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The Light Over Broken Tide

4.72  ·  Rating details ·  29 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Reach beyond the pain. Reach beyond the darkness. Hope is a lighthouse.

Out of the blue, Rebecca Stafford’s Father arrives to parent her after years of absence. He then extracts her last bit of normalcy by moving them to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. The shocking news plunges Rebecca into a despair that brings about an otherworldly encounter; she begins to have visions of her dec
Paperback, 250 pages
Published March 20th 2018 by Blackladder Publishing
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Average rating 4.72  · 
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This intriguing debut novel was a real page-turner! Dealing with loss, grief, despair, mental illness, and yes, even love, made Rebecca, the main character, someone who was very relatable. Setting descriptions were extremely vivid; I felt like I was in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, even though I have never physically been there. If you enjoy reading about troubled souls, then you will devour this book!
Chandra Claypool (WhereTheReaderGrows)
I've been well aware of Holly Ducarte's talents just from watching her Instagram page. She's a beautiful poet, a talented singer and now she has graced us with her debut novel, The Light Over Broken Tide. Is there nothing that Holly can't do?

The opening lines draw you right in. "We're all like paper dolls. Happiest when linked to another, often unaware of our flimsiness. So easily torn. What happens when we reach out to find there's no one there to hold our hand? I'll tell you what happens; we b
Sadie Hartmann
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
I met Holly through Instagram and we became fast friends. Holly is a poet. I read her collection, HIDING BONES when it made its debut and I enjoyed Holly's voice immediately (even though poetry is not really my thing)
THE LIGHT OVER BROKEN TIDE (what a beautiful title) is not a book I would have picked up on my own. Being a horror lover, a reader of thrillers and dark, dark fantasies--a moody, YA story wouldn't be high on my TBR--and to be honest, after Holly sent it to me, it did sit around for
Janelle Janson
Thank you so much to the author for my ecopy of THE LIGHT OVER BROKEN TIDE by Holly Ducarte - all opinions are my own.

An Irish legend, a hidden lighthouse, magic, and mystery are exactly the reasons why this book caught my attention! Then I read it and fell in love. The story centers around Rebecca, who after devastating news of her mom’s death, falls deep into melancholy. Her father, after years of abandonment, comes back to be a parent and moves them to a coastal town. She starts to have visio
Sarina Langer
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
You know it's going to be a good year when it's only January but you already have a new favourite author <3 I usually give new authors at least two books before deciding whether they're worthy of my insta-buy list or not, but Ducarte did it in one. If you're thinking about self-publishing your debut novel this year, read this novel because this girl rocked it!

I love a main character I can connect with on a deep personal level, and Becky was that. I saw myself in her so much in so many ways (just
Beverley Lee
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars.

I always worry a little bit when I have a debut novel to review, because I'm fully aware that this is a writer at the start of their careers, and what happens if I don't like it?

But Holly DuCarte set my mind at rest and delivers a debut novel that does not read like a debut. Her grasp of language is strong, her ties to the setting so much a part of this story, as stable as the Canadian landscape.

This book deals with difficult subjects - mental illness is still seen as a weakness, a thi
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
To say that I was cautious going into this read would be an understatement. Not because I feared it might not be good, but more because it's something well outside of my usual go-to genres, not the kind of subject matter I would automaticaly gravitate towards, and I feared doing it a disservice if i didnt love it just because it wasnt 'my thing' (so to speak.)

