Tides (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Rachel's Pick

This debut is a slow burn with an unexpected explosion! It begs to question human motivation while under great hardship. This compact novella is a quick read that engages from beginning to end and leaves behind fragments of contemplation. For fans of Rachel Cusk or Jenny Offill.

— From Rachel's Picks

Tides throws you in the mind of a woman who has lost everything and questions if she has done so by choice. With sparse, poetic prose that leaves you shellshocked like our narrator, this book is a heartbreaking read that'll only leave you wishing you could've spent more time in the reality Freeman creates.

— From Nath's Picks


"Brilliant, elegant, and unsparing." --Emma Cline " S]tarkly beautiful." -- WBUR"Enchanting." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)An intoxicating, compact debut novel by the winner of Columbia's Henfield Prize, Tides is an astoundingly powerful portrait of a deeply unpredictable woman who walks out of her life and washes up in a seaside town.

After a sudden, devastating loss, Mara flees her family and ends up adrift in a wealthy seaside town with a dead cellphone and barely any money. Mired in her grief, Mara detaches from the outside world and spends her days of self-imposed exile scrounging for food and swimming in the night ocean. In her state of emotional extremis, the sea at the town's edge is rendered bleak, luminous, implacable.

As her money runs out and tourist season comes to a close, Mara finds a job at the local wine store. There, she meets Simon, the shop's soft-spoken, lonely owner. Confronted with the possibility of connection with Simon and the slow return of her desires and appetites, the reasons for her flight begin to emerge.

Reminiscent of works by Rachel Cusk, Jenny Offill, and Marguerite Duras, Tides is a spare, visceral debut novel about the nature of selfhood, intimacy, and the private narratives that shape our lives. A shattering and unforgettable debut.

About the Author

Sara Freeman is a Montreal-born writer currently based out of Boston. She graduated from Columbia University with an MFA in Fiction in 2013. At Columbia, she won the Henfield Prize for the best piece of short fiction by a graduate student. Her work has previously been published in a number of literary magazines.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780802159175
ISBN-10: 0802159176
Publisher: Grove Press
Publication Date: January 16th, 2022
Pages: 256
Language: English