A lush and haunting first novel, Moon Tide follows the lives of three women in a small fishing town on the Massachusetts coast, from 1913 to the Great New England Hurricane of 1938.
Through sensual and interwoven stories, Moon Tide explores the secret workings of the heart—the violence of desire and memory, the redemptive power of longing—matched against society’s rules of class and the unpredictable tempers of the natural world.
At the center of the novel is Eve, who takes refuge in silence and art after the death of her mother. Eve can sense how the past nips at the heels of the living, and her ethereal beauty inspires a quiet passion in Jake, the son of a local stonemason. For Elizabeth, Eve’s wealthy, eccentric grandmother, one summer at Westport Point extends into a lifetime. She stays on in the town year-round, building a great library in her house for the cold New England winters, haunted by the Ireland of her youth and by one man’s doomed obsession with nature. And then there is Maggie, the exotic stranger with a peculiar clairvoyance. Maggie lives in the precarious space between the locals and the rich—a balance that is ultimately compromised by Wes, a ruthless rum-smuggler, whose desire for her triggers small cruelties and then a staggering act of violence.
With lyrical prose, wisdom, and insight, Dawn Clifton Tripp maps the shifting tensions in a small town on the verge of change. Like the growing weight of a storm, the lives in Westport Point build in emotional momentum even as the Great Hur-ricane approaches, and the landscape of the earth comes to reflect the geography of the mind. A novel of love and loss, survival and revelation, Moon Tide is an extraordinary debut.
From the Hardcover edition.