Publication Date: May 19, 2015
Luminosa, Portugal is a small, seaside community with deep secrets. In Rising Tide by Susan Roebuck, Leo Shines and Piper Pines arrive from vastly different areas of the world each with the goal of discovering more about their mothers. Can they break the ice of the furtive town and find the information they seek?
Roebuck’s writing style has a lyrical cadence. There is an easy ebb and flow to the pacing of the sentences and when perspective shifts, the author maintains this ease while presenting wholly different patois and uniquely shaped characters. Leo and Piper are introduced in their own worlds before coming together in the scenic and secretive Luminosa. Both characters are thought to have a lightly supernatural gift; Leo was born with a cawl over his face so that he can predict storms and Piper can read the colors of the sea.
Roebuck has a clear love of Portugal. The picture painted of the setting is clear and done with a passion only experienced by someone with an affinity for the region. There is a tranquility that will cause readers to take a deep breath and absorb the beauty of the territory conveyed on the page. If you have been to the area, you’ll be transported back and if you haven’t you’ll long to visit. Much like the house in Tony Morrison’s, “Beloved,” Portugal is a living and breathing character in Rising Tide.
There are a number of coincidences bringing Leo and Piper together in Rising Tide that stretch suspension of disbelief. For both characters, trust is hard earned and leads to some of the more comedic moments in a book more geared to sentimentality with heart. A book asking readers to believe in magic would leave those readers expecting some forced scenes but Roebuck takes the contrived plot twist to a bit of an extreme. Though there are some implausible connections, Roebuck’s story develops into an interesting piece with a strongly plotted ending. The tense nature usually inherent in a thriller is tempered in Rising Tide by the strong characterizations leaving readers unconvinced that the story will end in any way about what they expect but hang in there because you may be surprised.
The melodious nature of Roebuck’s writing style makes Rising Tide’s 308 pages flow quickly. If there were formatting or technical errors, I didn’t notice them. If you’re looking for beauty in your fiction, Roebuck’s Rising Tide is a slam dunk.
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