Good morning guys!
I hate being tardy with things and this review should have gone live on Tuesday so I feel really shit about that…No good excuses other than a lot of school and work the last couple of days and I haven’t been able to sit down for any reading which is typical when you have a short time to read and review a book… Anyway, the synopsis i’s borrowed from Goodreads:
Patrick grew up never knowing his grandfather. Why were they kept apart?
What secret split the family? Patrick needs to find out, but only if he can unite with his own daughter, Sophie, first.
Driven by the desire to see her again, Patrick decides he must visit France to take Sophie away from the care of her mother, Patrick’s ex-wife, Maria.
It does not go to plan.
In 1915, with the war raging in Europe, John works the family farm, not yet old enough to enlist but aware of its looming threat. He meets Catherine. It is the start of something wonderful. It is the start of something terrible…
Two Tides To Turn is a unusual book to say the least. I haven’t read many like it which made this a new reading experience for me. What is really intriguing about this book is the way Gall is able to keep the reader, at least me, puzzled all through the book. Several times I thought: Now there we have it, now we’ve reached the main point! Yet, I had not. When I neared the end of the book I was wondering how the end would play out because I felt nowhere close to the ending but, I was surprised by myself, I enjoyed the ending. It was not too open yet not too closed. Normally, unless I know that there is a follow-up, I get annoyed when the ending is too open but this time it was the perfect combination!
Throughout the book I felt like Gall was throwing curveball after curveball both at the characters and his readers. There are some very well planned and worded plottwists in this book and they really did hit me like an unexpected curveball! At time I found it a bit hard to stay with the twists but that changed rather quickly when I continued to read. Sometimes I had to go back a page or two just to make sure that I’d read and understood the story correctly. Sometimes my mind takes these little trips to the exotic ‘nowhere’ and stays there for a few seconds whilst I read. Thus the need for a little reread every now and again. This happens in general when I read so Gall’s book is not an unusual example.
Character-wise I thought I had Patrick very well figured out early on in the book but that changed quickly. His whole persona is very complex and interesting. The way the communication is built up between him and Maria is quite interesting. With my background it made these conversations even more interesting because they contained a lot of hints although you’ll have to read the book yourself to understand what I’m getting at. John is also quite a pickle of a character. I suppose there is one in every family but Gall has really made a masterpiece of pickles of his characters in this book! I don’t know if I spent more time trying to understand and figure out the characters or the story but then I suppose the characters are a great part of the story so in that aspect I had a good time whilst reading trying to get this all together. It wasn’t easy I tell you so if you like books that resemble parallel puzzles then this will most definitely be the book for you!
Two Tides To Turn is a sad story in many ways. There is a lot of raw emotions and happenings that creates for an interesting backdrop. Add a lot of secret and mystery to this and you have a good, well executed, and fascinating read about a family who’s history is full of secrets and mystery affecting all of the involved. Like I said above, if you like books that resemble complicated puzzles then this is your type of book!
RR Gall lives in Scotland and is the author of: The Case of the Pig in the Evening Suit, The Case of Colourful Clothes and Kilts, The Case of the Hermit’s Guest Bedroom Two Tides To Turn, A Different Place to Die, Only the Living Can Die.
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Genre: Historical fiction
Theme: Family, secrets, history
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