Tideline By Penny Hancock – A Discussion (Contains Spoilers!)

I was really looking forward to reading this book as its premises sounded so interesting.  A fifteen year old teenage boy named Jez comes to borrow some music from Sonia a middle aged woman who can’t bear to let him go once he is inside her home.  She wants to keep him safe from the outside world.  Unknown

Although I did enjoy the book, it wasn’t as much as I had hoped.  I found it a little slow until it picked up a bit towards the middle.  Here are some notes;

* The book is told through the eyes of Sonia (the woman who kidnaps Jez) and Helen (Jez’s uncaring, alcoholic aunty).  At times I was frustrated at the frequency of changes from character to character.  I wanted to know more about Sonia and Jez not Helen and her self involved ways.  It turns out that the changing of characters was actually quite a clever move on the writer’s behalf.  BIG SPOILER ALERT – Helen is in fact eventually killed by Sonia (quite a twist) and Helen’s character ceases to tell the story.

* The story is also told through the eyes of a young Sonia who is in love with a boy called Seb.  This history is extremely important to the story line as we realise that Seb died at a young age and is the reason that Sonia is keeping Jez hostage.  She wants to keep him safe, like she could not do for Seb.  I enjoyed the characters and sub plot of young Sonia and Seb.  Sonia’s inert craving to please Seb was extremely well written.

* The ending, another big spoiler alert is actually quite shocking and left me feeling quite disturbed instead of comfortably satisfied which is what I expected.  It turns out that Sonia’s teen love interest Seb was actually her brother!  Quite a bold revelation by the author.  This combined with Sonia killing Helen and the police bursting in to arrest her and rescue Jez makes for a thrilling ending.


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