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Synopses & Reviews
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 say.
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.
"An irresistible coming-of-age fable, dappled with lyricism, briny honesty and good humor. It's as if Carson herself (or, say, John McPhee) had turned to fiction, bringing an exacting sense of the ebb and flow of nature to the story of one largely unsupervised boy and the exploration of his surroundings." Los Angeles Times
"Lynch offers beautiful descriptions filled with quiet passion....Unfortunately, when it comes to [Miles's] sexual awakening, the novel declines into juvenile mediocrity that contrasts sharply with the remainder of this exquisite tale." Library Journal
"In stunning prose, author Jim Lynch puts sea life into a kaleidoscope where swirling shapes burst and reconfigure in continuous life-affirming wonder... The balance of elegance, groundedness and style is remarkable." San Francisco Chronicle
"The Highest Tide is a plunge into sustained and intelligent wonder. Jim Lynch creates a richly tumultuous world on a microcosmic stage. His characters and events are as complex and surprising as the sea that surrounds them. He's got me re-reading Rachel Carson and itching for tide pools of my own." Katherine Dunn, author of Geek Love
About the Author
Jim Lynch has won national journalism awards, 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.