From the acclaimed author of When Never Comes comes a novel about the pull of the past and the power of love. As offseason begins on the Outer Banks, a storm makes landfall, and three unlikely strangers are drawn together…
Five years ago, Lane Kramer moved to Starry Point, North Carolina, certain the quaint island village was the place to start anew. Now the owner of a charming seaside inn, she’s set aside her dreams of being a novelist and of finding love again. When English professor Michael Forrester appears on Lane’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.
Meanwhile, Mary Quinn has become a common sight, appearing each morning on the dunes behind the inn, to stare wistfully out to sea. Lane is surprised to find a friendship developing with the older woman, who possesses a unique brand of wisdom, despite her tenuous grip on reality.
As Lane slowly unravels Mary’s story and a fragile relationship between Lane and Michael blooms, Lane realizes the three share a common bond. But when a decades-old secret suddenly casts its shadow over them, Lane must choose between protecting her heart and fighting for the life—and the love—she wants.
Author of The Secrets She Carried, The Wishing Tide, Summer at Hideaway Key, Love, Alice. (Penguin/Berkley) When Never Comes (Lake Union) The Last of the Moon Girls (Lake Union) The Keeper of Happy Endings (Lake Union) The Echo of Old Books
Mary, Lane, and Michael. Three marvelous and completely different characters when put together make the pages of THE WISHING TIDE come alive.
Lane owns a Bed & Breakfast, Mary is homeless, and Michael is the mysterious, unwanted guest who arrives during a storm for what appears to be for more than no other place to stay for the night.
All three characters blend together with things in common that they don't know about, and they fill the pages of THE WISHING TIDE with a splendid, beautifully told story.
There is something about Mary that you can't help liking. Could it be her elusiveness, her purple bag, her ability to read a person, or just her constant presence?
Lane is a character you will feel sorry for even though she seems to have it all.
Michael seemed sinister, and is someone who appeared on the scene more than by chance and with secrets of his own to work out.
THE WISHING TIDE is an emotional ride about life's lessons, personal secrets, and personal relationships.
The writing was beautiful, detailed, and flowed nicely. The descriptions have you hearing the sea, smelling the sea air, and feeling the sand as well as vividly visualizing the buildings, the quaint town, and every scene.
I enjoyed THE WISHING TIDE simply because it was a cozy, comforting read with outstanding characters, an intriguing storyline, and a magnificent setting.
The entire book and especially the ending wraps you up in a warm, homey cocoon. Don't miss reading THE WISHING TIDE. 5/5
This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.
I cannot even begin to tell you how phenomenal this book was. Davis writes hauntingly beautiful prose...I was enraptured from the moment I began reading it. She sucks the reader in, making them continuously wonder what she's going to tell them next. This is part ghost story, part love story, and part story of family and friendship.
The three main characters bring so many different things to the story. They have all been through a lot in their lives. Take Lane for example. This is what her life looked like (to her) when she decided to buy the inn:
She'd had no idea where to start, but with a failed marriage, a failed pregnancy, and a failed novel to her credit, surely one more failure wasn't likely to make much difference one way or the other. (pg. 5)
I personally could relate to where she was at in life. A couple of years ago, I had just left a failed marriage, I moved across the country, I had no job...life wasn't exactly blue skies and sunshine. Then there's Michael, who definitely has a secret or two, even if we're not really sure what it is. And Mary? Well, she seems extremely fragile, and yet, as solid as a rock.
Watching the budding relationships start to grow between Lane and Michael, and Lane and Mary is beautiful, but be prepared for the thorns that poke out. It's not easy for any of them to be more than acquaintances with other people. And when they start to dig into each others' lives, they all know how to build a good wall up around themselves.
I think my favorite secondary character in the novel is Lane's mother, Cynthia. And to give you just a taste of her personality, here's a little quote:
"Mother...what on earth are you doing here?" ... "Well what does it look like, Laney? I came to spend some time with my little girl, and to see how they stuff a turkey down South." (pg. 151)
Lane and her mother definitely do NOT have the best relationship, what with Cynthia being all overbearing, etc. But what mother isn't?
And then there's the setting. Besides the fact that the Outer Banks is a beautiful place, and the weather can be all over the place, the small town (well, village, really) they live in seems almost idyllic. But once certain townspeople come out of the woodwork in Starry Point, and stirring things up, you begin to wonder if anywhere is ever really safe and secure.
Just go read it! This story is a work of art that you don't want to miss.
Another book that started out well and went steadily downhill over time. That's been the running theme in the books I've read this year, it seems. The whole setup was weird to begin with -- I don't care if Lane was running a B&B or not, it's just too much to swallow that she'd allow a complete stranger to move in for the entire winter while she's there with him alone, especially when that stranger turns out to be a complete jerk like Michael (ugh, I wanted to smack him so many times). The interlude with her mother was strange too, and pretty much completely unnecessary as I'm not sure how that advanced the plot at all.
But then, the strange things started happening. I figured out Strange Thing #1 pretty quickly from Mary's constant references to her "two princes." That crazy coincidence was weird enough. Then Strange Thing #2 happened and the book completely fell apart for me. It was just one step over the line at that point, and I skimmed from there to the end.
This is a lovely story set in North Carolina in a fictional island village called Starry Point. Five years previously Lane Kramer left a failed marriage in Chicago and ended up in The Outer Banks, opening a bed and breakfast called The Cloister.
As the story begins, a tropical storm is moving into the area and Lane has just closed the business down for the winter. Nevertheless, when an English professor traveling from Vermont, Michael Forrester, appears at the door, she can hardly turn him away.
Lane finds Michael undeniably handsome, but he seems moody, opinionated, and reclusive. When he asks to stay for the winter though, she accepts; she could use the money, and besides, there have been a rash of break-ins on the island lately; she would feel better with someone else in the house.
Every morning Lane takes a walk out to the lighthouse, and she has started taking along tea and baked goods for a disheveled older woman who also walks out on the dunes every day. The woman gives her name as Mary, and Lane feels drawn to her; at the very least, she worries that the woman has no one else to talk to her. Lane is curious about who Mary is, and what brings her to the dunes every day.
One evening not long after Michael arrived, Lane and her mother have a fight over the phone, and in an effort to get her mother off of her back about her being alone, Lane tells her she does have a boyfriend, and he is living with her. But this only complicates matters: Lane’s mother appears on her doorstep unexpectedly to meet this new boyfriend, and a panicky Lane is saved when Michael picks up the ball and plays the role of the boyfriend. Both of them find they like this play-acting a lot.
Meanwhile, the mayor has announced he is shutting down Hope House, the halfway house where Mary lives, because he suspects the residents of being behind the break-ins. Lane is incensed - the mayor has no evidence, and she vows to help Mary.
Michael, Lane, and Mary have a lot in common: all three have been badly hurt suffering grievous losses, and all have given up fighting for better lives. They are all running from, instead of running toward something. As the lives of these three as well as Lane’s mother intersect, they come to realize the enormity of what is at stake.
Discussion: The author has an excellent skill of evoking loss, and the thought processes that accompany it. At one point, Mary explains:
“We never dream we might lose those we love, because it’s too terrible, too inconceivable. They are simply the furniture of our lives, to be sidestepped, rearranged, and even stumbled over. Then one day they are simply gone, erased, and you’re left with only empty rooms and the echo of what once belonged to you.”
Such passages really make you think about the loved ones in your own life - how much we take their presence for granted. As Jhumpa Lahiri observed: "The best sentences orient us, like stars in the sky, like landmarks on a trail.”
The author also must be commended for the absence of “insta-love” in this book. The relationship between Lane and Michael develops in a dance of one step forward, two steps back, with the outcome of the movements far from a sure thing.
Evaluation: This is a good story, and well told. The characters seem real, and are all quite likable. The Outer Banks is more than just background to the story, and holds its own in the cast. And while the quote I included is about loss, this is an uplifting story. The characters discover that blame takes up a lot of space in the heart; if you can only figure out a way to let it go and forgive, there may once again be enough room for love.
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!
If we could, I would give this 3.5 stars if possible. It kept my interest but wasn't something I couldn't wait to get back to. Even so, I did enjoy the read. This is a novel with 3 main characters, Lane, an Inn-Keeper, a homeless woman, Mary, and Michael, a guest at the Inn. Each one is broken in their own way, dealing with familial relationships, and the failures they have felt at the effort to reconcile the emotions/behavior that have affected their lives in the aftermath they endured at the turning point in their lives. It exudes a powerful message of compassion, for lost, broken souls, whatever their walk in life may be.
