Sara Freeman

Books Anna Stein, +1 212 556 5600 Email Anna Stein

Tides

book | Fiction | 2022
US → Grove Atlantic (Ed. Elisabeth Schmitz)
Canada → Hamish Hamilton (Ed. Deborah Sun De La Cruz)
UK & Comm excluding Canada → Granta (Ed. Laura Barber)

After the sudden, devastating loss of her young child, Mara flees her family to find solace elsewhere. She lands in a wealthy seaside town, steeped in both her grief and the fear that this tragedy was the inevitable result of her own destructive tendencies.

Deeply detached, Mara spends the first days of her self-imposed exile scrounging for food and drinking on the beach at night. With nothing to tether her, she feels herself fading away, a hollowed-out shell. She eventually finds herself working at a local wine and cheese shop, nursing a burgeoning drinking problem and without a sanctioned place to stay. There she meets Simon, the amiable and lonely owner recently abandoned by his wife and child. The two become friends, and Mara begins to thaw, buoyed by this new connection.

As Mara dances around her growing attraction to Simon, she reckons with her past errors and present desires, the compulsion she feels to both make and unmake herself. Tides is a spare, visceral meditation on the nature of selfhood, intimacy, and the private narratives that shape our lives. It calls to mind the work of Rachel Cusk, Jenny Offill and Marguerite Duras.

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Claire Nozieres manages the translation rights for Tides

Reviews

The beauty of Freeman’s prose lies as much in this unexpected cadence as in the contrast between beauty and harshness tucked into every page … In its poetic unfolding, Tides reveals itself to be a stunning and revelatory tale of the dissolution of one woman’s life, her unexpected ties to the sea, and the many ways present selves are tied to their pasts

Kerry McHugh, Shelf Awareness

Tides is concerned with what is intentionally hidden, flickering or muddied, waiting to be excavated... As the story unfolds in short sections sometimes only a sentence long (calling to mind Jenny Offill’s Dept. of Speculation and Weather) what’s most hypnotic is what’s revealed beneath the waves of language: the impossibility of leaving one’s past behind . . . Just as the tides are something we can count on, our life events are imprinted inside of us, fossilized and imperfect shells swirling with their own kind of broken beauty.

Boston Globe

The beauty of Freeman’s prose lies as much in this unexpected cadence as in the contrast between beauty and harshness tucked into every page … In its poetic unfolding, Tides reveals itself to be a stunning and revelatory tale of the dissolution of one woman’s life, her unexpected ties to the sea, and the many ways present selves are tied to their pasts

Kerry McHugh, Shelf Awareness

A poignant evocation of a woman adrift in the wake of tragedy... The experience of reading such a novel is like travelling through a series of expertly designed studio flats. You marvel at every interior you come to: a whole unto itself, not a foot wrong in the design.

Guardian

One of the most carefully written, brave, honest, devastating books I've read... explosive.

Cynan Jones, author of The Dig

As well as being beautifully atmospheric, Tides is an intriguing exploration of the effect of sheer propinquity on romance

Financial Times

Mercurial…. Freeman’s prose is taut and illuminating, a style that manages to be both detached and emotionally devastating… A powerful intelligence underpins this work, which concerns itself with familiar subjects of loss, legacy and love. So accomplished is Freeman’s interrogation of these matters that it is hard to believe it is her first book… [a] beautifully observed, elegantly written debut… Bleak but beautiful, a life understood instead of under siege

The Irish Times

[A] fine debut novel from Canadian British writer Sara Freeman who chooses a shuttered beach resort as the setting for a bleak winter’s tale

The Gloss

Gripping and chillingly topical, Tides is precise and pared down to the shape of the myth with the electricity of a real encounter. A vivid, propulsive portrait of grief and resilience, it is impossible to not fall into its hypnotic rhythm - a masterful debut.

Heidi Sopinka, author of The Dictionary of Animal Languages

Sara Freeman writes wonderful sentences,
wavy and surprising and full of sensations, and their sensual pull makes Tides an irresistible debut novel about one woman’s several loves.  Mara, “a name
like a sour apple, an unripe stone fruit,” is not so hard or bitter-tasting as her name  might sound, and her coming back to life is moving.

Christine Schutt

 “A tale of internal exile, of a woman on the lam from her own loved ones and from the memories that cage her. Tides is a marvel — lyrical and suspenseful at the same time."

Jonathan Dee, Pulitzer Prize finalist author of The Privileges

"Brilliant, elegant and unsparing, Tides is a lyrical meditation on selfhood: Sara Freeman illuminates, with a poet's eye, the shifting interior landscape of a woman adrift."

Emma Cline

To read Sara Freeman’s Tides is to witness the stunning aftermath of an intimate disturbance—a wave glowing in the dark. As readers we watch the exquisite beauty of its surface and are plunged inside its startling depths. Freeman reminds us of the grandeur and terror of being alive with others in whose company we might luminesce."

Jennifer Tseng

Body and soul, heart and mind, spirit and ground: in this astonishingly moving, taut debut, Sara Freeman gives us a woman on the edge of her own emotional survival.
A thrilling, visceral story of grief and renewal.

Stacey D'Erasmo, author of Wonderland

Representation
Books
Anna Stein
+1 212 556 5600
Email Anna Stein
Books
Sophie Lambert
+44 (0) 20 7393 4200
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Translation Rights
Claire Nozieres
+44 (0)20 7393 4425
Email Claire Nozieres