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Against The Tide

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  176 ratings  ·  29 reviews
It's July 1939 and even though Poland is trapped between Adolph Hitler and Uncle Joe Stalin, everyone hopes war can be avoided. On the island of Jersey, 18 year old Jack Renouf is forbidden from associating with his own Uncle Fred because of his dangerous Communist views and salacious liaison with his Spanish mistress. Caught in his own velvet trap between outrageous Carol ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published October 1st 2012 by Troubador (first published September 2nd 2012)
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Average rating 3.95  · 
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 ·  176 ratings  ·  29 reviews

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Christoph Fischer
Jun 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
"Against The Tide" by John F. Hanley is an amazing piece of literature that was my reading highlight of some time.
Set on the small island of Jersey between France and Britain in 1939 it paints an authentic and amazing picture of Europe and the World before the outbreak of the war.
Jewish refugees from Romania, a Dutch businessman, people with communist leanings, British fascists and a lot more characters crowd this story and make it a colourful and engaging read.
Jack, our protagonist, is part of
Dec 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
In Against the Tide we are transported to the island of Jersey, between England and France, just before the start of WWII, where we meet 18 year old Jack Renauf. We see Jack play water polo, get into trouble at school, his mess of a love life, his relationship with his family, and the dangers of getting involved with his Communist uncle. There is just such a mix in this book. Sports, politics, relationships, emotions, secrets, action, danger. I am interested to see where this series goes from he ...more
John Hanley
Nov 03, 2012 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
I'm not bold enough to review my own book but here's one that I think sums it up rather neatly and was posted on Amazon USA with a five star rating.

'This book is a rich soufflé of young love, war, sport, greed and friendship.
On the outside it's a thriller with races, boat-chases, shootings, spies, and a roller-coaster-ride ending.
On the inside it's a touching coming-of-age story that has resonated with me days after finishing this book. Wow.
Made me remember what it was like to be young in the
Maya Panika
Aug 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Is this really how it feels to be a young man? Goodness, I'm glad I never had to go through it. The narrative opens with a foul in a game of water polo that will literally bring tears to the eyes of any male reading and the spirit of competition, in various guises - sex, sport, rivalry, war - never really lets up from then on in.
Against the Tide is a rare example of an action-filled narrative that also has really solid characterisation: the spitefully bitter local butcher Phillips, John's appall
Kate Nicholls
Dec 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves an authentically located novel with plenty of intrigue and plot development.
Recommended to Kate by: Saw Jersey Evening Post article and ordered book immediately
Having spent several years in Jersey in the 1960s and 70s, I initially ordered this for a tale set in the island I love, having seen a review in the local Jersey paper. Then getting impatient for the book to arrive in Australia, I downloaded the Kindle version. From the start this was obviously going to be a really meaty story with a wealth of diverse characters that would take time to get to know. Ten books sound just about right! With the introduction in a polo pool and the characters coming a ...more
Cleopatra  Pullen
Aug 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is not a book I would normally choose to read but I was intrigued by the setting as I live in Jersey in the Channel Islands.
It is rare to read a book set in such detail in Jersey and even rarer to find one that doesn’t focus on the German Occupation of the island during the II World War.

Against the tide is set in July 1939, a couple of months before war was declared but the effects of Hitler were already being felt in the mixed nationalities inhabiting the island.

The story is partly a comi
Sarah Sharpe
Nov 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
From the very first words written - this book had me gripped (although thankfully not in the same sort of grip as that suffered by the main character Jack!!)I love the development of the characters - particularly for our protagonist who gets caught in a love triangle with two fantastically strong yet beguiling young women (I'm rooting for Rachel!!)... this book has got it all - love, passion, history, spies, smuggling, conspiracies, all told amidst the backdrop of the beautiful island of Jersey. ...more
Steve Fellows
May 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Ella Medler
Dec 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Against The Tide is a coming of age novel set in the months immediately preceding WW II, in Jersey. School is almost over for Jack Renouf, a very strong swimmer who has his sights set on qualifying for the next Olympic games. His focus is broken by a series of events which lead to his growing up and finally discovering who he is as a person, and what he stands for.
The plot is beautifully developed, and for those afraid of a potential history lesson, let me assure you that you will understand the
Lynelle Clark
I received this book from the author for an honest review.

Against the Tide, a fitting name to this well written Historical Fiction. The coming of age novel will intrigue you, provide you with lots of action, and with a good dose of an interesting love-triangle.
Young Jack was tested to the limits as he discovered secrets and spies around every bend as the plot unravels with a good support system that keeps it exciting till the end.
The Shakespearean quotes thoughtfully embedded to give you a real
Apr 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In July 1939, hot-headed 18 year-old Jack Renouf is forbidden from associating with his uncle because of his Communist views. Jack is an accomplished sportsman, irritated the threat to his prowess and manhood by a visiting Dutchman. When he retaliates, the consequences have far-reaching effects for all around him.

