Two families bound by the Strait of Messina.
Constant Tides is a story of survival, sacrifice and immense courage.
1908: Young Lilla hurries through the gardens of Villa Mazzini to meet Enzo. Together, they hope to leave the city for a new life in America. All that stands in their way – his father and the deadliest earthquake in Messina’s history.
1943: War has already made Mira a widow and the Tenente is charming and sophisticated; without his supplies she would have had to close the café long ago. Then one night, an Italian sailor brings an injured man to her door.
2019: Surely, if the Englishwoman speaks the local dialect, she should know the waters off Capo Peloro are treacherous. So when the woman is swept away, Angelica wonders if she has put herself in danger intentionally.
“Another winner from Peter Crawley”
Each novel from Peter
Crawley is more ambitious in scope than the previous. His latest encompasses more than a century in the lives of interlinked families and those who come up against them in and around Messina on the
north-east coast of Sicily. It starts with the 1908 earthquake which largely destroys the city and the harrowing descriptions of the death and destruction are not for the faint-hearted. This sets in
motion a series of events taking in 1943 where Italy, in an increasingly fractious alliance with its German allies endures the American invasion and finally 2019 where descendants of the original
sundered families interact to bring about a very satisfying conclusion.
Throughout the lives of local people are closely examined and Crawley manages to sketch in fascinating historical and cultural details without clunky exposition and as well as making you sympathetic to the characters makes you want to find out more about this fascinating part of Italy - about which I knew next to nothing. The style is fluid and assured, but not flowery and Chapter 6 of Book 2 detailing a meeting between a determined cafe owner seeking supplies and a self important sentry is a masterpiece of serio-comic writing. Thoroughly recommended. (Waterstones)