[Review] The Returning Tide written by Julia Sokota

The Returning Tide - Julia Sokota

Title: The Returning Tide
Author: Julia Sokota
Publisher: Troubador Publishing Ltd, Matador
Date of Publication: 28 September 2014
Number of Pages:
Genre: Mystery & Thrillers – Literature/Fiction (adult)

Rating: 1 star

Disclaimer: Copy provided free by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Summary: We all build our lives on some form of deception known only to ourselves; it is how we survive and our secrets are rarely exposed.

Claire Bentley, a wealthy and successful business woman has concealed her secrets for thirty years. Now, recently widowed, she is persuaded, against her better judgement, to join her daughter, Krystina, on a holiday in Cornwall. Soon, unforeseen events bring back the memories and terror of her last holiday in Cornwall and she is forced to confront her past.

Again, Claire flees from ‘that cursed land full of promise and desolation’. Once home, she feels compelled to write her story, while clinging to the hope that no one will ever need to read it.

Why has she hidden the truth for thirty years? And how much does Krystina know about her mother?

Review: *headdesk*

I’m sorry but this book was terrible and is a contender for most disliked book of 2015.

There is also very little I can say without spoiling it for anyone else (though I do wonder if I should). Suffice to say the dialogue is slow, old fashioned and cumbersome. Claire, the main character is an unlikeable, mean, narcissistic woman, who it seems we are supposed to like and feel sympathy for but we are given nothing to work with.

For the first part of this novel, it reads like a series of partially fleshed out dot points that don’t really give any substantial or interesting back story. The Returning Tide suffers from a case of the “nothing happens” for 80% of the text and by the time things pick up, I was no longer interested.

This book, from the blurb, sounds like it is going to be an expose of a woman’s psyche and that we will learn what it is to keep a secret for thirty years. Perhaps Sokota wanted to play this trope differently to other writers and kudos for that. However, the failure of her interpretation is almost immediately obvious. An editor should have been more forward when reviewing the early drafts and force Sokota to reconsider.

As something different, this book is certainly that. Did it work? Nope. No way. Not at all. Sorry.


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