Secrets of the Tides by Hannah Richell (£7.99, Orion)This week’s choice is a compelling read about guilt and forgiveness in a family

Secrets of the Tides by Hannah Richell

(£7.99, Orion)


Dora, the youngest daughter of the Tide family, is happy in her relationship with young artist Dan when she discovers she’s pregnant and a tragedy from the past comes back to haunt her. Doubting her ability to be a mother, she decides to confront her past and unlock the secrets her troubled sister Cassie swore she would take to her grave. Returning to Clifftops, her childhood home perched high on the Dorset coastline, Dora comes face to face with her estranged mother Helen, and family secrets begin to emerge…

JUDY SAYS: ‘This gripping book is a sweeping generational saga exploring the tragic secrets of what was once an ordinary, happy family. The story of how the Tides disintegrated gradually unfolds in a series of flashbacks. The cause of their shattered lives lies in years past, on the day Dora, Cassie and their baby brother Alfie took a trip to the beach…’

RICHARD SAYS: ‘Central to this story is one question: can a family survive not only a tragic young death, but also the guilty secrets that each of them carry? As we see on TV news time and again, men and women react differently to grief. Bereaved parents often separate, unable to save a marriage devastated by a single incident entirely beyond their control. The novel reveals how a family thrown into anguish and turmoil can turn inward, each blaming the other for what has happened. The book begins with an apparent suicide, and the story is extremely dark in places, but it’s a richly rewarding read.’

OUR READER SAYS: ‘I was immediately drawn in, wanting to know who Dora is and how she had reached such desperate depths of despair. You soon realise this is not one woman’s story but about the three Tide women, Helen, Cassie and Dora. I found myself engrossed in their lives, not always liking them but often feeling their sadness. At one point, I found it so overwhelming I had to put the book down and immediately do something fun with my children.’

Caroline French,33, Wiltshire

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