Lush and fiercely beautiful, Moon Tide follows the lives of three women in a small fishing village on the Massachusetts coast, from 1913 to the Great New England Hurricane of 1938. At the center of the novel is Eve, who takes refuge in silence and art after the untimely death of her mother. Eve can sense how the dead nip 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, and she stays on in the town year-round, building a great library in her house for the cold winters, haunted by the Ireland of her youth and 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, then a staggering act of violence. Like the growing weight of a storm, the lives in Westport Point build in emotional momentum even as the Great Hurricane approaches, and the landscape of the earth comes to reflect the geography of the mind.
"A shimmering work, an audacious debut, a gem."
"Evocative...luminous....a thrilling climax."
"A smooth sorrowful beauty of a first novel."
"Meticulously observed.....a rich tumultuous wave of natural lore and dailiness, love, loss, and revenge, all rendered by a young writer of impressive talent and heart."
—The Providence Journal
"Moon Tide is a haunting meditation -- reminiscent of Louse Erdrich -- on family, place, love, mourning, and memory. Dawn Tripp has written a novel so lovely and brutal it feels like a dream."
"Unforgettable....brilliant characterizations...shimmering descriptions....a gripping climax....Tripp's poetic narrative will remind some of Michael Ondaatje and others of Barry Lopez, but she's an original."
"The characters are vividly drawn but the real star of this novel is its setting which is described with such great feeling that the fierceness of the sea, the solitude of the village, and the volatility of the climate seem to surround the reader on every page. Tripp is a young writer, blessed with the descriptive powers of a mature poet and writes of breakers and tides and crested swells as though she had spent a lifetime at sea."
"A lyrical debut novel about the magical and mysterious ways science, history, geography and family intersect and personalities endure.....This is a fascinating and pleasurable reading experience."
"Sensual and visceral...impressively researched and often hypnotic...Tripp is adept at illuminating how age shreds the fabric of both memory and consciousness....She writes wonderfully of the characters' dawning awareness of the storm's magnitude. In Tripp's hands the storm becomes a complex piece of music that builds note by note, swelling to its deadly crescendo......a perfect book for late summer reading."
—The Boston Globe
"A dream of a book--hypnotic, poetic, transporting the reader through time and space."
—The Charlotte Observer
"An exquisitely wrought debut....The book reads with a sea-like syntactical cadence, and Tripp shoots it through with visual richness and detail....Her themes blend and meld: social class and place, the effects of change, the power of words, the frailty of humans against natural life forces, the effects of memory and love."
"A beautifully written first novel ... Tripp is an unusual stylist who filters all of her characters' perceptions and emotions through their connection the land. Haunting, ethereal and often brutal, her novel achieves the resonance of myth."