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Between the Tides

3.15  ·  Rating details ·  181 ratings  ·  56 reviews
A debut novel following the fortunes of the happy-on-the-surface Morris family as it slowly comes apart after making a move from New York City to an affluent suburb

Lainie Smith Morris is perfectly content with her life in New York City: she has four children, a handsome surgeon husband, and good friends. This life she has built is shattered, however, when her husband Charl
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published July 21st 2015 by St. Martin's Press
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3.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  181 ratings  ·  56 reviews

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Elyse Walters
Apr 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
I enjoyed everything about this novel!!!!

"Between the Tides", is everything the blurb says --- plus sooooo much more. I promise not to give any spoilers away... Or tell the juicy dramatic details. Yet... There is a lot to review... Several themes about moral issues-- ethical choices---boundaries- betrayal- forgiveness & karma---are explored.

From the very start of this novel... Lainie Smith Morris is telling a fable to her 4 children: (Tom is the oldest teen, Matilde is 12 years old, and th
May 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I am wavering -- excuse the pun -- on how to rate and review Between the Tides. I like the premise. Lainie and Charles live in Manhattan's upper west side with their four children. Charles is a surgeon and Lainie is an artist, and they are portrayed as having a very comfortable albeit chaotic life assisted by their Juliard "drop out" nanny. At the beginning of the book, Charles announces that he has a new job as head of surgery in a New Jersey suburb -- a town called Elliot -- and that they are ...more
I don't like books where the author has left the ending up to the reader to decide. An unfinished storyline makes me feel that the author got bored and just couldn't be bothered anymore. I guess if you want to believe one possible ending then this is a book of fantasy, and for readers who adore fantasy then you might enjoy this book. I am not much for fantasy so I have to go with the other possible ending, which is:




Lainie is a spoiled, selfish brat that puts her own happines
May 31, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Original review can be found at
2.5 stars

**I received an advanced readers copy through a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review.**

I didn't love this book and I didn't hate it either. It is these middle of the road books that I often have the hardest time discussing my thoughts about. There is really no need to re-tell the story as the synopsis gives a pretty accurate description of what the story is about.

Here are a few thoughts worth mentioni
Cheryl Kravetz
Mar 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Susannah Marren's fiction debut is wonderful! I highly recommend Between the Tides.
This review was written in the heat of the moment after coming to terms with my reading experience of this book. This review contains a lot of profanity bc I am an emotional reader and those words help drive home how I felt for better or worse. My reviews aren't always written with a grain of decorum especially in the case of adult fiction. If swearing offends you, please move on. This review may also contain what some may consider spoilery content.

Fuck this book! Lainie is a passive doo
Ugh, another 2-star read; that makes is 2/2 for November. Between the Tides was a mashup between Mean Girls and The Stepford Wives - neither of which I like. I just didn't connect with any of the adult characters and the ending? How selfish!!!!! I enjoy reading folklore involving selkies but this story just didn't do it for me.

Go Cards! L1C4!!
Judy Collins
A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

BETWEEN THE TIDES, debut by Susannah Marren explores the dark side of the American dream; of secrets and betrayal hidden beneath the perfect life.

Lainie Smith Morris, artistic lives a happy life in Manhattan, with her handsome surgeon husband, Charles with their four children. Her husband announces he has accepted a job in Elliot, NJ and they will be relocating. Charles has won again, as remembe
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
Jul 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Between the Tides by Susannah Marren is a very highly recommended debut novel about constricted lives, fragile dreams, and complacency.

Lainie Smith Morris is an artist who feels the need to be by water at all times. Water is her life's blood. She has told her four children (Tom, 14, Matilde, 12, Claire and Jack, 5 year old twins) the tale of a selkie, a woman who is really a seal, but when her seal skin is stolen by a fisherman she has to remain in human form. Her children are her only consolati
Jul 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Not unlike the waves on a sandcastle at the shore, Between the Tides reveals the fragility of relationships despite the façade, and the power that is required to keep or rebuild after the façade is shattered.

Lainie is a city girl, and quite content with her life and marriage in the hustle, bustle and go of New York. But when her husband takes a position with a practice out in the ‘burbs’. The family is moving to an affluent New Jersey suburb, and Lainie’s world, indeed her entire life is turned
Jun 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I had won this book as an ARC in a Goodreads giveaway. (Thank you Goodreads!) The very beginning opens with the watery fairytale of the selkie, which enchanted me right away. When we think of ocean fairytales we so often think of sirens, that to see a novel based around the idea of a selkie was refreshing. I also liked how I didn't feel too close to the characters, which might sound weird because what often makes a book great is a strong reader and character relationship. However, I think this h ...more
Jul 21, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I would like to thank St. Martin's Press and Goodreads for the ARC copy in return for an unbiased review.

I have very mixed feelings about this novel. There were sections I found compelling but also sections that seemed contrived and tedious. The author uses a selkie mythological story as a thread to weave the story together. I thought that perhaps this was a bit too ambitious vehicle to achieve her goal. I frankly found it a bit annoying and wondered at its frequent telling to young children.