But any initial worries I had soon fell aside, and what I found instead in this story was a tale of mental struggle, an artful portrait of
Melissa Vinson
Jan 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“We’re all like paper dolls. Happiest when linked to another, often unaware of our flimsiness. So easily torn. What happens when we reach out to find there’s no one there to hold our hand.”
That’s the opening paragraph in Holly’s book. And it moved me to read the first six chapters in one sitting. I would’ve kept going—it’s that good—if I could have. When next I picked the book up, it was bedtime and I thought to read a few more chapters, but I was so engrossed in the story and just couldn’t put
Luke Narlee
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! The main character, Rebecca, felt like a real person to me throughout the whole story. A real person that I wanted to hug and talk to and help and give advice to when she needed it. My heart broke for her many times, and when she falls in love, I felt in love as well. It's that kind of book. It has a perfect balance of romance, humor, sadness, drama, and mystery. A little bit of everything! Also, it's so well written that it's hard to believe this is a debut novel. Author Holl ...more
Suzanne Wood
Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Awestruck, and a sucker for a fabulous first line in a novel, I had difficulty continuing on from the initial sentences of this debut novel:

"We're all like paper dolls. Happiest when linked to another, often unaware of our flimsiness. So easily torn. What happens when we reach out to find there's no one there to hold our hand? I'll tell you what happens; we blow away into uncertain air, then desperately search for anything to pull us out of the chaos."

I was blown away by the truth and power of t
Ian Coomber
Aug 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
Although I'm fairly new to YA fiction as an adult reader, and even newer to tales of love and loss, this was a book that still had me hooked. As a character Rebecca is so well written and defined, and as a narrator she tells the story perfectly from her own unique, if somewhat naive, perspective. Her feelings towards others are never in question, but are written in such a way that will always leave you wondering who she should believe, and who really has her best interests at heart. ...more
Melissa Grantham
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book had been on my radar for a while, and I’m so glad I finally got to read it. Ducarte does an incredible job of weaving fantasy into a very real story of the struggles of grief, depression, and anxiety. Once I got halfway through, I couldn’t put it down, finishing the remainder in one sitting. The way Ducarte adds her flavor of prose into the text is magnificent. A beautiful, beautiful story
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I am not going to lie...this book contains a lot of themes that hooked me even before I started reading it. Young romance, potential mental illness, adventure, drama, loss, and a wonderful backdrop of the east coast of Canada. With the high hopes of all of those things, I could have easily been disappointed or let down, but Holly Ducarte did not disappoint at all.

Once I started reading this book, I could not put it down...and when I had to, I could not wait to go back to it. I became invested i
Ellen Read
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Young love, an Irish legend, a hidden lighthouse and Peter Pan - I was hooked before I started reading.

This is also a story of mental illness, an otherworldly encounter, loss and grief. Holly Ducarte handles these difficult themes with great sensitivity.

‘We’re all like paper dolls. Happiest when linked to another, often unaware of our flimsiness. So easily torn. What happens when we reach out to find there's no one there to hold our hand?’
These are the opening lines of the story.

Becky is torn a
Alex (ReadingBetweenTheNotes)
Ok, I am officially a Holly Ducarte fangirl. I already knew that this girl could write - she frequently posts snippets of poetry on Instagram and it's stunning. Holly's first novel embodies the same raw beauty as her poetry and I was captivated for the duration. The opening imagery of paper dolls hooked me straight in and I felt gripped until the very end of the book.

I loved the small-town Canadian setting of the book and thought that Ducarte used pathetic fallacy perfectly to enhance her story
Holly Ducarte
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
This novel was a true labour of love for me. It took me years to get it to the point it's at in between a full-time career and then motherhood. I miss being in Lunenburg with the characters that have become such a big part of my heart. I prompt you to take a chance on this book and fall into the mysteries of an old Irish legend and a troubled girl on a journey to find out who she is with the help of an eccentric boy you might find resembles a certain character from Never Never Land. My hope is t ...more
Piper Bee
May 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
I sit in the wake of finishing this book meditating on hope and loss and how stories like these help us grab hold of both at once.

