Grace A. Johnson
review: yesterday's tides by roseanna m. white
Y’all, I have been waiting for this novel for years. When I first began reading Roseanna M. White’s books back in 2016-2017, I found her blog and scoured her archives, digging up details about old stories she’d been working on. One of those was Yesterday’s Tides, a contemporary about Remington and Louisa and an inn on an island.
Suffice to say I immediately fell in love, but this story never came into fruition...until The Codebreakers series released, and one of the cryptographers in Room 40 was named Remington Culbreth.
As my younger sister once said, “I just knew, ew it, ew it.”
Yesterday’s Tides was to be reborn. Naturally, I bugged Roseanna about it until the day FINALLY arrived, and YT was on its way.
Cue my anxious anticipation for the culmination of my years of patient yearning.
To be honest, I hadn’t the foggiest notion what to expect from YT—I just knew that, despite it all, I would love it. See, I typically hate dual-time fiction (okay, not quite hate; it’s just not my favorite), but this is Roseanna M. White, y’all. And two historical timelines. And a dude named Sterling, for crying out loud! (I adore that name, FYI.)
I was right, by the way.
I loved it.
I loved it so much that I downright hated it, let’s be honest. This book had me literally feeling the panic. There was so much of that evil angsty back-and-forth and just plain good writing and all the questions and omgosh I barely survived this book.
(SPOILERS SECTION: Okay, so like, I knew Rem and Louisa were going to get together, stay together, etc., and have Evie and Davie, but SWEET LORD did Roseanna put me through a lot of crap to get to that! I LOATHE the divisive mother trope—although Rem’s precious father made up for it—so just everything that Edith did drove me absolute NUTS, and I couldn’t get over how well Roseanna wrote it, to keep everyone guessing about who was who and what was what. I mean, in my heart of hearts, I knew Aunt L was Celeste, but HOW?! HOW?! And Y’ALL THE ANGUISH. THE ANGUISH. MY SOUL COULD NOT BEAR IT. I could not stand for Rem and Louisa to be separated for SO STINKIN’ LONG. *sobs* SPOILERS OVER.)
Basically this book was just a huge slab of heartache made from tree pulp and ink.
I loved it.
Apart from the mutilation of my heart, my only “real” qualm is that IT WAS TOO SHORT. In the plot/development/characterization/romance department, that is. I had more than enough anguish, believe me. I wanted so much more of Sterling and Evie, and Louisa and Rem, and just the beautiful, sweet romance stuff...and the war-related intrigue and that situation at the end (both situations, actually, which was really the same situation in two separate timelines). I feel like we missed out on the wonder and the beauty and the intensity of it all—and to be honest? The characters were lacking some development, in my opinion. For example, I knew very well the differences between Evie and Louisa, I just had such a hard time keeping them straight regardless. And Sterling and Rem deserved so much more page time, because they were such lovely boys—men, I mean.
But technically, for me to want more of something means it was good, so there’s that.
Also, please read this in one sitting. Don’t read this over the span of three days, trust me.
If you couldn’t tell by now, I loved both timelines equally (very much a rarity, if that’s ever happened) and all four of the characters. And aaaalllll however-many of the side characters, which were SO fun and well-written! THE CAMEOS THOUGH GUYS. THE CAMEOS.
I’m a bit ashamed of myself that I missed Elsie, but in my defense, it’s been years since I read Circle of Spies, and since then I’ve read at least three hundred other books, so. *shrugs*
The cameos were easily the best part, as well as how vibrant and lovely the setting was! Of course, Roseanna wrote everything in her typical excellent fashion, including the setting. Ocracoke came to life, along with its people, and now I simply must visit! (Granted, I’ll probably visit the Scillies first, but then again, Ocracoke is a heck of a lot closer, so we’ll see. 😂)
Even though there was far too much plot for there to be any real character arcs/growth, there were some lovely themes that I know everyone will love and enjoy! Really every novel of Roseanna’s just leaves you with this beautiful feeling and appreciation for life, and I think that’s one reason why I love her work so much. I never feel depressed or ranty or confused or angry or apathetic after reading one of her books. I feel a little more inspired and in love with life, you might say, and grateful for the wonderful God who gave it to me.
Yesterday’s Tides is no exception, and it truly was worth the wait! (Even though I still want a contemporary romance from Roseanna one day. 👀)
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.
about the book
In 1942, Evie Farrow is used to life on Ocracoke Island, where every day is the same--until the German U-boats haunting their waters begin to wreak havoc. And when special agent Sterling Bertrand is washed ashore at Evie's inn, her life is turned upside down. While Sterling's injuries keep him inn-bound for weeks, making him even more anxious about the man he's tracking, he becomes increasingly intrigued by Evie, who seems to be hiding secrets of her own.
Decades earlier, in 1914, Englishman Remington Culbreth arrives at the Ocracoke Inn for the summer, but he doesn't count on falling in love with Louisa Adair, the innkeeper's daughter. When war breaks out in Europe, and their relationship is put in jeopardy, will their love survive?
As Evie and Sterling work to track down an elusive German agent, they unravel mysteries that go back a generation. The ripples from the Great War are still rocking their lives, and it seems yesterday's tides may sweep them all into danger again today.
Bestselling and award-winning author Roseanna M. White whisks you away to two periods fraught with peril in this sweeping and romantic dual-time tale.
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about the author
Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. She and her family make their home in the beautiful mountains of West Virginia. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.
Have you read Yesterday's Tides, or any of Roseanna's other books? Do you like dual-time fiction? WWI or WWII? I'd love to read your thoughts in the comments!
yours in spirit and script,
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