‘The past is a country of the mind – we wander there like dreamers in a shadowy landscape that hides its meaning from us . . . There are seasons in our lives,’ said Christina, ‘a pattern, like the old Indian cross within a circle. Our lives move round the circle, but not always at the same pace. You have been caught too long in the north, which teaches strength and endurance through suffering.’
In this country of the mind, following the cycle of the seasons, Ann Swinfen takes us back and forth between Scotland in 1980 and the tiny fishing village of Flamboro in Maine during 1942 to unravel the compelling story of Tirza Libby.
Tirza, a respected and successful war photographer, tries to escape her past by retreating to a remote Scottish island. But even thousands of miles and four decades cannot erase the memories of a childhood summer in Maine: a community profoundly altered by war, a family thrown into conflict, and the British airman who changed all their lives. A Running Tide tells the story of that fateful summer. Tirza has spent a lifetime trying to banish it from her mind, but it is not ready to let her go; only by revisiting Maine can she solve the mysteries of that past and complete her journey of self-discovery.
In its lyrical portrayal of a courageous but fragile way of life, A Running Tide gathers in force and tension as it moves towards tragedy and ultimate resolution.