We Run the Tides: Book summary and reviews of We Run the Tides by Vendela Vida

We Run the Tides

by Vendela Vida

We Run the Tides by Vendela Vida X
We Run the Tides by Vendela Vida
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2021
    272 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

An achingly beautiful story of female friendship, betrayal, and a mysterious disappearance set in the changing landscape of San Francisco.

Teenage Eulabee and her magnetic best friend, Maria Fabiola, own the streets of Sea Cliff, their foggy oceanside San Francisco neighborhood. They know Sea Cliff's homes and beaches, its hidden corners and eccentric characters—as well as the upscale all-girls' school they attend. One day, walking to school with friends, they witness a horrible act—or do they? Eulabee and Maria Fabiola vehemently disagree on what happened, and their rupture is followed by Maria Fabiola's sudden disappearance—a potential kidnapping that shakes the quiet community and threatens to expose unspoken truths.

Suspenseful and poignant, We Run the Tides is Vendela Vida's masterful portrait of an inimitable place on the brink of radical transformation. Pre–tech boom San Francisco finds its mirror in the changing lives of the teenage girls at the center of this story of innocence lost, the pain of too much freedom, and the struggle to find one's authentic self. Told with a gimlet eye and great warmth, We Run the Tides is both a gripping mystery and a tribute to the wonders of youth, in all its beauty and confusion.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Vida, whose polished and incisive prose is in the Didion mode, inflects this droll and sensitive coming-of-age tale...with eviscerating social commentary. A nimble and arresting drama about the spell cast by beauty, the compulsion to lie, the valor of forthrightness, and the inevitability of the inexplicable." - Booklist (starred review)

"That final chapter, in its compressed elegance and psychological subtlety, also hints at the novel that might have been. An engaging if somewhat flat teenage narrative of an apparent abduction and a dissolving friendship." - Kirkus Reviews

"[A] spirited if uneven coming-of-age yarn... At its best, the novel channels the girlish effervescence of Nora Johnson's The World of Henry Orient while updating Cyra McFadden's classic satire The Serial, but it's not quite enough to fully satisfy." - Publishers Weekly

"Set in a pre-tech boom San Francisco that feels moody, foreboding, and magical, this enigmatic tale of adolescent friendship, a disappearance, and coming-of-age is smart, sly, and as knowing about the mind and heart of a teenage girl as an Elena Ferrante novel." - O, the Oprah Magazine

"The girls in this book are everything, all of us: shape-shifters and outcasts, predators and prey, they lean into and away from the world that claims to know them. Vendela Vida is an astoundingly good writer and the ideas she's wrestling with in these pages—about sexuality and seeing, storytelling and identity—are profound." - Danzy Senna, author of New People

"From the first page, We Run the Tides is captivating. A story about girlhood, friendship, and the pathologies of innocence and victimhood, it reminds me of Ferrante's My Brilliant Friend, but set against the furious backdrop of San Francisco's Sea Cliff neighborhood. Its scope, ferocity, and main characters are unforgettable. Vendela Vida is masterful at constructing the nuances and complications of how young girls become aware of their power, and the choices they make once they wield it." - Sally Wen Mao, author of Oculus

"We Run the Tides is smart, perceptive, elegant, sad, surprising and addictive. And it's also FUNNY. Who knew that you could combine all of those qualities into one slim volume? Not many writers, that's for sure. I loved every single page, and was sorry when I had to say goodbye to Eulabee and her family." - Nick Hornby

This information about We Run the Tides shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Author Information

Vendela Vida

Vendela Vida is the award-winning author of six books, including Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name and The Diver's Clothes Lie Empty. She is a founding editor of The Believer magazine, and co-editor of The Believer Book of Writers Talking to Writers and Confidence, or the Appearance of Confidence, a collection of interviews with musicians. She was a founding board member of 826 Valencia, the San Francisco writing center for youth, and lives in the Bay Area with her family.

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