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The Tidal Zone

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  2,933 ratings  ·  447 reviews
Adam is a stay-at-home dad who is also working on a history of the bombing and rebuilding of Coventry Cathedral. He is a good man and he is happy. But one day, he receives a call from his daughter's school to inform him that, for no apparent reason, fifteen-year-old Miriam has collapsed and stopped breathing. In that moment, he is plunged into a world of waiting, agonising ...more
Paperback, 331 pages
Published July 7th 2016 by Granta
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Average rating 3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,933 ratings  ·  447 reviews

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Jen Campbell
Jun 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Read it, read it, read it.
Helene Jeppesen
Jul 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was really really good! It deals with the parents to a child who one day suddenly stops breathing out of the blue and is clinically dead for some minutes. She is revived, but subsequently her parents - seen from the perspective of her dad - are constantly worrying about her and whether she's going to collapse again.
It's amazing how Sarah Moss manages to mix a lot of different themes into this novel. While it's about death and parental worries, it's also about gender roles, immigrants
(Nearly 4.5) It’s a clichéd image from television and films: new parents tiptoe into their baby’s room every night to make sure he or she is still breathing. But 15 years later, narrator Adam Goldschmidt starts doing the same thing for his teenage daughter, Miriam, after she collapses on her school’s sports field and stops breathing for a few minutes. Thanks to a teacher’s quick thinking, CPR and paramedics soon see her stable again, but for Adam and his wife Emma, herself a GP, this is like a bibli ...more
Jan 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was relieved, to say the least, to find after reading this book that I wasn't disappointed by it. YouTube hype can often ruin a book for me, but luckily this one passed with flying colours. It might not be one of my favourite books I've ever read, and it's too early to say if it will be in my 2016 favourites list, but it was definitely a highly entertaining read.

The book follows the narrator Adam, a stay-at-home dad who receives a phone call from his 15 year old daughter Miriam's h
Perfection in every way: characters, writing, atmosphere, emotions, everything. It tore my heart in pieces and yet left me fully satisfied with the experience of reading it.

The Tidal Zone opens when the father of a fifteen-year-old Miriam, Adam, receives a call informing him that his daughter collapsed in school and almost died. Then comes the struggle with dealing with this tragedy and how to deal with the aftermath of this episode and what it means for their family.

The book is t/>The
After reading Names for the Sea: Strangers in Iceland I thought to myself, hmm let me read more by this mossy woman and see if I like her voice as much in fiction as in non-fiction, and can I see if Iceland still infects her writing (view spoiler)? So fate lead me to this book in which Adam narrates, mostly through his stream of consciousness and dialogue the story of how his elder daughter has a medical emergency, most of the book deals with th ...more
Dannii Elle
The Tidal Zone is a novel that, by focusing one set of circumstances, illuminates a larger picture for the reader. When Adam's daughter, Miriam, stops breathing, with no known cause, the reader becomes privy to the consistent fears that begin to plague him. His entire life now revolves around visiting times and he resides largely inside waiting rooms and hospital wards. His future fears and the stress of the present cause him to look both internally and into the past, where he assesses his immig ...more
Mar 24, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

What a ride of emotions!
This book takes off after Adam, a stay-at-home father, receives a call from his daughters school to say that she collapsed due to her having problems breathing.

It started of so, so well for me, that I'm almost disappointed that I'm giving it a 3.5 star rating. I was hooked from the beginning. The writing was an absolute delight, showcasing the emotions of Adam, our narrator, ridiculously well. It brought it to the forefront. It tore my heart to piec
Peter Boyle
Oct 02, 2016 rated it liked it
"It is a pity that the things we learn in crisis are all to be found on fridge magnets and greeting cards: seize the day, savour the moment, tell your love- May we live long enough to despise the cliches again, may we heal enough to take for granted sky and water and light, because the state of blind gratitude for breath and blood is not a position of intelligence."

