Book Review: ‘The Wishing Tide’ Is A Satisfying Tale


Review by Ann McDonald

When English professor Michael Forrester appears on Lane Kramer’s doorstep in the middle of a storm, he claims he’s only seeking a quiet place to write his book. Yet he seems eerily familiar with the island, leaving Lane wondering if he is quite what he appears.

This is the second novel from Barbara Davis and she has a lovely eye for details. Starry Point is a great setting for a novel so full of lost dreams, lost marriages and waves as windswept as the Winter surf rolling in and it is a melodrama in the old-school tradition. We are introduced to the lovely Lane Kramer who has moved to Starry Point and bought The Cloisters, a Bed & Breakfast that was once a home for lost boys run by nuns. She is content to write articles instead of her heart’s desire, novels, and it fills the empty months of Winter when the Bed & Breakfast is closed and she hides very well.

One stormy night, a stranger, Michael Forrester, arrives on her doorstep, a tall good-looking man. He is a college professor and is writing a book on Dickens and needs a quiet place in order to concentrate and persuades her into accepting him for the Winter. He is also a man with many secrets. Out amongst the blustery dunes, Lane discovers a lone figure staring out to sea. She makes contact with this old woman who lives in a halfway house, recovering from years of mental illness and they become friends, as much as you can befriend a lonely, damaged woman. These three characters are the core of this book, their lives entwined in the strongest ways.

You will enjoy the journey as Davis takes you in and although it’s well told, for the most part, her love affair with words becomes a little tedious at times. She draws a very believable seaside town in the off season and some well-drawn characters, from the devious mayor to the chief of police, people you wouldn’t want anywhere near your place. I could almost smell the salt spray from the ocean and the lighthouse brought back some lovely memories of my own Merrion Strand back in Dublin, including the bitter wind that would take your breath away. On the whole, it’s a good story and I would recommend it, especially for a Winter’s read by the fire.

In stores September 2nd


Ann McDonald

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