Book Review: 'Tidepool' by Nicole Willson
5 stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Tidepool pulled me in with the first sentence: “Tidepool looked like the kind of place where people went to die, not to live.”
I thoroughly enjoyed this quirky story in which one Sorrow Hamilton sets out to the seaside town of Tidepool, Md., to find her missing brother. It turns out the sad little town’s horrible odor may be due to something more sinister than dead fish washing up on shore. I picked this book up because of its Lovecraftian undercurrents. Thankfully, however, author Nicole Willson doesn’t emulate H.P. Lovecraft’s overwrought writing.
Instead, she describes the town, the atmosphere and the characters in spare but skillfully chosen words, bringing them alive in my mind. I thought her writing also was faithful to the time period in question (early 1900s), never allowing more modern usages and terms to intrude and jar the reader out of the story.
The main characters were relatable and had depth. I liked the fact that Sorrow, the spunky heroine, was not altogether sympathetic, and that the villains were not total jerks.
In terms of horror, it’s just the sort that I like—not too gory, with a plot driven by the characters rather than high body count and pints of blood spilled. Although, let me warn you, there is plenty of blood spilled.
Well done. I look forward to reading the author’s next book.