Tides carry, are powerfully evoked in a classy melodrama with very well-realised characters. Once you start reading, you'll be hooked (A.N.Wilson READERS DIGEST)
This confident debut novel is a dark but compelling read. The characters are so believable your heart will ache for their pain, and you'll be driven to ask yourself the question - could you forgive and forget? (CANDIS)
The story of a family that almost tear themselves apart before discovering the ties that bind them. It offers engaging characters, tension and pathos (WE LOVE THIS BOOK)
Assuredly written and impeccably structured, it excavates the emotional layers of family drama when something goes terribly wrong - think Jodi Picoult without the formulaic writing...Moving and darkly suspenseful (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD)
A Rosamund Pilcher-esque family saga, very cleverly structured and compulsively readable (THE BOOKSELLER)
Set against the ebb and flow of the ever-present sea, this complex family drama is a page-turner of a debut novel (AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S WEEKLY)
Every family has a secret: a dramatic family saga with a dark thread of suspense lurking at its heart.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
After an enigmatic excerpt about a young woman jumping off a bridge (and it's not clear who she is, or why she is jumping) the novel starts properly with Dora deciding to go home to see her estranged mother and confront the truth of her traumatic childhood head on. What happened to make Dora so horrified about the prospect of motherhood, and will she be able to revisit the past and solve the mystery of what happened in the tragedy she half-remembers? And when she does, will it help her come to terms with her impending motherhood and make a decision about whether to continue with the pregnancy?
Most of the book is set in the past, tracking the narrative of the tragedy that changed Dora's life when she was a child. I'm not going to go into any more detail here, but in order to understand what happened you learn more about the lives of Dora's mother, father and sister to make sense of what happened.
A good read, though probably not one that I'll evangelically recommend to friends. I felt somewhat as if all the right components of a bestseller were there, but the end result lacked some 'je ne sais quoi' to make it truly unique and gripping. When the mystery of what happenened is finally resolved, it was satisfying to have it wrapped up and discover what had happened, but I still didn't feel I understood much about the motivations or feelings of the characters involved and it was a bit too superficial to be really satisfying, for me anyway. Still - I will look forward to seeing what the author writes next.
This story has strong themes of guilt, forgiveness and how a single event can change family dynamics. All the main characters are well defined and realistic, Dora is especially likeable. Hannah Richell has also given the supporting characters a lot of attention, so Bill the gardener and Violet the friend are also well-rounded. characters The underlying suspense in this book gives it a fresh feel so it is quite hard to categorise into any particular genre but I would suggest that anyone who enjoys family sagas will enjoy this book.
Although the book is well written, with a well paced plot, I struggled with it on two counts. Firstly the initial character we meet (in the present) is a twenty-something woman called Dora and I just could not make the leap of faith to imagine a 20 something who would have this name! (and believe me I really tried!) Even as the book progressed and I discovered she was Christened Pandora by her mythology loving mother, I still could not imagine her as a three dimensional person. Secondly (and this was the deal breaker) this book is a rather depressing read! None of the characters endeared themselves to me, all seemed very selfish and when the pivotol event in the plot occurred I found my reading pace slowing, not speeding up as I realised with dread how it was going to turn out for everyone involved and why they are all so dysfunctional in the present!
Part of the reason this book weighed so heavy on me may well be that I am the mother of a young boy, and for reasons that will become apparent if you read it, this makes some of the plot particularly hard to read. It's a well written story with the places that are described seeming very real to me, but reading the second half of it was hard work and a little soul destroying!
Through out the book you are took through each character individually to understand how each person has been affected by the accident that took place and the regrets that have haunted them into the future.
I got utterly stuck into each character, and their role on the build up to the tragic event that a family never could quite deal with.
It's beautifully written and heart breaking at the same time. A really great read, I would highly recommend.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Story about Scottish people very sad but with a very nice ending a must readPublished 1 month ago by Ms
Found this novel quite average in its writing style and storytelling. Can only give it 2 stars compared to her next novel “shadow year” which I thought was far better written and... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Greta
Warning: review contains a few small spoilers, but am not sure I can review the book accurately without them:
Sorry to all the many fans of this book - I'm aware I'm in... Read more
This is a fantastic story by Hannah Richell. The book leads you through the plot jumping from past to present day, but it is done in a way that is far from confusing. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Annie