Ducarte is a beautiful soul, and that is made clear in her fiction. Becky's plight is heart-wrenching from the start. She's got her feet on sandy foundation, desperately seeking solid ground, with her mother passed too early and a new life with her once absent father. She hopes to find solid ground in Shawn, but she's naive and heartbroken and struggles with trusting
Josh Langlois
May 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Had I not met Holly through the Instagram writing community, I might not have come across this absolute GEM of a story. When I started reading it, I couldn't stop. I read it in 2 sessions, two days, back to back, because I simply had to finish this story. The main character, Rebecca(Becky) lives in a bit of a fantasy world in order to block out the major life changes she is going through. When she meets Shawn, everything changes, and she's able to live out a some of those fantasies. The relation ...more
Carrie Cotten
May 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Loved it!!! So often I read YA and the teenagers are making these mature choices and reacting in ways adults would react, but Holly did such a good job of really capturing the impulsive and emotionally driven parts of the teenage years.

It hurt to read some of the parts because I’m like “nooo! Don’t!” But it was so authentic and heartbreakingly real.

I love the imagery and how Holly really explored how hard it is to fight loss and even more so to fight the voices in our heads.

Such a good book!
Carrie Cotten
May 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Couldn’t put it down

It didn’t end how I’d hoped, but it ended how it needed to. I was wrapped up in this book from the beginning. It broke my heart in a good way. Skillfully written and perfectly crafted, this book offers hope amidst grief and light in the darkness.
Mary-Clare Terrill
Sep 09, 2020 rated it liked it
In 'The Light Over Broken Tide,' Rebecca forms an instant crush on her neighbour, Shawn, becoming enveloped in love, lust and a quest spurred on by a legend, involving an old lighthouse.

I came across Holly Ducarte's debut novel as the winner of an Instagram giveaway. While I found the protagonist frustrating and fool-hardy, as I believe she is intended to be, Ducarte offers an interesting take on an old classic, Peter Pan.

In reading and reviewing Ducarte's work, it is a pleasure to support anot
Nix Damon
Jul 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Holly. Why you gotta do me like that? Why you gotta make my heart ache so bad? My little paper person heart! You stuck a knife in my chest half way through, and then spent the rest of the book dragging it down until I was ripped to shreds by the most BEAUTIFUL story I've read in a long, long time.

I'm still aching. I'm still trying to tape myself back together. I started a support group with a friend and we are accepting members all year, every year from now on. Need a shoulder to cry on? Come o
Julia Blake
Sep 30, 2022 rated it it was amazing
A beautifully written and fascinating book that I found myself reading on two levels. The first was as a reader enjoying the intriguing and nicely paced plot, and the second was as a mother. Whilst our sympathies are intended to lie with the protagonist, Rebecca, my heart would clench with horrified pity for her father, Andy.

Following the death of her mother, care of the teenage Rebecca is taken on by her estranged father. Struggling to cope with her bereavement, Rebecca cannot connect with this
Stephen McClellan
Jan 16, 2022 rated it it was amazing
This is book is an absolutely beautiful piece of story-telling. The author’s character development, plot pacing and structure, ability to create emotionally dynamic scenes, portrayal of suicide ideation and mental deterioration, and overall writing styler were truly remarkable. Think Peter Pan meets Lord of the Flies. We read to connect to the characters, to feel their pain, to see ourself in their struggles, to resonate with their hope and their joy. And that’s what this story did—it swept me i ...more
Linda Alms
Jun 23, 2022 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book so much! Holly perfectly captured the angst, stubbornness, and naiveté of the teen psyche, and the amazing things the human brain will do to protect itself. I was rooting for Becky and her dad's relationship all the way through ...more
Mandy J
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was an arc reader, which means an advanced reader. I had the privilege to read this beautiful book before it's release. Thought provoking, adventurous, emotionally capturing, & poetically beautiful are just a few ways i can describe this novel. I couldn't put it down, and that's a lot to say since i haven't had a lot of time to read books recently. I FOUND time to read Holly's book. I read it in between work breaks, before bed, morning...till i was done. I will read it again, because it was so ...more
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Holly enjoys penning poetry and writing books with complex characters and intriguing settings. Her inspiration can be found from the psychology of the human mind, nature, a memory, tv, a song, a journey taken, people she’s met, the embrace of another, and the fragments of a dream.
Her works have been published as ebooks, paperbacks, showcased in magazines, newspapers, various online sites, and hig

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