Monday, August 17, 2015

Between the Tides by Susannah Marren

Ugh, it's Monday. Even with a more flexible schedule, Mondays are still HARD. We had quite an eventful weekend over here, too. I had family visiting until the middle of last week, I had an event Friday, then we spent Saturday at a wedding for my husband's side of the family. It was a gorgeous spot and - after some threatening looking clouds passed over - a really great evening for an outdoor wedding. Plus we got to visit with even more folks from out of state.

Needless to say, with all of this going on getting an any reading time can be a challenge. It makes it much easier, then, when you have something that takes little effort to get into - like Susannah Marren's debut, Between the Tides.

Lainie loves the water. An artist whose work is so seated in the element, she lives for her time near the streams, rivers, and sea. But then her husband receives an offer to head up the orthopedic surgery department of the well-respected Elliot Memorial, in Elliot, New Jersey. Inland, and with no water in sight. Charles argues that the city and its waters are only an hour away by train, but Lainie knows it will never be the same. 

And it's more than the lack of water that makes Lainie feel truly out of her element in their new hometown. It's the expectations that come with being the wife of a department head. It's the way Lainie's clothes, car, and demeanor don't quite fit in with the other Elliot mothers. And it's the way Charles has started to look at her with disappointment because of it all. 

The book begins with Lainie telling her children a story about a selkie whose coat is stolen by a fisherman who then makes her marry him and live on land. I think I knew from the beginning that this story was foreshadowing, but as the book progresses it becomes more and more obvious. The very early fate of Lainie's most famous work is another tell-tale sign that things are headed downhill for Lainie.  It was actually a bit hard for me to truly connect with Lainie. I couldn't understand how or why she and Charles had managed to be together for so long. Obviously the move to Elliot changed them both, but it seemed that his lack of understanding and support had to have been present in some form or another during the fourteen plus years they had been together! Oh, I sympathized with her for sure and I've no doubt every reader out there will as well.

I didn't mention Jess at all in my synopsis. Sections of the book alternate between Lainie and Jess, giving the reader pieces of the story from both of their perspectives. What we learn from the beginning is that Jess and Lainie go way back. Their backstory stretches through the novel, though, so we don't know exactly what went down between the two. And while Lainie might suspect that Jess has ulterior motives when she takes the newly displaced artist under her wing, we - the readers - are quite certain that Jess is holding a major grudge.

I don't want to give any more away about the book. It is a story that pulls you in like the tide. And like the tide, there's no point in trying to swim against it. But why would you want to?

Rating: 3.5/5

1 comment:

Diane Coto said...

I find it hard to get interested in a book unless I can relate to the character at least on some level. :)
@dino0726 from 
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