In this second novel by Barbara Davis, I can see a lot of potential. I didn't read her first novel so I can't tell how she has progressed as a writer. This was recommended by an author I do like very much, Diane Chamberlain, so I took a chance on it. It didn't disappoint me, but I expected more. The last half was very good, as it interjected a few twists that one may not see coming, although I admit to not being surprised, but the characters overlapping entanglements with each other brought this novel to a satisfying conclusion.
I will certainly consider reading any future works by this author.
Barbara Davis’ second novel, The Wishing Tide, is an atmospheric beach read—literally—set on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. I received an advance copy, & my summer reading is off to a juicy, romantic start. Lane Kramer, Michael Forrester, & a ragtag old woman named Mary are on a collision course with a hurricane in tiny beach town of Starry Point, and when the three come together, none of their lives will ever be the same again. Davis has woven a complex story of wounded humans trying to hide away from the world even when they most desperately need to lean on others for comfort. In the process she has give us a cast of unique, well-developed characters with distinctive voices, portrayed with empathy. Highly recommended.
A wonderful book that swept me in by the first few pages describing the waves of the ocean, off Starry Point, North Carolina, ebbing to and fro, gave the feeling of being right there. Lane becomes the owner of the Cloister House a bed and breakfast seaside inn. Her adventures with Crazy Mary who inhabits the shoreline and the visitor Michael who was came to weather the storm is captivating. Many secrets are uncovered as the relationships take place and the mystery unravels to find a happy ever-after. A captivating novel to cozy up with and read - you won't want it to end!
This is the third book I have read by this author. She is becoming one of my favorites. I would have given more stars had I been able to. This is written about fighting for the life you want and deserve. She is a wonderful writer and I look forward to reading anything she writes.
The Wishing Tide by Barbara Davis is a story about life, love, mistakes, forgiveness and fighting for what one wants.
Lane Kramer has moved to Starry Point, North Carolina, to make a fresh start with her life. She has a failed marriage, a miscarriage and a meddling mother that she’s left behind. She has opened a bed and breakfast in Starry Point and she has been successful. During the winter months, when she has no customers, she writes magazine articles. She really wants to write a novel but does not believe she has the talent to be successful. And she is afraid of rejection, in both the literary world and in her personal life.
Lane befriends Dirty Mary, or Crazy Mary, a bag lady that sits on the dunes near the bed and breakfast. Lane sees her almost daily when taking her morning walk, and eventually Lane starts bringing her food and beverage. The two begin talking and soon Lane realizes that Mary is not dirty or crazy, she is just hurting and misunderstood. Mary begins to reveal bits and pieces about her past life and the heartache she has been through. Lane wants to help her in anyway that she can.
Michael Forrester appears on Lane’s doorstep right before a hurricane is due to hit, looking for a place to stay. He claims that he needs a quiet place to work on his research for a book he is writing. Lane agrees to let him stay and the two become friends. But Michael seems to know more about the area then he should. Is Michael there for the reason that he said or does he have a hidden agenda?
The plot is well written, well thought out and engaging. I had figured out some of the things that happened in the book, but there are a few twists and turns that I never saw coming. I think my jaw dropped open at one point. That’s one of the things I like about this book.
The writing style flows easily and this is an easy read. Descriptive writing took me to the Outer Banks and the wind and rain that accompanies a hurricane. I was able to feel the tension and sadness in some parts and the happiness at other parts. I felt like I was right there watching everything unfold before my eyes. That’s another thing I like about the book.
The characters are well developed, well crafted and very human. They experience all of the emotions that we all experience during the course of our lives. The characters seem three-dimensional and not phony or plastic. It was very easy to begin to care about them and root for them. There were a few times I wanted to scream at them and ask “what is wrong with you?” At other times I shook my head yes and thought “way to go”.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a novel about love, forgiveness, loss and recovery. It was suspenseful and heartwarming and very well written. Whether you are a young adult or a seasoned reader, you will enjoy this book. I cannot recommend it enough. This is the first book I’ve read by Barbara Davis but I know it won’t be my last.
