Between the Tides
Patti Callahan Henry
New American Library, 2007 (2007)
Reviewed by Joan Burton
atherine Leary is returning to the hometown of her childhood. It is something she thought she would never do. At twelve years of age her parents packed everything up and informed her they would me moving in three days. They were leaving the seaside community of Seaboro, South Carolina, and moving to the mountains. Now, eighteen years later, Catherine is dreading the trip back. All the emotions she thought she had under control are beginning to surface. She will be returning to the scene of her childhood tragedy.
rayson Leary, a literature professor at the local university, has passed away. Months later, Catherine has still not carried out her father's wish, that she return to scatter his ashes in the Seaboro River. Devastated by his death, Catherine kept postponing the journey. The man she adored and who taught her so much about life and books is gone.
orrest Anderson, Grayson's teaching assistant and Catherine's old boyfriend, has presented her with a challenge. On the eve of her birthday, he brings the news that he plans to write an article on Grayson that includes the family's time in Seaboro. He also reveals that Grayson has visited there in recent years. Catherine is shocked to hear of this. Why would her father not tell her of these trips, and why was he going back there? Her father planned to put three questions to her inside a birthday letter. She agrees to go back to Seaboro with Forrest but only for a quick weekend visit. She does not want Forrest to dig up any family secrets for his article.
nce in Seaboro, Catherine is flooded with memories. She meets old friends and visits her family home, which is now turned into a museum. After talking with friends about things that happened in the past, Catherine realizes that she spent years tormented by guilt. With Forrest's help, she puts the past in perspective and finds the courage to move on and live her life. After all, life can be like the tide, it can lift you up or bring you down.
Between the Tides
, a deeply moving story of a young woman's struggle to find the truth and let go of the past.
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