Sunday, July 28, 2013

Book Review: The House of Tides

The House of TidesAuthor: Hannah Richell
Publication Date: July 16, 2013
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

The Tides are a family with many secrets. Haunted by the events of one tragic day a decade ago, they are each, in their own way, struggling to move forward with their lives.

There is Dora, the family's youngest daughter, who lives in a ramshackle London warehouse with her artist boyfriend. She is doing a good job of skating across the surface of her life, but when she discovers she is pregnant, she finds herself staring back at the darkness of a long-held guilt. Dora's mother, Helen, is a complicated woman whose relationship with her family has always been turbulent, while her father Richard has cobbled together a life that bears little resemblance to his boyhood dreams. And Cassie, Dora's long-estranged sister, has cut off her family entirely, it seems.

When Dora arrives at Clifftops, her family's rambling home on the Dorset coast, it seems that Helen might finally be ready to make amends for her own part in the tragedy. But what Dora soon discovers is that the path to redemption does not rest solely with her mother. Can family crimes this damaging ever really be forgiven?

By the time Big Ben chimes midday she is gone, lost to the murky depths below.

Helen hadn’t been sure at first. It was scary enough deciding whether to keep the baby. Motherhood was one thing…did she really need to be a wife too?

And Cassie watched as her mother folded her arms across her chest and turned her gaze back toward the room, noting the dangerous glint in Helen’s eyes.

Dan shifts and sighs in his sleep and as Dora moves her hands into her still-flat belly and contemplates her future, she suddenly understands. She cannot hide any longer. She must return to Clifftops.

This story focuses beautifully on family dynamics, grief, pent up resentments, and putting the pieces of life back together again. In the opening scenes of the novel we witness a suicide, and from that point on I was hooked. We are then introduced to the Tide family and begin to witness a few flashbacks as well. Helen and Richard are the mother and father to Dora and Cassie. They take the girls every year around to visit Richard’s parents at Clifftops, the house that he always called home. That is until Richard’s parents are killed, then the entire Tide family moves to Clifftops permanently. The move into this romantic countryside home is anything but easy. Family secrets are revealed, bonds are drawn closer yet pulled farther apart, and it makes for one of the better debut novels I have read this year!

I am always a fan of novels that highlight more than one generation of women. Here we get the different viewpoints of three generations of women. We see how they deal with grief, secrets, relationships, and so much more. This was another of those stories that you have no other choice but to hang on. Firstly, because you are so interested in the pieces of the puzzle that you cannot wait for the entire thing to be revealed. The family secret is what makes this story. Secondly, this story becomes so personal in way because you really begin to sympathize with these women and their past lives. This is a very intimate plot line and allows readers to see deep inside the mind of so many characters.

My readers know that the setting of any book is usually what draws me in, along with the characters of course. I loved reading about Clifftops, even though it holds many secrets and becomes a dark place for our characters. It reminds me of all the books I have read that have taken place at these enormous countryside estates and villas. They are so large and if their walls could only talk they could probably reveal more than one family secret!

***A copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Grand Central Publishing in exchange for my honest review***

1 comment:

  1. I am with you on the multi-generation stories. I am surprised I haven't heard of this one because it sounds like a story I would really enjoy!

    Kate @ Ex Libris