“Dora, youngest daughter of the Tide family, is doing a good job of skating across the surface of her life – but the discovery that she is pregnant leaves her staring back at the darkness of a long-held guilt. Returning to Clifftops, the rambling family house perched high on the Dorset coastline, Dora must confront her past and unlock the secrets her troubled sister Cassie swore she would take to her grave.”
‘The Secret of the Tides’ is a compelling debut novel from Hannah Richell, which explores themes of infidelity, betrayal and tragedy. The Tides family are a family with a dark past which contains many dark secrets. Each family member is haunted by a tragic event that happened on one day ten years ago and the book explores how they struggle to cope with the memory and move their lives forward.
This bleak family saga covers three generations of women and deals with the complex relationships these women have with one another. There is a battle between trying to protect the ones you love whilst also doing what is right and just.
Set on the Dorset coastline, Clifftops is a rambling family home surrounded by the open ocean and exposed to all elements. Just as the house stands perilously close to the edge of the eroding, crumbling cliffs, the main character, Dora risks her own foundations crumbling away from her, as her life seems to spin out of her control.
I read this book whilst on holiday in Dorset, which perhaps helped draw me into the story, making the landscape have more poignancy and gave the story a more lifelike quality to it.
The characters are believable, if not always likeable but ultimately you will be rooting for Dora to find justice for herself and to find peace in her life at last.
A sad story of grief and forgiveness which will leave you eager to find out more.
Next month’s book: ‘The Hundred Year Old Man who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared‘