A newly reissued novel from the author of Girl, “one of the most celebrated writers in the English language” (NPR’s Weekend Edition)
“As her disturbing novel clearly reveals, Edna O’Brien possesses what Henry James called an imagination for
disaster...[Time and Tide] is an anthology of heightened moments...never less than brilliantly expressed.” —Joel Conarroe, The New York Times Book Review
Time and Tide is a fragmented novel detailing the loves and catastrophes—and catastrophic loves—of Nell, an Irish woman trying to make a life for herself in the literary world of London.
"A whimsical beauty who has swapped the suffocating narrowness of her native land for the loveless brutality of England" (The Independent), Nell is in flight from bitter, controlling, and small-minded parents, yet risks becoming just such a mother to her own sons. She seeks comfort and acceptance, yet finds death, drugs, and "an orgy of humiliation" (The New York Times Book Review). She seeks companionship, yet finds one after another predatory man: sadists, alcoholics, unscrupulous doctors, and even child molesters. Can Nell extract from the "the vast inhospitality of a creaking world" some measure of beauty and grace? The answer, of course, is yes—but at the price of many illusions.