Sep 6, 2009

TSS: High Tide

Nadine Laman

Short summary (from

Kathryn has the perfect job, the perfect friends and family, and the perfect lover; until a client dies, her lover moves away, she meets her paternal grandfather and learns the secret of her identity. Things are starting to make sense or are they really what they appear to be?
High Tide sees Kathryn faced with numerous transitions. For a moment, everything seems to be just fine; Joseph is about to return from Ireland, the homeless project is showing great results and Kathryn’s grandfather establishes contact to her. Even Maggie is with her through her diaries. At some point, everyone starts to fall apart. Upon his return, Joseph startles her with an unexpected offer. It’s on her to decide whether she is ready to leave her newly reclaimed life and her beach. After breaking up with Joseph, she seeks refugee in her beach again, and realizes that five years of absence was more than enough.
Everyone seems to be leaving, and Kathryn starts to feel lonely. Here is one of my favorite quotes:
“I am tired of telling everyone Goodbye as they move on with their life, while I stand still. Maybe, I am ready to move on. Maybe it’s finally my time!” (p 115)

Sometimes it’s difficult to escape the high tide, but eventually, Kathryn takes control over her life, despite some “lawyers and their ability to mess up her life”. She finds her hope again, and decides to “chase after life with the drive of an eight-year-old chasing an ice cream truck!”

In conclusion:
Nadine did it again. Her engaging first person present tense makes the story as realistic as it can be. Written in a simple, easy-to-read way, High Tide is a great read and, personally, a source of inspiration through Maggie’s and Kathryn’s diaries. I love the beach descriptions as an instrument to show Kathryn’s sometimes stormy, sometimes nostalgic mood. Through Kathryn, the social worker in Nadine shines through. I was amazed with all those small things Kathryn does to make her clients feel better. Sometimes just a silk scarf is enough to raise someone’s self-esteem.
There were some parts that had me rolling on the floor laughing. Ever gave driving lessons to a nun? No? Maybe you should; nothing will reestablish your connection to God like that experience.
I’m looking forward to reading Storm Surge and learn more about Kathryn’s family.
If there are any like her cousins, Storm Surge will probably be brimming over with intrigues!

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