I d
Dawn Cronk
Apr 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Lainie thought she had it all. A successful husband, four children, and life in the Big Apple. Charles announces they are moving to Elliot, NJ. Lainie is not happy, and feels suffocated in her new surroundings. Then she reconnects with her arch enemy and they become friends, or so she thinks. Jess has an agenda of her own. I thought it was very well written.
Mary Jo
May 17, 2016 rated it it was ok
I like books that refer to the legend of selkies but I was not a fan of this one. Did not like any of the characters and really did not care how it ended which was good since it was left up in the air.
Sarah  O'Neill
Mar 19, 2018 rated it did not like it
This book certainly had the potential to be a good read; however, it fell quite short. As I read I thought I missed pages or lines. i would go back and re-read only to find I didn't miss anything, it simply wasn't written. The book was written like most people tell a story...all over the place with important details missing. The characters were underdeveloped and fairly elementary. The ending was completely predictable and disappointing.
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
This is a novel for those who like melodramatic soap operas. It is a quick read that I would recommend for the beach or a long plane trip. Some of the characters were horrible to each other and for that reason, the plot did not thrill me. Marren also tries to weave in some mystical elements which to my mind do not work in such a simplistic overall story.
Tara Olson
Apr 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. I grew up in Sea Isle City which is a "stones throw" from Cape May so it had a special appeal. The writing style is very different than what I'm used to. I thought some of the passages were almost too abrupt, otherwise i would have given 5 stars.
Aug 02, 2017 rated it did not like it
Marlene Hessdorfer
May 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
Meh. Not that interesting. Bit of a twist at the end. Forgettable.
Aslinda Sofea AbdRahman
Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Simply loved it. I love a family story and this is not a disappointment
Mina De Caro (Mina's Bookshelf)
Review originally published on MINA'S BOOKSHELF

In Northern European folklore, selkies are said to be mythological creatures, half human half seal. Legend has it that they live in the frigid waters of the Norwegian Sea and occasionally shed their skin to become human and live on land. If a man steals a female selkie's coat, she is in his power and she is forced to marry him, helpless and unable to shift back to her real nature. Selkies make excellent wives
Jul 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Between the Tides by Susannah Marren is an unusual book. It starts out with Lainie Smith Morris telling her children a story about selkies (Lainie loves the water and has to be near it). Lainie is an artist (all her artwork portrays water) who is very dedicated to her work despite her husband and four children. Lainie has help from a nanny called Candy. It also helps to live in New York where anything can be delivered. Then her husband, Charles comes home and tells her he has accepted a position ...more
Jul 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Lainie loves the water. An artist whose work is so seated in the element, she lives for her time near the streams, rivers, and sea. But then her husband receives an offer to head up the orthopedic surgery department of the well-respected Elliot Memorial, in Elliot, New Jersey. Inland, and with no water in sight. Charles argues that the city and its waters are only an hour away by train, but Lainie knows it will never be the same.

And it's more than the lack of water that makes Lainie feel truly
Susan Jolley
Aug 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Susannah Marren’s Between the Tides is compelling from beginning to end. It is of particular interest to those concerned with the marginalized status of women in the world of powerful men, especially husbands who regard their wives as props to complement their careers and desires. Many issues are embedded in the narrative. It is a both fable and a meditation on marriage, parenthood and friendship. The author skewers Northeastern American suburbia and the upper classes that inhabit it but also s ...more
Sep 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Lainie Smith Morris is a mother, an artist and a wife, in that order. She lives in NYC with her successful orthopedic surgeon husband Charles, who has a perfect profile and resume to match. Lainie adores her four young children but her creative mind, her heart and soul pull her towards water. Having grown up on the New Jersey shore Lainie always swam feverishly, her family ran a small marina and later, her art featured water and everything surrounding it. Having pushed aside her talent to raise ...more
Wow! Just wow! I did not see THAT ending coming. This book is full of every major theme, mostly the bad ones. Every parent in this book should be arrested or at least under investigation for the selfish way they treated their children. Charles, the Surgeon, only cares that his family makes him look good in the community. So what if Matilde, his 12 year old daughter, caught him kissing Jess, his mistress and his wife's friend? Matilde better not tell anyone. Lainie, a successful artist, is angry ...more
Sherrie Howey
Jun 13, 2015 rated it liked it
This book explores the dark side of family and friend relationships and includes infidelity, spousal abuse and betrayal. Lainie and Charles and their 4 children live in New York City and Lainie's life is uprooted when Charles accepts a job as chief of his department at a hospital in New Jersey. Lainie does not want to leave the city and move to a landlocked part of New Jersey as she is drawn to everything related to water. Upon moving to NJ, Lainie finds Jess, who was a friend in high school and ...more
Sep 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Mother of four and happily married wife Lainie Smith Morris has built a life in New York City that most women would envy. Everything is perfect until her successful surgeon husband, Charles, accepts a job in the suburbs of New Jersey. Lainie admits it’s not that far away from the Big Apple, but just the idea of relocating and leaving her friends and favorite things behind hurts.

The adjustment to her new home is an arduous task, so she focuses on her art to keep her distracted, and then she reco
Jul 06, 2015 rated it liked it
This was a multi-faceted book, with the characters actions interwoven each other’s lives. Lainie Smith Morris’ life is turned upside down when her surgeon husband moves the family from a comfortable life in Manhattan to a yuppie, soccer-mom filled country suburb in New Jersey. You can almost imagine one of the “Real Housewives” lurking nearby.
Lainie protests the move because she is an artist and inspired by water. If she doesn’t live near the water, she’s not inspired and life is not good. Throw
Jennifer Disario
Aug 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Really surprised that I was so into this book. Lanie is a mom of four and happily married to a surgeon while living in the city. She is an artist and happily floating through life until her husband accepts a promotion which includes a move to the suburbs away from the waterfront she loves so much. The town is full of stepford like wives that are mean girls grown. However Lanie finds a childhood friend lives here and is willing to be here entre into society. What luck?! Well, Jess has ulterior mo ...more
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BHW Book Club: What do you think? 2 8 Mar 27, 2018 06:17AM  

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