Set on the Isles of Shoals, remote islands off the coast of Maine and New Hampshire, this page-turning YA debut weaves the Celtic ocean lore of selkies and a compelling mystery into a story about family secrets and love.
“A satisfying mix of folktale, mystery, and family drama.”—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
When high school senior Noah Gallagher and his adopted teenage sister, Lo, go to live with their grandmother in her island cottage for the summer, they don't expect much in the way of adventure. Noah has landed a marine biology internship, and Lo wants to draw and paint, perhaps even to vanquish her struggles with bulimia. But then things take a dramatic turn for them both when Noah mistakenly tries to save a mysterious girl from drowning. This dreamlike, suspenseful story—deftly told from multiple points of view—dives deeply into selkie folklore while examining the fluid nature of love and family.
"Cornwell's themes of body image, abuse, and the danger and pleasure found in relationships of all kinds emerge organically through the book's visceral, disturbing, and often lovely imagery."
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
"[A] graceful debut novel. . . The narrative shimmers and haunts, and will appeal to readers who don't typically like fantasy."
"Cornwell seamlessly weaves together three distinctive narrative voices to tell a completely original story. . . [Tides] offers a valuable message of acceptance."
—VOYA, 4Q 3P J S
"A satisfying mix of folktale, mystery, and family drama, this eerie story will leave readers with the distinct impression that Gemm's island home has a bottomless supply of heartbreaking tales of love and loss."
—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"A haunting, atmospheric, intergenerational tale of the "inbetween," suffused with selkie lore."
"Subtle themes of turning weakness into strength and threaded throughout the story and ultimately create a nuanced debut novel. . . . An insightful and compelling work."
—School Library Journal
"Longing for the beyond vies with the deep bonds of love, home, and family in Betsy Cornwell's dreamlike and heart-wrenching novel, and her fresh, delicate lyricism conveys her characters' struggles with compelling power. A truly beautiful debut!"
—Sarah Porter, author of the Lost Voices trilogy
“Tides is a rich, taut, suspenseful, and funny exploration of two worlds, selkie and human. It's full of mystery but it's also so fully imagined that a reader can jump right in. Betsy Cornwell is a terrific new talent with a boundless imagination.”
—Valerie Sayers, author of Who Do You Love and Brain Fever
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