I am not a parent, but some of my friends are. I see how their priorities have changed. They are no longer the most important person in t
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book gets under your skin. It's about a healthy teenager that gets a cardiac arrest and how her family deals with it afterwards. It's the way death can 'overcomes' someone in the middle of life. It's actually the fact that death nearly did happen in life and the possibility that it could have happened. How you cope with it. The manner in wich it alters daily life for you and your family, that you're never will forget about it. The daily terror it will put on you; you'll never before were aw ...more
May 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: skim-read
2.5 stars


*Sigh* This has got to be one of my most disappointing reads of the year.

I was so ready to love this. I'd been eyeing it for months, anticipating the day that I would finally read it. You can imagine my disappointment, then, when my reaction to finishing this was to chuck it aside because I was so damn frustrated by it. The beginning was great; it grappled with exactclass="gr-hostedUserImg">
Renee Godding
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
5/5 stars, all time favorite

“Suddenly, you will stop, you and me and all of us. Your lungs will rest at last and the electric pulse in your pulse will vanish into the darkness from which it came.
Put your fingers in your ears, lay your head on the pillow, listen to the footsteps of your blood.
You are alive.”

There is a universal truth, we all know to be true, but can’t quite fathom in all its gravity: life is frail and we are always just one breath away from disaster. All of us. That man
Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars, surprisingly good.

Here's the thing about this book, I love it, but I don't know that I'd recommend it. This book is good for a certain kind of people, those who like mundane. I love reading books about mundane boring life, the more details the better. I will read 24 pages about someone getting up, making breakfast, taking a shower, etc. I love that kind of stuff, and this book is full of it. But it's not for everyone, and this book has nothing to offer people who don't lik
May 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Tidal Zone was a highly anticipated read for me, as it was the last outstanding Moss I had to read. I love her writing, and have been engrossed in every single one of her books to date. I am so pleased to say that The Tidal Zone was the cherry on rather a delicious cake. I love the way in which the novel's plot circles around a singular moment, drifting back and forth in time. From the first, Moss' writing is beautifully poetic, and the entirety of the novel is profound and compelling. Moss masterfu ...more
Katie Lumsden
Jul 13, 2016 rated it liked it
I have mixed feelings about this. The writing is beautiful and the premise very interesting and well done, but I found several of the characters, especially the narrator, a bit jarring. The beginning is very moving and the end has some lovely moments but it did dip in the middle for me. A good book but possibly just not for me.
Michael Livingston
May 21, 2019 rated it really liked it

I listened to the audio book of this and really, really enjoyed it. Moss' main character Adam is brilliantly created - he feels deeply real, full of love, resentment, anxiety and fear - and the story of how he (and his family) adjust to having a sick daughter is gorgeously rendered. The two sub-stories: one about the rebuilding of the Coventry Cathedral after WW2 and the other about Adam's fathers wanderings as a young man are occasionally meandering - I just wanted to spend more
Sep 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I started this stunning book knowing very little; only that it is about the relationship between a father and his daughter who collapses and stops breathing one day at school out of the blue, and that the handful of my Goodreads friends having reviewed it had all given it a five star rating. I didn't want to be swayed by the latter and am still struggling to decide whether to give it four or five stars.

Things I love about the book are;
-The parallel story lines (I'm a sucker for
Jun 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Ylenia by: Booktube
- 3.75 stars -

I personally find literary fiction very hard to review - manly because there's so much I could say I never know where to start.

The Tidal Zone was a very interesting book - I think you should know very little about it before reading it.
Adam is a stay-at-home dad who's working on a research of the Coventry Cathedral after it got rebuild. One day he receives a phone call: her older daughter had in incident and stopped breathing, no one can explain why it happened or/>The
Dec 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Great: A story with the husband as a stay at home dad and the wife as the overworked bread winner. Thought Adam's resentful passive aggressive attitude was perfectly written, I was on his side and not on his side at the same time when it came to his bitterness and attitude towards his wife and well as his life in general.

Good: All about family and relationships, and how they handle grief/fear and everyday life when one family member inexplicably drops dead for a little while. It was really well
Jul 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this immensely but it wasn't *quite* 5 stars for me. Review soon.
Sep 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, in-en, fiction
There are books and there are books. Books you enjoy because they’re warm and cozy, or there’s a clever plot, great characters, brilliant writing or all of the above, plus more AND books you read and find uncomfortable, because they put on the table issues you don’t really want to deal with, because they might hit too close to home, and hey, fiction is for escapism, right?