John Hanley obviously knows his subject, and has researched it well. The life of an island community unwilling to accept the fate awaiting them is brilliantly portrayed, as is the heate
Arthur Crandon
Nov 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Against the Tide - John R Hanly

Absorbing and Breath-taking; Heartily Recomended

The moment you open the book you are hooked. The story is fast paced from the start, with Jack’s immediate struggle in the pool demanding the reader’s attention and empathy. From then on the book develops into a complex and interweaved plot with many intriguing and exciting sub plots. There is depth, but also fast paced action, which John Hanley has combined well.
The looming Second World War provides a background ten
Sep 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Another tough novel to rate. I thought there was going to be a lot more emphasis on swimming, diving, and Olympic trials. There was some of that, but not as much as the cover leads one to expect. Then for several chapters I just didn't know where this book was going. I got a little bogged down and bored by all the political discussions. But, finally, the book takes off on this rather unbelievable (but kind of fun) adventure of espionage and diamond smuggling.

Overall, this was a nice coming-of-ag
Oct 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
An action packed tale set in Jersey just prior to the outbreak of WW2. The characters are extremely well portrayed and the historical facts behind the storyline have been very thoroughly researched. Jack Renouf is a likeable eighteen year old born and raised in Jersey. Like many lads of his age his sexuality is evolving, and it seems likely that his attraction to the tempestuous Caroline will prove his undoing. To confuse matters further, he is also drawn to Rachel. Jack and several of his frien ...more
Thomas Tyrer
Oct 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
"Against the Tide" is an interesting coming of age story set within a small, idyllic community off the coast of France as World War II begins to loom. I had intended to buy the book believing it was a good old anti-Nazi action story but perhaps with a little more literary approach as opposed to a potboiler. But I found something entirely more nuanced and that caught me up nonetheless. In fact, the action sequences actually threw me a bit because they seemed to arise out of nowhere and hurtle for ...more
Jevan Y
May 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
To start, this book was a bit slow, however, as soon as I reached the action, it got very interesting and intriguing. Although the book is based off of a turn of events that many books are about, the plot is kind of like a side path to the big picture, making it more complex. The storyline is really the highlight of this book and what kept me going at it. I also like how the swimming and politics are completely independent to start but this changes as the book goes on. I, personally, tend to enj ...more
May 25, 2013 rated it liked it
Quite an enjoyable tale set in the summer of 1939 in Jersey. A backdrop of Hitler and Jews and Communists combined with teenage angst and sex and swimming. It feels like a "boys own" tale at times or an adult Enid Blyton story. Easily read but maybe not too memorable for me.
Marje Hayden
Dec 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
A fast paced thriller with plenty of twists and turns. Jack Renouf, a young and courageous risk taker in the year 1939. A really good read. I look forward to the sequel.
Nov 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Good story, but a little slow. Each character is very interesting.
Dec 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Fast-moving mystery set during WWII. Good characters and lots of interaction.
Jacob Erickson
May 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Against The Tide is a book based on Europe before the outbreak of the War. On an island named Jersey, between England and France, where lives 18 year old Jack Renauf. Battling many things in life. A crazy communist uncle, a messed up love life, his family relationships, and getting into trouble at school. This book is a very good mix between sports, emotions, politics, action, danger, and relationships. If you are looking to learn more about prewar politics, this is the book for you
Jan 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An incredible read.
Sarah Grigson
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent series in Occupied Jersey.
Mar 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Quite enjoyed this. Paints a wonderful picture of Jersey prior to WW2. Good characters. Interesting plot although it got a little confusing at times. Hard to figure out the bad guys and who was screwing who.
I picked this one out as a challenge read and it turned out to be a pretty decent thriller. It certainly started out with a bang. We are immediately introduced to the main character, Jack Renouf, while he is enmeshed in a polo match which is turning very vicious. His attempts to fend off the dirty pool tactics of Kohler, a visiting Dutchman eventually lead to a bloody nose and expulsion from the game. The main characters here are all college or high school students from the isle of Jersey with t ...more
I got 46% into this book and JUST COULDN' TAKE IT ANY MORE!!

This is the third British novel I've attempted in the last 6 months. I'm sure it must be me, but I just can't get into the style. Again, this has great reviews, but for me it never seemed to happen. Even at almost half of the book plowed through it was still mostly (90%) a coming-of-age story. Chapter after chapter of Jack trying to figure out girls, swimming, going to Latin class, riding around on his uncle's motorcycle, a total fixati
Gaius Leong
Feb 15, 2013 rated it liked it
So I was pretty intrigued reading the synopsis, but then disappointed reading the book. First of all, I must admit the editor of this novel did quite a pathetic job (unless I can confirm mine's the only anomaly, I am still rather convinced most prints are similar.) What with some unfortunate grammar hiccups (solely considering the purposeful transposition of certain dialogues by non-English speaking characters), irregular punctuation and the overuse of 'though's. Though (the irony) this novel ha ...more
Jan 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Ok. I found this a little irritating. A simple read but tried to be more sophisticated than it was. The plot was a little naff and everything just a little too neat.
Jul 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Good story, a little drawn out
rated it it was ok
Jun 29, 2013
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