Tides of Honour by Genevieve GrahamTides of Honour by Genevieve Graham

Tides of Honour

byGenevieve Graham

Paperback | April 21, 2015

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A novel of love, loss, and honour amidst the horrors of war and its aftermath.

In the summer of 1916, Private Daniel Baker marches into battle with the boys of Nova Scotia’s 25th Battalion. Out of brutal necessity, Danny has steeled himself against the trials and horrors of war, but he is completely unprepared to meet the love of his life in war-torn France.

Audrey Poulin has the soul of an artist. She lives alone with her grandmother in the quiet French countryside, where her only joy is in her brush and palette. When, by chance, she encounters Danny, the handsome young soldier captures her heart and inspires her painting. The young lovers believe that only together can they face the hardships the war brings.

But love is just the beginning. Mere months later, Danny is gravely wounded at the Battle of the Somme, and his future is thrown into uncertainty. Soon, he and Audrey find themselves struggling to build a new life in Halifax, a city grieving its lost men. As the grey winter of 1917 sets in, Danny’s lack of purpose and Audrey’s isolation continue to mount, pulling the two apart just as a new catastrophe threatens their existence.

Heartrending and enthralling, Tides of Honour is a novel of love and second chances set against Halifax’s most devastating moment of the First World War.
Title:Tides of HonourFormat:PaperbackDimensions:448 pages, 8.38 × 5.5 × 1.1 inPublished:April 21, 2015Publisher:Simon & SchusterLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1476790515

