Peter's Latest Novel

Constant Tides:

Out now in paperback, ebook & audiobook.


Two families bound by the Strait of Messina.

Constant Tides is a story of survival, sacrifice and immense courage.




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.



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.



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.


Early reviews:


Constant Tides is a really lovely story spanning several generations and set in Messina, Sicily. This book is split into three different stories, and from three different periods in history the author weaves together a tapestry of relationship stories with a common essence. The story of Lilla and Enzo is set during and in the immediate aftermath of the 1908 earthquake. Mira and Nicolas’ story is told with the backdrop of WWII, Mussolini leadership and German occupation. Antonio and Caterina’s modern story helps to bring events full circle and shows “When families are close, there is no one closer”. Throughout there is also a collection of equally endearing, interesting and colourful supporting characters.

I really enjoyed this book, although by Book 3 I had created myself a little family tree to work out whether Caterina and Antonio were related, or whether they would receive the happy ending I was hoping for. While also being a delightful relationship tale, this book also does a very good job of being a travel brochure for Sicily. The descriptions of the places and the peoples of Ganzirri and Messina were charming and inviting. I feel like I’ve had a little holiday while reading. 

I don’t want to go into any more detail about the plot. I thoroughly enjoy waiting to see what each outcome would be and where each story would take us, and I would want everyone else that reads this book to enjoy Constant Tides without discovering anything in advance. I think this is a lovely book with real heart and I would recommend it.



To me this is Peter Crawley's finest book yet. I was enthralled from the word go, read it swiftly despite still working during lockdown and would recommend it to anyone with a love of Italy and the Mediterranean, an interest in more recent history and the wish to be involved in a well written, detailed and at times complex story of three generations based in and around Messina and the foreigners who come in and out of their lives. Mr Crawley has a knack for getting inside the heads of his characters and his readers and bringing a place to life so that you walk with them through the scenes as the book progresses. I just wish I had been on holiday as then I would have finished it in a day probably but I might have been antisocial in doing so!




“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.




Who needs to go on holiday this summer? With Constant Tides I have visited Messina daily. The evocative descriptions of the town and surrounding countryside allow you to wander the streets and hillsides in your mind. It is hard to imagine the hardships and privations of the inhabitants, first with the earthquake, the life of bombing and rationing in World War Two. Sillfully bringing the book up to date, you feel that you know the elderly inhabitants having lived through their traumas with them. Peter Crawleymasterfully draws together three generations whose life is woveninto the past and present of Messina. The attention to detail is outstanding and the story gripping. Learning about the earthquake that killed over 100,000 people in 1908, I didn't want to put the book down. Peter Crawleyhas got into the head of his characters, bringing them to life. This could not be done without a deep understanding of the human psyche. It looks as if a lot of us won't be going abroad this summer - well not a problem -just get this book and bring Italy into your home instaed. A brilliant read.




Given the chance, I would have read Constant Tides in one sitting... just impossible to put down. Sicily in earthquake devastation, young romance shattered, the curelty of war then families somehow reunited... brilliantly constructed... Pete I was totaly absorbed from beginning to last page.



I have read Peter Crawley's books for some years. His writing is delightful. This book is just amazing. The detail is exceptional without taking away from the story. I knew nothing of Messina let alone Sicily, but I feel I want to go there now - sadly not possible. Peter has written about three incredible women. Don't take that the wrong way. It also involves amazing Sicilian men - men of history never mind now. Read this now, you will be transported to another world."




My first book from this author! Captivating from the start. I will definitely be purchasing more of his work.




I have read all of Peter Crawley's books and Constant Tides does not disappoint. It is a wonderful story which is obviously the result of hours of research and work. Through his writing Peter describes, in detail, Sicily and the town of Messina as well as the lives of his female characters; Lilla, Mira and Angelica. The story follows the relationships these girls form with others in society covering three distinctive eras. Once I started reading Constant Tides I found it difficult to put down. I was fascinated to learn about Sicily and the events in history that shaped the area while forming a binding relationship with each of the characters. I strongly recommend reading this book and believe it will appeal to a variety of readers.




Further viewing


Videos of Peter describing the locations, events and characters that inspired Constant Tides.


Constant Tides - Part 1: Locations


Constant Tides - Part 2: Characters


Constant Tides -Part 3: Casa Cuseni


FinalCut Teaser for Constant Tides Audiobook


Books by Peter

 Constant TidesThe Wind Between Two WorldsThe Truth in FictionOntrettoBoarding House ReachMazzeri



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