A mesmerizing, allegorical, and beautifully wrought first novel about one boy's wonder with the sea during the summer that will change his life, and the lives around him.
One moonlit night, thirteen-year-old Miles O'Malley slips out of his house,
packs up his kayak and goes exploring on the flats of Puget Sound. But what
begins as an ordinary hunt for starfish, snails, and clams is soon transformed
by an astonishing sight: a beached giant squid. As the first person to ever
see a giant squid alive, the speed-reading Rachel Carson-obsessed insomniac
instantly becomes a local curiosity. When he later finds a rare deepwater fish
in the tidal waters by his home, and saves a dog from drowning, he is hailed
as a prophet. The media hovers and everyone wants to hear what Miles has to
But Miles is really just a teenager on the verge of growing up, infatuated with the girl next door, worried that his bickering parents will divorce, and fearful that everything, even the bay he loves, is shifting away from him. While the sea continues to offer up discoveries from its mysterious depths, Miles struggles to deal with the difficulties that attend the equally mysterious process of growing up. In this mesmerizing, beautifully wrought first novel, we witness the dramatic sea change for both Miles and the coastline that he adores over the course of a summer - one that will culminate with the highest tide in fifty years.
I learned early on that if you tell people what you see at low tide they'll think you're exaggerating
or lying when you're
actually just explaining strange and wonderful things
as clearly as you can. Most of the time I understated what I saw because I
couldn't find words powerful enough, but that's the nature of
marine life and the inland bays I grew up on. You'd have to be scientist,
a poet and a comedian to hope to describe it all accurately, and even then you'd often fall
short. The truth is I
sometimes lied about where or when I saw things, but take that
little misdirection away and I saw everything I said I saw and more.
Most people realize the sea covers two thirds of the planet, but few take the time to understand even a gallon of it. Watch what happens when you try to explain something as basic as the tides, that the suction of the moon and the sun creates a bulge across the ocean that turns into a...
This is definitely a book to browse if you enjoy discovering new authors and especially if you find yourself drawn to the sea and all that lives in it.
(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Jim Lynch has won national journalism awards and published short fiction in literary magazines, and spent four years as the Puget Sound reporter for the Oregonian. A Washington State native, Lynch currently writes and sails from his home in Olympia, where he lives with his wife and daughter. The Highest Tide is his first novel.
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