ISBN - 13:9781476790510

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Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from Ok This book started off really strong and I was loving it. Towards the end however, it became weaker and I spent more time being frustrated with the characters and their unfathomable decisions as opposed to enjoying the story. Regardless however, a fairly good read and a great tribute to our Canadian history.
Date published: 2017-04-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Captivating Read Genevieve Graham’s writing of TIDES OF HONOUR is gorgeous as always. Audrey and Danny’s story is captivating read. TIDES OF HONOUR is set in 1916 during World War I, and part of the story takes place in France while the rest takes place in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I love the way that Genevieve Graham incorporated the significant 1917 Canadian historical event of the Halifax explosion. Graham’s vivid descriptions of this catastrophic event intricately demonstrate the ways people had to pull together in the aftermath of such horror. This is a tender love story despite the hardship and tragedy of war. Danny’s family is a quintessential multi-generational fishing family from a quaint fishing village. I strongly recommend this book for fans of “All the Light We Cannot See.”
Date published: 2016-09-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Tides of Honour Although a bit slow to lay down the background, this book was truly enjoyable. As I am from Halifax myself, I particularly liked the historical aspect which made the novel realistic. I highly recommend this book and will likely read others by his author.
Date published: 2015-10-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Canadian heroes Romance and great history lesson rolled into a good read. We don't blow our horn enough about events that have happened here. Maybe we need to be a little louder in praise of what our military have accomplished throughout the world.
Date published: 2015-10-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this read! This is the story of a young man returning from WWI after losing a leg. A young lady he met in France and fell in love with joins him at his family home in Nova Scotia to marry him there. Their lives take them to Halifax, where ther live at the time of the explosion in the Halifax Harbour. It is a truly Canadian story and one rarely told.
Date published: 2015-09-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Love books that are set during historical events! Although I was aware of the 1917 event that caused so much damage and devastation in Halifax, I wasn't really aware of the details. This story intertwines WWI France-England with Halifax-sea-side Nova Scotia in an interesting tale of love, family and the economic strife of the time. People often think of the 1960's as a time of great change but WWI had more of an impact on the times with the changing role of women, a lost generation of men and immigration. This story is fiction but one can easily understand the frustrations and disappointments of those returning from the war, especially those that are broken, whether physically, mentally or spiritually, or more often than not, all three. It's also very difficult for those around them that are trying to understand what happened to the soldiers when they don't wish to speak about the horrors that they experienced. A great read!
Date published: 2015-07-16
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Tides of Honour I loved this story. A romance set in the war years. It was a page turner. Audrey and Danny had many struggles and hardships because of the war. I just had to admire them. This book was hard to put down. First read by this author and I will look at other books she had written.
Date published: 2015-07-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Poignant and Compelling France, 1916. When Audrey Poulin encounters a troop of Canadian soldiers, she gives them shelter and food for the night. Among them is Private Daniel Baker. An instant enchantment arises between them and by the time he has to depart, they are deeply in love with each other. As the war rages, the young lovers exchange letters and they promise to wed as soon as Danny can return. But destiny intervenes and Danny is severely wounded. He releases Audrey from her pledge to marry him. But Audrey's deep love for Danny won't allow it. She travels from France to Nova Scotia, a vastly different life and setting from the French countryside where she grew up, and there she falls in love with the village and her new family. The aftermath of war is far reaching and Danny grows ever more despondent, bringing conflict and loss into their lives. It takes a major Canadian disaster for the two lovers to find themselves once more. This multi-layered novel and its intriguing subplots makes this one of the best novels I've read this year. It's more than a love story. The tale successfully incorporates World War I, the Halifax explosion, and two different countries and blends it with subthemes of love, art, family, loss, PTSD. Rich, compelling, and totally engrossing - this novel is definitely one to read! Historically accurate and brilliantly researched, the story is alive and vivid. Loved this novel and I highly recommend it to everyone from all nations, but especially to Canadian readers!
