Between the Tides: A Novel

Between the Tides: A Novel

by Susannah Marren

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Between the Tides 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Lexiel123 More than 1 year ago
Between the Tides is a truly stunning debut novel by Susannah Marren. This character driven novel explores the dynamic relationships of a woman at a crossroads. Between the Tides is for every woman who has struggled to maintain her identity as an individual while devoting her life to others, whether they be husband, child or friend. Truly a one of a kind piece, Between the Tides is sure to be at the top of my recommendations list for years to come!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Between the Tides was my surprise read of the last several years. Recommended by a friend, but I could not figure out why at first because it started out feeling like a book for bored and perhaps not very thoughtful suburban socialites. It is beautifully written, though, and before long layers of complexity emerge. Between the Tides quickly pulled me in and then did not let go. This is a book about how we live our lives and about what is important and what is not. It is a book about being true to the pilgrim soul in each of us and about how easy it is to lose sight of that soul – to be seduced at least for a time by false paths. With its artistry and with these themes, Between the Tides evokes Harte Crane’s remarkable poem, Repose of Rivers, written by the Mississippi River as it flows to the Gulf to find its true destiny. Between the Tides gives an eloquent new voice to the truly primal connection many of us feel with the ocean. Read this book
Susan_J More than 1 year ago
Susannah Marren’s Between the Tides is compelling from beginning to end. It is of particular interest to those concerned with the marginalized status of women in the world of powerful men, especially husbands who regard their wives as props to complement their careers and desires. Many issues are embedded in the narrative. It is a both fable and a meditation on marriage, parenthood and friendship. The author skewers Northeastern American suburbia and the upper classes that inhabit it but also shows how women caught in these societies are expected to play roles that diminish their self-hood. The narrative voice alternates between two main female characters, and both are sympathetic in different ways. Lainie, the artist wife of a prominent surgeon who puts himself and his career ahead of any consideration for her, is marginalized by just about everyone except her artistic and sensitive daughter. Lainie’s compulsion to paint, her obsession with the sea, and her mothering style—loving but unconventional—are incomprehensible to most people around her. She makes a sincere effort but can’t in any way conform to what society expects from a privileged wife and mother. The other main character, Jess, an old acquaintance whom Lainie reconnects with after moving from Manhattan to the North Jersey suburbs, is the quintessential upper class “housewife.” Educated, cultured, and influential, she appears to conform perfectly to her role. But she has developed into a sort of adult “mean girl” to compensate for her emotionally empty life and to affirm a false sense of superiority (and security) in the circles in which she travels. Marren's writing is both literary and accessible. The images of the city, the suburbs, the Jersey shore, and the art world are authentic. There is a lot left open to interpretation, however, especially at the end of Between the Tides. The novel reads easily but has more to it than is apparent in a quick reading. There is something of interest here for most women, wives, mothers and maybe even artists. Those who inhabit similar worlds will recognize them. Those who do not might very well be glad they have been spared.
EdenRose More than 1 year ago
Susannah Marren's original and fascinating novel was a perfect summer read! I could not put it down and found the characters, plot twists, and setting fresh, intriguing, and totally captivating. This book was flawless-- the character's voices are strong, distinct, and unique. The novel examine relationships-- between family members, husbands and wives, and female friends. I can't wait to see what Marren will publish next! "Between the Tides" was truly a pitch-perfect novel.
Pure_Jonel More than 1 year ago
Marren’s multifaceted storyline had me intrigued from the beginning. Marren’s tone changes from dark to foreboding at times, highlighting the action of the time. The parallels between the tale being told by the main character and her life were intriguing. Marren’s poetic descriptions verged on picturesque. The entire story was realistic and a very nice read. Yet, it was also a tale that had a bit of a ‘mean girls’ feel to it. Although I enjoyed the novel, I found the main character hard to relate to. Her story was well told, and we get to know her quite well but she simply rubbed me the wrong way for no apparent reason. The rest of the characters in the novel were equally well developed and I quite enjoyed getting to know them, with all their quirks. This was an enjoyable debut novel from Susannah Marren. Her realistic and intricate look at the lives of her characters was one of a kind. Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this work in exchange for an honest review.
