Tide Road

By (author): Valerie Compton

Shortlisted, Thomas Head Raddall Award

When Stella disappears, leaving her toddler and husband behind, her mother Sonia, a widowed farm wife and former lighthouse keeper, struggles to face the possibility that her daughter may not have slipped through the ice. She may have been pushed.

In a intensely memorable narrative with the deceptive pull of an undertow, Sonia’s past, a flotsam of lost dreams, bruised hopes, buried love, wells up to meet her. Confronted with her own history of choices and failures, Sonia is compelled to revise her perception of her daughter’s life and dramatically change the way she lives her own.

Compton is a deft draughtsman of character, whose powers of description, timing, and astounding revelation coalesce into a splendidly nuanced account of the unguessed-at legacies of a life shaped by choices.

AUTHOR

Valerie Compton

Born and raised in Prince Edward Island, Valerie Compton now lives in Halifax, where she writes and teaches fiction writing. Her stories have appeared in numerous publications, including the New Quarterly, the Malahat Review, and Riddle Fence. Her articles have appeared in the Globe and Mail, the National Post, Gourmet Magazine, the Ottawa Citizen, and Quill & Quire.

Reviews

Memory changes, as the events of history never do. On a strangely warm day in January, Stella vanishes without a trace, leaving behind a young daughter and a husband bewildered by her sudden absence. The police officially label her disappearance an accident, a drowning, Stella somehow slipping beneath the thin ice of a nearby river. As her mother Sonia clings to the remnants of her family, she begins to harbour a deepening suspicion that Stella’s departure was no accident.

With the deceptive drag of an undertow, the chaotic flotsam of misplaced dreams, bruised hopes and buried loves of Sonia’s past well up to overwhelm her. Confronted with her own history of ill-considered choices and failures, Sonia is compelled to revise her preconceptions of her daughter’s life and dramatically alter the way she lives her own.

A subltle draughtsman of character, Compton’s powers of description, timing and revelation coalesce into a splendidly delicate account of one woman’s present shaped by the unanticipated legacies of her past.


“A stark and beautiful story.”
Quill & Quire

“With a perfect sense of timing, Compton paces the story and the unveiling of memories in a way that keeps readers interested. Her prose is delightful and evocative.”
Rover

“A brilliant debut novel, Tide Road demands the reader’s attention. What makes it so strong isn’t only the exceptional quality of the writing (virtually every page is punctuated with memorable lines), but the insight into why women stay in abusive relationships, how memory and loss of identity work against them and how desperate they become to leave.”
Telegraph Journal

“Valerie Compton is the antidote to wilful amnesia, an astonishingly assured new voice delivering the truth with a fierce economy. Read her and remember.”
“A supple and complex meditation on how we grapple with the unknown. The sensual vitality of Valerie Compton’s prose calls to mind the writings of Lisa Moore or E. Annie Proulx.”

Awards

There are no awards found for this book.
Excerpts & Samples ×

Shortlisted, Thomas Head Raddall Award

When Stella disappears, leaving her toddler and husband behind, her mother Sonia, a widowed farm wife and former lighthouse keeper, struggles to face the possibility that her daughter may not have slipped through the ice. She may have been pushed.

In a intensely memorable narrative with the deceptive pull of an undertow, Sonia’s past, a flotsam of lost dreams, bruised hopes, buried love, wells up to meet her. Confronted with her own history of choices and failures, Sonia is compelled to revise her perception of her daughter’s life and dramatically change the way she lives her own.

Compton is a deft draughtsman of character, whose powers of description, timing, and astounding revelation coalesce into a splendidly nuanced account of the unguessed-at legacies of a life shaped by choices.

Reader Reviews

Details

Dimensions:

240 Pages
8.5in * 5.5in * 0.6in
307gr

Published:

March 04, 2011

Publisher:

Goose Lane Editions

ISBN:

9780864926357

9780864927002 – EPUB

Book Subjects:

FICTION / Literary

Featured In:

All Books

Language:

eng

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