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Posted July 16, 2013
Originally released in the UK last summer, The House of Tides by
Originally released in the UK last summer, The House of Tides by Hanna Richell (interview below) tell the story of a family’s decade-long recovery after a tragic event leaves them reeling from unanswered questions. Told through the alternating views of Dora, her sister Cassie, and their mother, Helen, The House of Tides weaves a story of sadness, betrayal, and redemption.
The main focus of the book is on Pandora “Dora” Tide, the younger of two sisters, who is determined to face her past when she finds herself pregnant. Scared and confused, Dora returns to her childhood home to search for answers and seek closure from her distant mother. But in her quest for answers, Dora finds herself blindsided by the memories one tragic day a decade earlier – the one that changed her family forever.
Unlike most books that I read with alternating storytellers and timeframes, this one takes place over the course of a decade. At first I thought that this would be a negative because, really, how much can happen over ten years in a book? Most good books that transcend time need hundreds of years to do so properly. But instead, it was a positive. This approach made the characters more relatable because the main character is my age and the plot allowed for incredible character development within those ten years.
Another thing that I liked about this book is that I felt like I was in on some secrets. I really enjoy books in which I know something about a character that the other characters don’t know about. Richell does a great job of giving the reader insights into the psyche of various characters, which enriches the overall storytelling process without spoiling the fun.
I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys British writers and stories with alternating perspectives. I tend to read a lot of these books and very few authors can do it without forgetting to tie up some loose ends. Richell, however, can do it – and she does it well!
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