Date published: 2015-05-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from TIDES OF HONOUR another WINNER by Genevieve Graham Graham's TIDES OF HONOUR is one of the best Canadian books I have read! A wonderful love story first, but a sweeping tale of Danny's and Audrey's fight to stay together despite the tides that are their obstacles: the horrors of WWI, the mental and physical toll on our soldiers who returned from it, the necessity of women working in factories at home at half the wages of men, the suffrage movement and awakening power for women, corruption and greed in labour management that spawned the need for the unions. And then the Halifax Explosion...experienced by this reader as if I was there. Graham weaves words that made me weep and laugh and worry and celebrate with the characters we come to love. Her settings in Canada's Maritimes, are vivid and compelling us to visit Nova Scotia's Eastern Shore. Great history, supreme storytelling. Worthy of CanLit legend and a must read for pure joy.
Date published: 2015-05-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Home grown historical fiction 3.5/5 Ahh, historical fiction in times of war - a favourite of mine. The tagline on the cover of Genevieve Graham's new book Tides of Honour made this a must read for me - "Halifax 1917 - Love in a Time of War. Canadian historical fiction! Tides of Honour opens in 1916 with Danny Baker returning home from WWI to the small fishing outport of East Jeddore, Nova Scotia - minus a leg. While in France, Danny had met a young woman named Audrey. Both smitten, they had struck up a written correspondence that sustained them both through troubled times. They plan to marry when the war is over, but with the loss of his leg, Danny tries to end it. Tides of Honour is told from both Danny and Audrey's perspective, with both protagonists having their own chapters. Graham has woven a lovely historical piece around war, the aftermath and it's effect on individuals, communities and society. The Halifax Explosion is part of history every Canadian should know about and Graham depicts it very well. But, it is romance that is at the heart of this novel. Graham hits all the right notes for a love story - love found, love lost, barriers (social, mental, physical and there's a well drawn antagonist it's impossible not to dislike) and a rocky path to resolution. I became caught up in Danny and Audrey's story - hoping for a happy ending. I did find that there were perhaps one too many 'push me, pull me, yes or no moments' near the end of the novel. And, I question a plot point involving Audrey, given her interest and support of the Suffragette movement. But that aside, I was caught up in their story from start to finish. I loved the setting - I've traveled to Nova Scotia and visited both Halifax and the area around Jeddore. Graham did a wonderful job bringing these locations to life - I was able to easily envision them. The easy community, friendliness and perseverance of the Nova Scotians is just as well portrayed through the supporting players. Graham herself makes her home on the island - her first hand view shows in her work. Tides of Honour is an easy, enjoyable read perfect for the back porch after dinner.
Date published: 2015-04-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Home grown historical fiction 3.5/5 Ahh, historical fiction in times of war - a favourite of mine. The tagline on the cover of Genevieve Graham's new book Tides of Honour made this a must read for me - "Halifax 1917 - Love in a Time of War. Canadian historical fiction! Tides of Honour opens in 1916 with Danny Baker returning home from WWI to the small fishing outport of East Jeddore, Nova Scotia - minus a leg. While in France, Danny had met a young woman named Audrey. Both smitten, they had struck up a written correspondence that sustained them both through troubled times. They plan to marry when the war is over, but with the loss of his leg, Danny tries to end it. Tides of War is told from both Danny and Audrey's perspective, with both protagonists having their own chapters. Graham has woven a lovely historical piece around war, the aftermath and it's effect on individuals, communities and society. The Halifax Explosion is part of history every Canadian should know about and Graham depicts it very well. But, it is romance that is at the heart of this novel. Graham hits