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The Wishing Tide Paperback – September 2, 2014
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Praise for The Wishing Tide
"Everything I love in a novel: a coastal setting so rich you can practically taste the salt in the air and feel the sand under foot, an old inn, and a deeply-felt and explored love story with a smart, relatable heroine and a handsome hero with a mysterious past. Atmospheric, suspenseful and very romantic, The Wishing Tide is elegant and haunting proof that secrets buried in the heart will always rise to the surface."—Erika Marks, author of It Comes in Waves
“A captivating read about fighting for the life you want and daring to believe that happily-ever-after can exist outside of fairytales. Set on a desolate, storm-tossed North Carolina barrier island lush with family secrets, madness, and ghost stories, this lyrical novel will haunt you from the first page to the last.”—Barbara Claypole White award-winning author of The In-Between Hour
"Beautiful and haunting….Filled with wonderful descriptions of North Carolina's Outer Banks, The Wishing Tide is a book about love and loss and finding your way forward. I could not read it fast enough!”—Anita Hughes, author of Lake Como
Praise for The Secrets She Carried
"A poignant, mysterious and heartfelt story.”—Diane Chamberlain, author of Necessary Lies
“Davis paints a picture of two eras and beautifully flawed characters with evocative and caring words.”—Susan Crandall, author of Whistling Past the Graveyard
“This beautifully written novel tells a tale of epic romance, one that lasts through the decades and centuries….It’s a beautiful story, and Davis does an amazing job telling it.”—Romantic Times, 4 1/2 stars
About the Author
Barbara Davis is the author of The Secrets She Carried. She currently lives near Raleigh, North Carolina with the love of her life, Tom, and their beloved ginger cat, Simon.
Top customer reviews
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Expertly plotted yet character-driven, this lovely book is highly recommended to those who enjoy fine Southern fiction like the novels of Anne Rivers Siddons and Cassandra King. Adding to an already pleasant reading experience, the front cover is simply gorgeous. But be forewarned: the crippling resentments and guilt that burden these characters may, at times, move you to tears.
The novel gains dramatic power from chapters told in the alternating viewpoints of Mary, Lane, and Michael. For their own reasons, all three have run away to Starry Point, where they have almost, but not quite, relinquished hope that their wounds could ever heal.
The fictional island village in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, as close as you can get to the edge of the world, provides the perfect symbolic setting. Davis describes the island and its weather so deliciously that you can practically feel the salt drying on your skin and the sand between your toes. One aspect of island life captured particularly well is the influence of weather on residents’ lives. Storms, both literal and figurative, batter Starry Point in the beginning and final chapters, and also play a pivotal role in past events.
Standing at the novel’s center is Lane Kramer. Five years earlier following an unpleasant marriage and divorce, Lane purchased Cloister House on a whim and turned it into a successful bed and breakfast. She has a bad habit of blaming others, especially her mother and former husband, for her failures. Once, Lane had dreams of writing novels, but because her ex and a writing professor ridicule her work, she abandons the notion. When her business is closed for the off-season, instead of exploring topics she feels passionate about, she freelances pieces about “the unimportant stuff” that “no one’s going to remember . . . so there’s very little pressure.” She doesn’t think of herself as a real writer. She has no expectations beyond a quiet, dull existence.
Dirty Mary is the crazy lady who rides a pink bicycle through town and often sits on the dunes in front of Lane’s B&B, staring out to sea, searching for “the truth.” Through small acts of kindness, Lane befriends Mary and wins her trust, gradually uncovering pieces of her story. But Mary has dark secrets, ones she hides even from Lane.
Just as Lane closes the B&B for the off-season, a tropical storm arrives, delivering Michael Forrester to Lane’s doorstep. Michael has his secrets too, especially what has brought him to the island and to Cloister House in particular. An English professor, he charms Lane into letting him stay on through the winter to write a book on social commentary in the works of Charles Dickens, “the important stuff.” A deeply unhappy and sometimes unlikeable man, Michael has spent most of his life running away from horrific childhood memories and avoiding meaningful relationships. He asks Lane how you “figure out if you’re where you’re supposed to be in life, or if you’re just, you know, treading water.” Consumed by the past, neither of them has been brave enough to fight for the lives they want.
When a rash of petty thefts plagues Starry Point, some quickly blame the residents of the halfway house where Mary lives. The town’s movers and shakers push to close down the halfway house. For the first time, Lane becomes truly involved in the community as she fights to save Hope House. Michael warns her—quite vehemently—that befriending a mentally ill person is only going to suck her into a vortex of problems that will ruin her life. She, as well as the reader, wonders what has shaped his attitude.
With Lane as the catalyst, all the long-buried secrets and misunderstandings surface, changing the way each of these troubled people view their pasts, their futures, and ultimately themselves and each other.
On the evening before the storm hits, a young, handsome man, Michael Forrester, knocks on Lane’s door and literally begs her for shelter. She ambivalently agrees and he soon becomes a fixture planning to remain through the winter. He’s also a writer, but a scholarly, academic writer researching the life of Charles Dickens. Shockingly, the reader finds he knows intimate details about her home and the haunted home across the street, a secret only revealed to the reader and not to Lane, at least not for quite a while. How can a relationship develop with so much chaos and pain lurking with no apparent resolution?
Add to the mix that Lane meets a scary woman, Mary, who appears as a bag lady and who gradually shares her story, at times sounding rational and at other times exhibiting frightening and bizarre behavior. While Michael tries to warn Lane about the dangers Mary poses, Lane’s compassion and curiosity propel her to discover a story that is phenomenally Gothic and terrible, involving more people on this quiet island than the reader could originally imagine.
To say more would spoil a magnificent thriller of a tale, one that is sure to please every reader who loves a dark, Gothic tale with more twists and turns than anyone could predict. The evolution of Mary’s story is carefully plotted at just the right pace, a story that will bring healing and wholeness to many but not until much suffering and forgiveness has been broached.
The Wishing Tide is a fine mystery and romance story that this reviewer recommends for great reading any time of year! Finely crafted, Barbara Davis – oh, and this would also make a phenomenal movie!
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Book provided by NetGalley
Originally posted at Romancing the Book
Rich with details, Barbara Davis has written a beautiful saga centered...Read more