'A total stranger can, in the way he looks at you, appropriate
your entire life. Love at first sight, they call it. Coup defoudre.'
Lucy Hamilton's existence has become 'a still life'. No more than
a creation by her artist husband, Charles, she is a woman whose
identity is disappearing as her beauty slowly wanes. Originally
an inspiration in her husband's paintings, their relations have
eroded to a listless formality, and he paints in absolute privacy.
They have moved to live on an isolated island off the east coast
of England, linked to the mainland only by a slim causeway, in a
house owned by Charles' enigmatic and protective agent, Andre. Lucy's
days are occasionally punctuated by fellow inhabitants of the sparsely
populated community: the laconic Norman, the melancholy photographer
Jorgen, and the hopelessly conventional Landies.
Into their frozen lives comes a stranger, a beautiful, sensual
young man, whose own personality is an enigmatic secret. Suddenly
Lucy's days are lit with anticipation - but darkened by the complex
emotions that his presence arouses, and the relationships it causes
her to reassess.
A Summer Tide, by Tony Peake
Trade paperback: Abacus, London, 1993. 279pp. ISBN 0-349-10481-6
Paperback: Abacus, London, 1994. 279pp. ISBN 0-349-10553-7
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