Superb I think is the word to describe High Tide. Set in a Cornwall coastal town, we follow Kate and Vanessa as they deal with life after bereavement, while simultaneously learning more about the other town residents. Kate is a high flying party planner who returns home from New York after her mother dies. While Vanessa, being the ‘rich girl’ of the community buries her husband Spencer. Throughout we get to watch as they come to terms with their new life, with more than a handful of surprises along the way.
All the characters are extremely well-developed and easy to relate too. Although Kate and Vanessa are the two main characters, I have to say I loved Mary Mac the best. Not only is she well written, she is someone I can really relate too. Mary is Vanessa’s housekeeper, and sole breadwinner. She lives with her unemployed husband and his mother Ruth. Ruth is self-centred and very inconsiderate. Much of what happens in Mary’s story mirrors my own!
The story itself is well paced, giving plenty of time to picture the scenery as well as getting to know the different people, as if they are your own neighbours. Veronica’s descriptive skills are picture perfect making visualizing extremely easy, in the first few pages she describes the church as:
“It’s steeple poking out over the top of the higgledy-piggledy slate roofs like an eager pupil with his arm up.”
As well as this, Veronica’s ability to make me laugh even when the topic is serious is second to none! This showed itself during Kate’s mums wake when Kate had hidden in the kitchen for a good cry, her friend Debbie finds her, and once Kate’s sobbing eases, they talk about some of the good times:-
“I remember when I threw up all over your parents couch after your party,” she said. (Debbie) “We’d been drinking that punch all night and it was lethal. Your mum make me clear it up. But then she put me to bed and she was really kind.
“Yeah – put you into my bed,” remembered Kate. “I had to sleep on the floor!”
Sadly, however, I didn’t find everything to be so good. In particular the head hopping between the characters different stories. I found myself rereading pages, thinking I might have missed something! I soon got the idea and found this easier to deal with as the book progressed.
Overall, I have to say Veronica is now on my favourite authors list. She kind of reminds me of Maeve Binchy, who I love because of her ability to draw you in. Veronica is exactly the same, except High Tide is in Cornwall not in Ireland. If you’re a Maeve Binchy fan then I can promise you will LOVE High Tide. Even if you’re not, this is definitely a book for the must read list. Enjoy.
NB I Reveived this book free for an honest review