The Tidal Zone was one of those uncomfortable reads for me. As a parent, you find yourself in new, worrisome situ
Summer York
Apr 26, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2017
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The second book I've read by Sarah Moss and I have to say I don't she's a good fit for me personally. Her writing style really appeals to me, but I think, not being a parent myself, I just can't relate to many of the issues her characters face. Both this and Night Waking felt like blow-by-blow accounts of parenting and domestic issues, something that I started to find so dull that I couldn't help skimming in parts. In The Tidal Zone, Moss weaves 2 side-plots into the main storyline which centres on a fathe ...more
PJ Mblt
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Beautiful novel. Delicate writing, intriguing characters and a slow moving plot that crawls under your skin without you realizing it.

4* and I am very curious about other work from Sarah Moss, because her writing is very much up my alley.
Sep 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult, library, literary
A book about a family rebuilding their ideas and assumptions about life when 15-year-old Miriam collapses and stops breathing.

This was really enjoyable and I loved how the story built up the picture of a pretty ordinary British family that had a bad thing happen and now have to figure out how to move on and continue living, despite having a bad cloud above them reminding them of life’s fragility. I really enjoyed Adam’s narration and some of the things he brought into the life about
Apr 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-read-2017
Emma and Adam have been married for a number of years and have two daughters. Emma is a GP, and Adam has chosen to stay at home be the house husband. He has a little work at the university and is currently working on a history of the bombed-out Coventry Cathedral. Though Emma is suffering with the stresses of the modern NHS, it is a happy family life. Then one day Adam receives a call from the school. Miriam has collapsed and stopped breathing. He rushes to the school, arriving shortly after the ...more
Eric Anderson
Jul 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
When you experience a personal tragedy it fills your whole world. You’re aware and empathize with the suffering other individuals have experienced in the past and continue to experience all over the world. But this knowledge is more likely to colour your daily existence rather than saturate it. How do you contextualize your personal loss without turning it into just another story like the many stories of heartache we read about every day in the news? Sarah Moss’ new novel “The Tidal Zone” has an ...more
Nov 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 5-stars
4.5 rounded up

This was almost a 5 but not quite. Again, another one which I think is better read without knowing much about the plot (although all is revealed pretty quickly). Moss's writing creates a great sense of atmosphere and unease, and all of the characters in the novel felt well developed and real. Maybe not one for people who like books where a lot happens, but I could read this kind of prose all day and not care about the lack of action.

It was also nice to read
May 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2019
4.5 stars

Really enjoyed this. Looking forward to reading more by this author as I've been meaning to for a while now.
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The story begins when Adam, a stay-at-home dad, receives a phone call from the school about an incident involving his teenage daughter. If you are a parent, I am sure you’ll understand, why that wakes my instant compassion. That phone call, telling you that something bad has happened to your child, is probably what every parent fears most. And that, regardless of the age of your child.

So when Adam receives the phone call and finds out what has happened to his daughter and later on, t
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Goodreads Librari...: please add cover 2 11 Mar 19, 2019 04:11PM  

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Sarah Moss is the award-winning author of six novels: Cold Earth, Night Waking, selected for the Fiction Uncovered Award in 2011, Bodies of Light, Signs for Lost Children and The Tidal Zone, all shortlisted for the prestigious Wellcome Prize, and her new book Ghost Wall, out in September 2018.

She has also written a memoir of her year living in Iceland, Names for the Sea, which was shor
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“Suddenly, you will stop, you and me and all of us. Your lungs will rest at last and the electric pulse in your pulse will vanish into the darkness from which it came.

Put your fingers in your ears, lay your head on the pillow, listen to the footsteps of your blood.

You are alive.”
“Stories have endings; that's why we tell them, for reassurance that there is meaning in our lives. But like a diagnosis, a story can become a prison, a straight road mapped out by the people who went before. Stories are not the truth.” 10 likes
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