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
Between the Tides by Susannah Marren is an unusual book. It starts out with Lainie Smith Morris telling her children a story about selkies (Lainie loves the water and has to be near it). Lainie is an artist (all her artwork portrays water) who is very dedicated to her work despite her husband and four children. Lainie has help from a nanny called Candy. It also helps to live in New York where anything can be delivered. Then her husband, Charles comes home and tells her he has accepted a position in Elliot, New Jersey (no lakes, rivers, or ocean). He will be the head of his department (orthopedic surgeon). Despite protests from Lainie and the oldest daughter, Mathilde, the family moves to Elliot where they do not fit in. Lainie does not dress the “right” way, drive the proper type of car, etc. for Elliot, New Jersey (even the nanny is wrong). Jess Howard is the wife of William Howard, CEO of Elliot Memorial Hospital. She is in the inner circle of Elliot. She knew Lainie growing up and they were at the same college for one year. Jess is actually glad that Lainie does not fit in until she meets her husband, Charles. There is an instant attraction between the two. Jess takes Lainie under her wing (ulterior motive) to help her fit in (impossible task). Lainie tries to be normal (because that is what her husband wants), but she is an artist who thinks about her work first. Lainie discovers the local pool and spends time there every morning swimming. She is likes a woman possessed when she is in the pool (so is her daughter, Mathilde). When Candy, the nanny, gets fired when she wrecks the car, Jess helps them get a proper nanny. This allows Lainie even more time to spend with her art. It also allows time for Jess and Charles to carry on their affair. You just know things are not going to end well. I found Between the Tides to be a strange novel. I did not understand why Charles married Lainie if he wanted a “normal” wife. He was trying to fit a round peg in a square hole. The ending just left you wondering and going “what in the world”. I give Between the Tides 2.5 out of 5 stars. By the way a selkie is a sea creature that is half woman and half seal. They have a skin that makes them look like a seal, but they can step out of it and look human. Whoever has the selkie skin controls the selkie. I received a complimentary copy of Between the Tides from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The review and opinions expressed are my own.
gaele More than 1 year ago
Not unlike the waves on a sandcastle at the shore, Between the Tides reveals the fragility of relationships despite the façade, and the power that is required to keep or rebuild after the façade is shattered. Lainie is a city girl, and quite content with her life and marriage in the hustle, bustle and go of New York. But when her husband takes a position with a practice out in the ‘burbs’. The family is moving to an affluent New Jersey suburb, and Lainie’s world, indeed her entire life is turned upside down. In the city, she had the water (Hudson River) her painting and the friends that recognized those things. New Jersey, and actually Charles, are less interested in her pursuits or dreams, and he can’t see the “point’ of them. Marren uses the emotions of Lainie and her dissatisfaction with the ‘nothing is familiar’ refrain as her life quietly (and not so quietly) resets to a new reality. New Jersey is NOT New York, and she misses the easy if mindless busy day to day, it kept her from evaluating things too carefully, or searching for a ‘purpose’. Now, even with the four children, she’s struggling for something ‘more’, something that fits her view of who she is, and what she is meant to do. Connecting with an old frenemy (and there is no other word but that to describe Jess) plays on her feelings of upheaval as Jess is constantly in ‘one better’ mode. Dealing with that is stressful enough, but the fact that Charles sees no faults in the new home, life or area, and can’t quite understand her unhappiness, vague as it is to him, doesn’t help. Slowly but surely, Jess invades nearly every facet of Lainie’s life: from stepping in and commenting or acting inappropriately with her children (Mathilde in particular) and her husband: it’s a sort of “Single White Female in Suburbia” model. Lainie has the most to lose, or gain in all of this: her own family, self-respect, sense of purpose and plenty of moments leading to thoughts of boundaries, Karma, forgiveness and nurturing relationships. Marren uses several moments with broadened abstractions and asides to give a fuller sense of just who Lainie is, and those moments enrich the story greatly. The writing is wonderfully smooth, switches neatly between directed stream-of-consciousness like moments through dialogue, story-telling and a sweetly recurring theme involving selkies and the potential ‘skin’ hiding in the closet. A wonderful debut that is meant to be savored and enjoyed, this story shows the skills and promise of wonderful things to come from a new author to watch. I received a copy of the title via Media Muscle/Book Trib for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.