all the right notes for a love story - love found, love lost, barriers (social, mental, physical and there's a well drawn antagonist it's impossible not to dislike) and a rocky path to resolution. I became caught up in Danny and Audrey's story - hoping for a happy ending. I did find that there were perhaps one too many 'push me, pull me, yes or no moments' near the end of the novel. And, I question a plot point involving Audrey, given her interest and support of the Suffragette movement. But that aside, I was caught up in their story from start to finish. I loved the setting - I've traveled to Nova Scotia and visited both Halifax and the area around Jeddore. Graham did a wonderful job bringing these locations to life - I was able to easily envision them. The easy community, friendliness and perseverance of the Nova Scotians is just as well portrayed through the supporting players. Graham herself makes her home on the island - her first hand view shows in her work. Tides of War is an easy, enjoyable read perfect for the back porch after dinner.
Date published: 2015-04-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Intense and emotional It’s no secret I love historic fiction. Books dealing with war aren’t my favourite, but the fact that Genevieve Graham is Canadian and this book has a Canadian setting (which is unfortunately rare) intrigued me. Tides of Honour was emotional, powerful, and heartbreaking. It was an epic love story, but it was also so much more than that. When Danny returns to Nova Scotia after being injured during WWI, he’s haunted by the war and missing part of one leg. His emotional and psychological scars, like many soldiers, are as painful as his physical ones. Life is the same, and yet completely different than when he left home two years ago. His brothers are growing up, his family treats him differently, and there are so many things he could once do that are no longer possible because of his injury. I liked Danny a lot - he was complex and had a lot of depth. His struggles, both physically and mentally, were very real. I kept tearing up at his descriptions in the first few chapters, and I found it easy to connect with him. With so many changes and so much pain in his life, the thought of Audrey coming from France to Canada to be his wife kept Danny going. I really liked these two together. They had an instant connection, one that remained through the time and distance that separated them. They were one of those couples that seemed meant to be, and I rooted for them throughout the course of the book. The struggles they experienced, both together and separately, taught them a lot and made them grow. Life threw a lot of obstacles in their way, things that many people wouldn’t be able to overcome, but they were strong and persistent, and they fought through everything that came their way. Tides of Honour wasn’t always easy to read in terms of content. Parts of the book got quite dark, and a lot of the scenes after the Halifax Explosion were pretty gruesome and disturbing, plus just utterly heartbreaking. And yet the story was so compelling and the setting so vivid, I had trouble putting this book down. Normally a book that’s 400+ pages would tell me close to a week (or more) to read, but I managed to read Tides of Honour in three evenings. I don’t remember learning about the Halifax Explosion in school, so I found it interesting (and completely horrifying and heart-wrenching), and it was obvious Ms Graham had done a lot of research, not only with that, but also with the aspects of the war we saw through Danny’s memories, flashbacks, etc. Clearly I thoroughly enjoyed this book. So why only four stars? Parts of it (especially the parts from Audrey’s perspective) kind of dragged. It got repetitive at times, going over the same information over and over (like how Audrey had come from living with her mother in England to living with her cold, unfeeling grandmere in France). And while I thought the sentiment of the ending was nice and I was mostly satisfied, it felt a bit rushed. There were also parts that seemed unrealistic, with one thing in particular that really bothered me and seemed completely unnecessary and left a bad taste in my mouth. There were also times when the timeline seemed a bit off, like it felt like quite a bit of time had passed, but it would only be a day or a week or something. It felt a bit discombobulated. Tides of Honour is an intense and compelling read about perseverance, hope, faith, love, and family, set against a Canadian backdrop that comes alive on the page. I felt a wide range of emotions while reading this story about timeless love and survival. I won a copy of Ms Graham’s Under the Same Sky from a Canadian reading challenge last year, and after reading Tides of Honour, I’ll be bumping it up on my reading list, and I’ll be eager to see what she writes next.
Date published: 2015-04-22

