Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Wishing Tide by Barbara Davis

The Wishing Tide.  Barbara Davis. Penguin Group (USA). September 2014. 416 pp.  ISBN#: 9780451418784.

Lane Kramer escaped from a devastatingly bad marriage, loss of a child, and the manipulations of her family!  Her wounds are deep but her strength formidable as she finally settles in Starry Point, North Carolina where she starts afresh by renovating and running a bed and breakfast inn on the beach.  It’s a quaint home resembling a castle more than a home and yet Lane has made into a cozy, welcoming home that appeals to every visitor.  It’s now the end of the season and Lane’s anticipating time to write the light articles as a free lance writer that keeps her financially secure.  She once was a writer but that, as far as she’s concerned, was just another failure.  Little does she know the cycle of adventure and chilling mystery about to infiltrate every aspect of her life!

On the evening before the storm hits, a young, handsome man, Michael Forrester, knocks on Lane’s door and literally begs her for shelter.  She ambivalently agrees and he soon becomes a fixture planning to remain through the winter.  He’s also a writer, but a scholarly, academic writer researching the life of Charles Dickens. Shockingly, the reader finds he knows intimate details about her home and the haunted home across the street, a secret only revealed to the reader and not to Lane, at least not for quite a while. How can a relationship develop with so much chaos and pain lurking with no apparent resolution?

Add to the mix that Lane meets a scary woman, Mary, who appears as a bag lady and who gradually shares her story, at times sounding rational and at other times exhibiting frightening and bizarre behavior.  While Michael tries to warn Lane about the dangers Mary poses, Lane’s compassion and curiosity propel her to discover a story that is phenomenally Gothic and terrible, involving more people on this quiet island than the reader could originally imagine.

To say more would spoil a magnificent thriller of a tale, one that is sure to please every reader who loves a dark, Gothic tale with more twists and turns than anyone could predict.  The evolution of Mary’s story is carefully plotted at just the right pace, a story that will bring healing and wholeness to many but not until much suffering and forgiveness has been broached.

The Wishing Tide is a fine mystery and romance story that this reviewer recommends for great reading any time of year!  Finely crafted, Barbara Davis – oh, and this would also make a phenomenal movie!

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