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review as part of their ongoing blog tour*
Barbara Davis’s The Wishing Tide brings together three people who mistrust one another at first, but eventually find belonging because of each other. Lane’s bed and breakfast Cloister House is closing down for the off season when a hurricane hits the island of Starry Point and a traveler, Michael, takes refuge there only to end up spending the next few months. Lane is drawn to a mysterious resident of the town who rides a pink bike and hangs about on the dunes near Cloister House, and is known to the town as Crazy Mary. Crazy Mary is haunted by several personal tragedies that have left her searching for answers and relief from her emotional pain. Lane, a recent divorcee, still smarting from the pain of rejection, befriends the mysterious woman on the dunes. Michael, brisk and withdrawn, warns Lane that no good can come from an association with a person like Mary. Enter Lane’s wacky day help Dally, her well-meaning, much-married, controlling mother, and some eccentric townspeople to add to the action. The personal trials of Lane, Michael, and Mary come together with drama regarding two other houses in town, the mansion across from Lane’s bed and breakfast, and Hope House, the home where Mary resides. The story of these seemingly disparate people and problems moves relentlessly forward by unraveling truths that reveal all are inextricably bound by the past. The Wishing Tide is a story that will involve you in its characters’ lives, delight you with the picturesque coastal setting, and keep you turning pages hoping Lane, Michael, and Mary find the peace and happiness that has thus far eluded them.
The wishing tide is a bittersweet story of facing your past in order to be able to move on with life. The main character Lane has spent the last 5 years of her life isolating herself out in South Caroline running a bed and breakfast. When she found herself divorced and trying to heal from a miscarriage it seemed like starting over was the best option for her. Until the fated night when Michael showed up at her door, determined to rent a room from her for the whole winter off season. This is where the story begins. Lane finds herself each day drawn to a woman that each day comes and sits on the sand staring into the sea. Mary is the town “bag lady” a crazy woman by local standers, more or less ignored by everyone in the community, except Lane. Lane is determined to learn Mary’s story, not knowing that Mary’s story will truly change everything. This story is a story of love, forgiveness, growth and all that comes with it. I loved how much the characters grew and changed in this story. It was an amazing read, not only the love story or Michael and Lane, but also Mary’s story. I have not read a story I truly loved as much as this in a very long time.
I love this kind of novel, the kind set in a lovely location, featuring a bit of mystery, a lot of romance, and all twined together with beautiful prose.
I also like discovering appealing female leads, and this was one of the most winsome I've seen in recent novels. In Lane Kramer, the author has walked the fine line between giving her main character enough problems to lend a growth edge, while also imbuing her with enough goodness to make her extremely likable. I think it's the combination of her vulnerability and kindness that makes her so winning.
Less appealing to me was the character of Lane's mother. Intentionally so, as you will find when you read The Wishing Tide, but as I lived alongside this rather narrow-minded and overbearing woman, I felt I'd seen her before. She didn't possess the freshness of character that Lane (or Michael or Mary) did.
But that wasn't enough to detract from my enjoyment of this story--especially as I reached its sweetly satisfying conclusion.
Thanks to New American Library/Penguin for providing me a free copy to review. All opinions are mine.
"The past is lost forever, a wasteland of all that could have been and never was, while the future stretches endlessly before us...Today, then, is what we have left—the here and the now—to make our wishes, and to fight for the life we want.”
Wonderful characters. Loved the setting-outer banks of NC and of course, wanted to be there, even in the storm. Well written, the wording spoke to me. Little mystery, some twists and turns, some obvious to the reader before the main characters were aware; glad she gave us some info as we went along instead of holding us off everything until the very end. A few times I thought she was going to go the way many novels do, but she didn't! Family trials, needing forgiveness, needing to forgive. Nice ending. SECOND READING FOR April 2019 Book Club Everything I thought the first time and still 4 stars even though I remembered bits and pieces from my 2015 reading. What I remembered the most was MICHAEL/EVAN and the wonderful way he acted with Lane (most of the time). Some of his actions with Lane reminded me of someone I know now and they rang very true.
This was an enjoyable read overall. The writing was good and the setting was lovely. I don't generally read romance, but this book was not as much of a romance as I was expecting (a good thing-from my perspective) This book involved 3 main characters;two were written from a third person perspective and one from a first person perspective. I enjoyed the first person perspective writing much more than the third. Some sections from the third person perspective spent more time than I though was necessary on how the characters were thinking and feeling. I would rather have heard it in their own words. The first person voice was unique and just easier to connect to. The main story line involves one character figuring out the past of another. I am probably in a small minority, but I think what one of the characters does with the info was very wrong. It made it hard for me to like that character This book dealt with themes that we all go through-loss, guilt, forgiveness-and provided some interesting views on them. There were a lot of things to think about here.