Read from the Book

Tides of Honour ONE The rocky shores of Halifax jutted from the sea, her buildings and trees appearing and disappearing like black angled spectres playing hide and seek in the drifting mist. Her dark profile came as a relief to the hundreds of hearts beating on board HMHS Mauretania. Seven days and nights on the Atlantic had been too long, and the passengers craved the security of solid ground. The autumn air was cool, barely moving, the hovering mystery of fog undisturbed. As the ship neared the shore, Danny saw people wandering the hillside along the confusing grid of streets, small figures in black meeting up. He couldn’t hear them over the grinding engines of the ship, but he knew they were talking, laughing as if they hadn’t a care in the world. His gut twisted at the sight, though he knew it shouldn’t affect him this way. He couldn’t help it. What right did these people have to move with such optimism in their strides, to meet and walk and think nothing of what could happen in the next step? What right did the city have to so much life? So much hope? Danny’s parents were waiting for him when the tide washed the big ship into the Halifax port. They stood on the dock, two small figures wrapped in coats and scarves, waving. His father’s other hand was tucked under his mother’s elbow. They both stood tall, smiling, but Danny thought from that distance they looked older. Standing straight or not, they looked a little stooped. Coming down the ramp was awkward, as he’d known it would be. Danny was learning every day how to better manage the chunk of wood that was now his right leg, but he still leaned heavily on his crutch. He hated the leg. Hated the sores it wore on his stump. But he wasn’t very well going to carry on his life hopping like a one-legged rabbit. That was for damn sure. So when the nurse had offered to show him how to use the crutch properly, Danny had listened and learned. “Danny!” his mother cried, rushing forward. She stopped short two feet away from him, looking uncertain, her arms outstretched as if she were waiting to be thrown a ball. “It’s okay, Mother,” he said. “It’s just my leg, and it hardly pains me much anymore.” Her head tilted, catching the sunlight, and he saw grey strands threading in and out of her tethered hair. He didn’t think those had been there before. Or had they, and he hadn’t noticed? “Oh, Danny,” she said. Her eyes, wet with sympathy, flicked from his face to the place where his leg should have been. “Here, now. What a sin.” He shifted his crutch out of the way when she stepped forward and folded him against her, and he thought there was no better, no stronger place on earth than in his mother’s arms. She had cried that other day as well, eighteen or so months past, watching him climb the ship’s ramp along with Big Jimmy Mitchell and Fred Arnold. Back then they’d been a different kind of tears. And though he hadn’t been around to see it, he knew she’d cried again when he’d written to her about his two best friends being shot to pieces in the muck. But he wouldn’t think of that. Couldn’t. Not today, at least. For a moment he let himself hang on to his mother as if he were a little boy again, holding his breath to contain the sobs that pushed against the wall of his chest. He wouldn’t cry. Wouldn’t give in. Seemed awfully silly to cry, now everything was behind him. “Son,” Danny’s father said, and his mother stepped to the side, sniffing into a worn handkerchief. Daniel Baker Sr. clasped Danny’s hand in an iron, callused grip. “Good to have you back.” Daniel Sr. was a traditional man, a man who stood as if a pole had been slid into his spine. He was a fisherman and a Baptist minister, a man with such a strong belief that he expected that the sun rose or fell depending on how he carried himself. His father had worn his black suit today, the one he normally reserved for Sundays. The older man held his firstborn’s gaze for a moment longer than usual, and Danny felt suddenly like a child who had done something he couldn’t remember, but whatever it was, it would require penance. He knew he was expected not to look away, so he held his ground and studied his father’s even stare. He saw pain there, certainly, and loss. But there was something else, he thought. His father looked hollow. Tired. And . . . disappointed? Danny nodded. “Damn fine to be back, sir,” he said. “Danny! Your language!” his mother exclaimed out of habit. Her lips pursed in an expression he remembered well, a frown she’d given him for as long as he could remember. From back in the days when he was small enough she could wash out his mouth with soap. But she hadn’t done it often. Only when he hadn’t given her a choice. His mother enjoyed laughing more than anything else. God, Danny was tired. His body trembled from relief and exhaustion and hunger and grief. “Sorry, Mother.” Home. The familiar, aching face of love, half frowning at him for forgetting where he was. Home. The filth of battle beginning to peel like the curls of old paint from the surface of his heart. Home. No more waiting for shrapnel to shred his brain. From the ship they went to the schooner, all nineteen feet of it waiting quietly at the dock’s edge. Funny how land changed under a man’s feet. One day Danny’d been running through grass and roots, the next marching up to his knees in sucking mud. Now he walked on weathered timbers, and the wood of his leg met the wood of the dock. The ground here was predictable. Familiar. Setting foot in the boat was like coming home all over again. The rocking motion caused by his weight welcomed him like a feather mattress, and he fell back into the rhythm he had always known, helping to haul in ropes and cinch them, feeling for the current and sensing the momentum—though his balance was precarious these days. When the wind filled the sails and pointed them up the Eastern Shore, Danny sat and wondered if he really had just lived through a war. Or whether it had all been the most unimaginable of nightmares. The soft rocking of the boat and the sight of his father’s back was a comfort, and since he knew there was a good six-hour trip to go, he let his head nod. He woke a few times, but the exhaustion that had dragged him under kept him sleeping for most of the journey. When at last they approached his home, he awoke as if someone had tapped him on the shoulder, and he stared, fascinated at the sight. The house seemed smaller than he remembered it. And fragile, as if a nor’easter might just pick it up and drop it into the sea. Danny figured it looked that way because in the back of his mind he could still hear artillery fire, could still see mounds of dirt blasting up around the