The Tidal Zone by Sarah Moss was published on the 7th of July 2016, and due to raving reviews on booktube (mostly by Jen Campbell at https://www.youtube.com/user/jenvcampbell), I made sure I downloaded the audiobook from Audible as soon as possible. I finished this in three days, and today, only five days after its release, I feel compelled to do a review. This book was amazing.
I was attracted to this book initially because there is an underlying feature of Coventry and its bombed cathedral, which has family significance for me. My parents went to college in Coventry (my father even sneaked in a fake/joke sculpture into a formal exhibition alongside the likes of Henry Moore in the old cathedral with friends and made the newspapers in the 60’s!). My parents met for the second time on the stairs of the newer cathedral where Dad waited for Mum on the hour every hour until she appeared (in the days before mobile phones), and I have visited the cathedral and surrounding area myself several times.
This story follows a man who is researching and writing about the Coventry Cathedral when his eldest daughter has a near-death experience. Life changes for the family and they find that everything they once took for granted has changed. Elements of love, family life and dynamics, fear, loss, illness, health care, travel, history, social issues, children, teenagers, and marriage are explored.
This is such superb writing. There is a poetic feel to the language with beautiful observations of life. There are captivating storylines, gorgeous characters, and a clever and dry humour. There is a peppering of facts and current issues within the plot, which makes this book intriguing and unique. There are a few storylines intertwined that probably could have held up well on their own, but this combination was done so well that it only adds to the book’s power, and I definitely love this aspect of the book. I also could relate to so much; all the situations were clearly researched and understood by the author. I have worked as a nurse, and I felt the depiction of the hospital system was spot on, and having been a patient, I also laughed and nodded and felt impacted by that side of the story too. I also particularly enjoyed the exploration of a stereotypically female role by the male protagonist. There were so many enjoyable and fascinating elements to this book! I would definitely like to re-read this. I listened to the audiobook from Audible, which has fantastic narration, and I really enjoyed listening to it.
I definitely recommend this to everyone. There are so many elements involved that it will appeal to all. It is so beautifully written that it is sure to captivate.