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The Tide of Life

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  491 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
Sep McGilby always said that Emily Kennedy had a happy face. And at sixteen, Emily had a lot to be glad about. She loved her job as maid-of-all-work to the McGilbys, and the only cloud on her horizon was her anxiety about her delicate younger sister, Lucy.

But when the invalid Mrs McGilby dies, and Sep killed in an accident soon after, Emily and Lucy are forced to leave So
Paperback, 512 pages
Published March 1st 1993 by Corgi (first published 1976)
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Jan 28, 2015 Bettie☯ rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Laura, Wanda et al
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 19, 2015 Maudie rated it really liked it
Once again, Catherine Cookson delivers a novel of interesting people dealing with the "ups and downs" of daily life that fate is apt to nudge their way...
Jun 21, 2014 Denise rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed that! I'll admit that I'd tried reading Catherine Cookson many years ago but had found it pretty tough going. I can't fathom that now because it was the easiest of reads, and completely absorbing. Between the two efforts, I managed to watch all the Catherine Cookson films many, many times and am sure that it prepped me for her novels.

Very much character based, you get to know the people she writes of. They are usually working class, though involving people of other means, st
Nov 19, 2008 Barbra rated it really liked it
I loved this book - it caught me up and whisked me along at full speed till the end. This was also made into a TV series.

Back Cover Blurb:
Sep McGilby said that Emily Kennedy had a glad face. And at 16, Emily had a lot to be glad about. She loved her job as a maid-of-all-work to the McGilbys, and the only cloud on her horizon was her anxiety about her delicate younger sister, Lucy.
But when the invalid Mrs McGilby died, and Sep was killed in an accident soon after, Emily and Lucy were forced to le
Nicole Silver
Dec 11, 2015 Nicole Silver rated it it was amazing
I always loved Catherine Cookson's books. I rate this book 8 stars out of 5. It's is set outside of Newcastle, UK.

It shows just how hard women worked in those days, from early hours 6 am... cleaning, polishing, dusting, milking cows, baking pies from scratch. No washing machines or electric irons. Emily has many up's and downs throughout this story, more downs than up's, and yet she was determined. She stuck it out, when she wanted to give up and run away from the mean spirited woman that she w
Feb 05, 2016 Dr.J.G. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A young woman, barely out of girlhood yet, poor, in need of care and support herself - takes life and responsibility for her fragile younger sister, and works hard to support the two of them, and face life as best as she can. And the world is no fairy land - she has to face much, and overcome it too, irrespective of her ability - since it is a question of survival.

Catherine Cookson at her best, with northern rural England brought alive from a century ago, the poor and the not so poor, the noble
Sep 29, 2011 Rrshively rated it liked it
This was my first experience with a book by Catherine Cookson. The book takes place right after the turn of the 20th Century in England. Emily must go through many difficulties in the few years of her young life that are depicted in this novel. It seems almost more than a young girl can bear, but her motto, "Never say die" carries her through even when she has abandoned it.
Dec 09, 2014 Melanie rated it it was amazing
This was the first book I ever read... You know, for myself (not school related etc)
I think I was about 13 and I found it in my mother's bedroom.
It's a book that sticks in my head and I've read it multiple times in the last 19 years, and no doubt will read again multiple times to come.
Doaa Gamal
Jun 08, 2011 Doaa Gamal rated it it was amazing
life comes on like a roar on the sea bed.. Existance is the time it takes from the shingle to be wet . . And yet are they deluded? Do they lie? Those blind with courage who shout above the stream "Never say die" of the best novels i ever read
Feb 07, 2010 Elodie rated it it was amazing
Amazing book in every way. This is believable and heart warming from the beginning. Enjoy this one because these writers seem to be gone. Although Catherine Cookson passed away in the 90's when SHE was in her 90's her book never will let you down.
Kathy Barter
May 30, 2014 Kathy Barter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book

This book was written years ago and by a great author. I will enjoy getting back into reading Catherine Cookson for I had forgotten how interesting her books were and what a great story teller she was.
May 31, 2011 Vickie rated it liked it
I finally got the last book of the movies that I have and found out I had read it before. It was good so I read it again and watched the BBC movie afterwards.
Nike Onagoruwa
Dec 13, 2014 Nike Onagoruwa rated it it was amazing
The book that made me fall in love with Catherine Cookson.
Lynn Smith
One of my earliest adult Catherine Cookson novels that I read as part of my reading recommended list for O level history to study the social conditions of the ordinary person and economic history of England in the 18th/19th century. I then continued to read and enjoy the remainder of her novels up to and including her last novel. Previous to this I had been introduced via my school library book club at age 13 to her earlier novels under the pseudonym of Catherine Marchant and of course her child ...more
Apr 22, 2014 Carmen rated it it was amazing
Tide of Life follows the fortunes of young housekeeper, Emily Kennedy, as she learns about relationships with three very different men. Forced from home of her first employer, Sep McGilby after his plans to marry her come to tragic end, Emily finds work as housekeeper for farmer, Larry Birch. Another tragedy occurs, and when Nick Stuart inherits the farm owned by Birch's wife, Nick gives Emily a new future
Diane Wachter
The tide of Life, Catherine Cookson, RDC-M #2-76, 1978. Emily Kennedy loves her life as the maid for the McGilby family, but when tragedy strikes, and the family dies, Emily must take her younger sister with her and find another job. She becomes a maid for another family, but it's not a happy situation and Emily must gather all her strength and courage to get through. Good.
Apr 19, 2011 Deb rated it really liked it
Don't know if it is a "classic," but I will be searching for more Catherine Cookson books in the future. Set around the beginnings of the 1900's in rural England, high school readers might struggle w/ historical or British terms, but they could read it despite the scandalous romances that happen along the way. If they watch modern tv, this is TAME in detail or lack thereof.
Feb 05, 2017 Catherine rated it really liked it
good story
May 18, 2012 Lili rated it liked it
I read all of Catherine Cookson's books some years ago and enjoyed them immensley. I recently re-read all of them and find that on a second look I found them all so very predictable, and was rather disappointed. However I'm sure that it is my tastes that have changed not the calibre of her story telling.
Mar 06, 2009 rebecca rated it really liked it
love this book

Aug 25, 2011 Linda rated it really liked it
Another good story by Cookson.
Billie rated it really liked it
Dec 30, 2012
Ananay rated it it was amazing
Oct 01, 2010
Sandi rated it really liked it
Jul 16, 2013
Philippa Reece
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Nov 15, 2012
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Nov 17, 2012
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Catherine Cookson was born in Tyne Dock, the illegitimate daughter of a poverty-stricken woman, Kate, who Catherine believed was her older sister. Catherine began work in service but eventually moved south to Hastings, where she met and married Tom Cookson, a local grammar-school master.

Although she was originally acclaimed as a regional writer - her novel The Round Tower won the Winifred Holtby
More about Catherine Cookson...

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“Fear is the enemy, fear is the foe, if you run before it down you’ll go. But if you stand and look it in the face, God will pour into you the bravery of grace.” 1 likes
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