yard like fireworks, could even imagine a shell obliterating the house, leaving nothing in its wake but a shattered chimney. In a few months, as soon as they could pull together the money, he’d be introducing his beautiful Audrey to this place. How would he tell his family about her? She wasn’t from the area, that’s for sure, and sometimes the community could be tough on someone who came from away. To him, Audrey was incredible. How would they see her? His mother noticed him staring at the house, and she dropped her hand onto his. “So good to have you home, Danny.” He’d tell her first. His mother always knew how to do things like that. “We left your room exactly the same, son. I just tidied up. Dusted, you know? Put fresh sheets on for you.” “Thanks, Mother.” Ignoring their offers of assistance, he stepped awkwardly onto the dock and remembered how he’d never had to think about doing that before. The first time he’d ever climbed onto the dock was just about the same day he’d learned to walk. He could hop fences without effort, outrun any of the other kids, reach into that frozen ocean if the nets got tangled. All that was gone. He turned back for his bag, then realized with dismay his father had already pulled it out and was carrying it for him. “Hey, Dad. Let me get that, huh?” Daniel Sr. looked at him then gnawed at the inside of one cheek while he thought about the request. They both knew it was an important question, and Danny saw when his father made his decision. “I’ve got it, son. Help your mother out of there, would you?” Without any change in expression, he turned and headed toward the little white house, Danny’s bag clutched in his hand. Just like that, Danny thought, feeling a dark red pulse of fury ignite in his chest. Even as a little boy, his father had made him carry his own things and more. “Work like a man and you’ll grow up to be a man,” he had always said. Looking back, Danny thought it was rather a strange expression, since he was fated to be a man whether he worked or not, but he understood the sentiment. And he had always worked hard. He had outworked pretty much every other boy around, and he’d done it partially so he could see the glint of pride in his father’s eyes. So what did this mean? Danny wasn’t going to be able to work like a man anymore? He was less of a man? Yes, Danny thought. Yes, it means exactly that. He turned back to the boat and offered his arm to his mother. She stepped gingerly onto a plank, leaned slightly against him, then stepped onto the dock. “Oh, Danny,” she said, looking up at him. Her too. She was looking at him with the same expression she’d used when he was little and cut himself somehow. Back then she would clean the cut and bind it and bring him something sweet as consolation. “Are you all right? Are you going to be okay with all this?” He cleared his throat, which felt suddenly dry. “What choice do I have?” “I’ve got fresh scones inside for you,” she said after a moment. “And I’ll brew some tea and give you a little extra honey. Just to sweeten it up, right?” “Thanks.” Some things never changed, thank God. She cocked her head to the side, then smiled with so much pity Danny wanted to scream. The soft palms of her hands pressed against his cheeks, and her eyes searched his expression. But Danny stared back without exposing anything. He would not be pitied. He would not. There were boys over there hurt far worse than he was. There were better men than him who would never come back. “You know what, Mother?” he said through a tight smile. “I’m going to have one of those scones because I’ve been missing your cooking for a very long time now. But I’m going to wait on the tea. What I really want is to go to bed. Sleep a few hours. Would that be all right?” Her eyes flew open. “Of course, son! Let’s get you inside.” They entered the house and Danny stopped, feeling like a stranger in his own home. Everything felt so different from before, though he knew nothing had changed. Nothing but him. While he ate the scone, his mother kept talking, and he nodded, barely hearing her over the panic in his head. They walked through the kitchen and stopped at the bottom of the stairs to the bedrooms. His mother’s smile was unsure again, knowing these stairs were going to be a challenge for Danny. “You know, Danny, we could move your things to the sitting room—” “It’s fine, Mother. Really. I’ve survived worse. And now . . .” He looked longingly up the endless staircase. “Now I just need to rest.” Her shoulders relaxed a little. “Of course, Danny. It’s a long voyage. You’ll feel much better when it’s time for supper. I’m making your favourite. And your aunt and uncle are coming as well, bringing little baby George for you to meet.” But he slept through supper. He’d barely stripped off his tattered uniform and unhitched his peg leg before he collapsed onto the safety of his childhood mattress. He didn’t hear his brother when he came in hours later, stood over Danny and stared at the strange outline of his body under the wool blanket. He didn’t hear his parents arguing and shushing each other. He didn’t hear a thing. He awoke in the dead of night. It was raining, the drops falling outside his window, ticking off the edge of the roof in an uneven rhythm. Danny was used to rain, both here and away. It was just about always foggy or rainy around East Jeddore. But goddamn it, Danny sure was sick of rain. Rain led to mud. Mud led to memories he didn’t want to see. But whenever he sank back into sleep, they were waiting for him, fresh and insistent. Danny scrubbed a hand over his face, hoping to wake up, shove the memories out. Out of habit, he turned his head on the pillow and looked across the room, momentarily forgetting where he was. He felt an unexpected jolt at the sight of his brothers’ bunk bed and two of the boys sleeping in it. Three more slept in the next room. He heard the boys breathing, almost in time with each other. The easy sound was a relief to Danny after so many months of living a half life: too afraid to sleep, too exhausted to stay awake. Besides the boys’ breathing, there was no other sound. Danny’s chest tightened. Then his throat. He slid the pillow from under his head and hugged it over his face, trying to muffle his sobs.

Editorial Reviews

“Genevieve Graham has created a memorable story of love surviving devastation. Set during the darks days of the Halifax Explosion—the largest man-made explosion prior to Hiroshima—a young artist and a wounded soldier are forced to overcome their personal struggles in the face of disaster. Graham examines class struggles and the post-traumatic effect of war with a vivid description of early twentieth century Halifax.”