Each of the three main characters in this book is running away from something: Lane is trying to put a miscarriage and the end of a bad marriage behind her by starting over in a new town; Michael is both trying to escape... and confront... the physical and emotional scars from his childhood; and Mary, dismissed by most people as a crazy bag lady, is so traumatized by the horrors of her past, she sometimes seeks to escape reality altogether. When these three characters cross paths in a small town in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, their lives and futures are changed forever.
This isn't a whodunit mystery in the traditional sense, but more like a puzzle placed on the table one piece at a time, until the full picture of the past haunting Michael and Mary is finally revealed. It is a story of how kindness can break through walls of distrust, and how hope and love can free people from the past and give them the strength to move forward to a promising future.
I received this book via Goodreads First Reads in exchange for an honest review.
Reading the back cover of The Wishing Tide after it arrived, I got the impression that the book, with it's North Carolina setting and story of love developing quickly between strangers, would be very Nicholas Sparks-esque. But after only a few chapters, the mystery entwined delicately and masterfully into the story line made this novel stand out from the crowd.
Barbara Davis has pulled off writing an incredibly captivating novel full of twists and turns written in wonderfully enchanting prose. She skillfully weaves revelations into the plot at unexpected intervals, and does so in such a carefully crafted manner that they are absolutely believable. With every turn of the page, you are empathizing with and cheering for Lane, Michael and Mary, and by the final page, you may just be taking a closer look at how you can live the life you want.
THE WISHING TIDE was one of my favorite reads of 2014, one that has stayed with me even though I read it months ago. I have given many copies as gifts and will continue to do so. Why? Because it's a captivating, haunting novel with unforgettable characters such as Dirty Mary--the philosophical bag lady who is not what she seems. Set on a desolate, storm-tossed North Carolina barrier island lush with family secrets and ghost stories, THE WISHING TIDE is a story about fighting for the life you want and daring to believe that happily-ever-after can exist outside of fairytales. I can't recommend it enough.
*GoodReads Giveaway Book* This book was really great. I loved it because is was so interesting and the story telling was really good. I liked that there was multiple points of views and how they all intertwined. Going in to the book expecting it to be all about a romance, I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't insta-love. It felt real that Lane Michael argued and disagreed. The twists were something I definitely didn't expect, especially the first one. But they kept coming and each was more surprising. I know at some parts of this book I was tearing up and almost crying. It was an emotional read about love and family.
I've been a fan of Barbara's since her debut, and The Wishing Tide solidified her ranking as one of my favorite authors. I especially love her odd characters. Mary is a gem. She had me at Mary's opening lines: "Through my fault. Through my fault. Through my most grievous fault." And she kept me longing to chat with Mary, to walk to the beach and see what new gems would come from Mary's mouth.
It didn't hurt that she used the Carolina coast as a setting.
This is one book I wish I could give more than 5 stars. It is a wonderful written story of flawed people coming together and finding their way back to life. It is a book that takes you on a roller coaster ride of twists and turns and the ending is one I didn't see coming. I certainly recommend this book for anyone the enjoys a good combination of romance and mystery and characters that tug at your heart.
Love the book! This was a free book from goodreads and I was very impressed. Barbara Davis makes the discription of the Outerbanks of North Carlonia a place I want to visit. This is a great story! The book is filled with mystery,love and hope! I would recommend The Wishing Tide by Barbara Davis to all.
The opening pages of this story drew me in with an intense desire to read more, then it slowed down to a trickle. From there it increased but my interest fizzled out due the bizarre references to nun's and religion. I pushed on to read more hoping to find something in the stranger at Starry Point. The story died in its thrill factor and I eventually lost interest.
The setting helped make this book so beautiful. Lane opens her bed and breakfast in Starry Point, a place I can picture well. The story is beautifully written and I really did love how it unfolds beneath your eyes.
I did really enjoy this story set in a small community along the beach including personable characters with all the complexities of relationships. This author did a convincing job describing mental health issues and made it consistently realistic for me as I am wary of a lot of fiction novels.