Draws you into rural 13th century England,
This review is from: The Tide Mill (Kindle Edition)
Disclosure--I'm a Richard Herley fan. So far, not one of his books has disappointed me, and The Tide Mill surpasses one or two that I thoroughly enjoyed. Nature is an important part of Herley's books. His descriptions draw you in with their sounds, scents, and views of an often wild and unfriendly, but beautiful world. His nature isn't a passive thing that you merely look at. It's active and engaging, and always very much a part of the story. His ability to inform you about the skills and handcrafts of another time and place is superb, and even if you ignored the story (but why would you?) you would come away more knowledgeable without having been subjected to information dumps.
But there are the stories, in this case, the intersection of the lives of serfs, free men, and nobles. Characters defy their ordained destinies, suffer the consequences or reap the rewards. Nothing about this life is easy, even for the highborn who have to balance the opposing demands of their king and the church. The characters struggle against each other, and against nature, mostly in the form of the sea that edges the village. Most of all, they struggle against themselves. Does love triumph over all? Read and find out.