Turn The Tides Gently by Matt Wingett
Reviewed by Mark Caney
This is an intriguing story set in present day Portsmouth centred around the main character, Dave. He is one of society's misfits who is resident in a special hostel under some form of care in the community arrangement. He is under the supervision of a well meaning doctor who believes him to be psychologically disturbed. This is because Dave has visions, and when he is unwise enough to admit them to the doctor, he is medicated until these are subdued.
To Dave, though, the visions are real enough and as the reader, we must assume they are. Dave will wander through the streets of contemporary Portsmouth and see glimpses of scenes from its past: vignettes of Victorian life, snatches of Tudor times, they come and go in his mind and seem real enough to him. The detail in these scenes make them seem authentic and the descriptions of Dave's experiences are convincing. What is also convincing is the description of his treatment, his sensations while under the medications his doctor prescribes and how they affect Dave's grasp on the dual realities he experiences.
Eventually, while beside the sea, Dave has an encounter with a strange woman - a mermaid in fact - and this is different from his other visions because she sees him and eventually communicates with him. It seems that Dave is not only glimpsing other times, but may even be able to pass into them *** spoiler alert begin *** (an ability he shares with cats it turns out) *** spoiler alert end ***.
We eventually find that there are connections between Dave, his drowned brother, and the old Victorian house that is now the hostel where he is treated in the present day. As a result, many of the characters and details suddenly make sense.
Turn The Tides Gently is a short book, more of a novella really at only 78 pages, and there are limits to how complete and detailed a world a writer can create in such a space, but overall it is a complete and engaging story. In the epub version I reviewed there was also a bonus addition: the opening chapters of another of the author's stories.
As well as being an engaging story, Turn The Tides Gently will give you a feeling for the obvious affection that Matt Wingett holds for Portsmouth and would make you want to visit the area to try to find some of the settings described in this book.
This Turn The Tides Gently book review was written by Floresiensis
Have you read Turn The Tides Gently?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
Turn The Tides Gently reader reviews
8/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Two magicians shall appear in England. The first shall fear me; the second shall long to behold me The year is 1806. England is beleaguered by the long war with Napoleon, a...
Guy Gavriel Kay
For two years Shen Tai has mourned his father, living like a hermit beyond the borders of the Kitan Empire, by a mountain lake where terrible battles have long been fought ...
The Yiddish Policemen's Union
What if, as Franklin Roosevelt once proposed, Alaska - and not Israel - had become the homeland for the Jews after World War II? In Michael Chabon's Yiddish-speaking ...
Hats off to Brandenburg
London, 1815 – The Roxy Playhouse is in trouble! The Roxy Playhouse Irregulars, those libertine artists and dreamers, are up to their necks in debt – “Pay...
The Master and Margarita
Moscow, 1929: a city that has lost its way amid corruption and fear, inhabited by people who have abandoned their morals and forsaken spirituality. But when a mysterious st...
Catherynne M Valente
Child of the revolution, maiden of myth, bride of darkness. A handsome young man arrives in St Petersburg at the house of Marya Morevna. He is Koschei, the Tsar of Life, an...
Only five still guard the borders between the worlds. Only five hold back what waits on the other side. Once the Oversight, the secret society that polices the lines betwee...
The Gamehouse is an unusual institution. Many know it as the place where fortunes can be made and lost through games of Chess, Backgammon - every game under the sun. But a ...
Nights at the Circus
Is Sophie Fevvers, toast of Europe's capitals, part swan... or all fake? Courted by the Prince of Wales and painted by Toulouse-Lautrec, she is an aerialiste extraordin...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages: