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The Highest Tide: Rejacketed


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Promotional Information

The Highest Tide is a debut novel of immense elegance and confidence, and was a Richard & Judy pick that sold over 130,000 copies. For fans of David Guterson and Rachel Carson The film rights have been optioned by Greene Street Films, who also made the Academy Award-nominated film In the Bedroom

About the Author

Jim Lynch is a journalist for the Oregonian. This is his first book.


Adult/High School-Thirteen-year-old Miles O'Malley's nightly kayaking trips contribute to his expertise on the natural life of the Puget Sound tidal flats. On one of his nocturnal forays, Miles discovers a giant squid, a creature that has never before been sighted in the area, and he becomes a phenomenon. Before long, a spiritual group begins to revere him as a prophet because of his prediction of a high tide in the bay and Miles finds himself in the middle of a firestorm of publicity. The protagonist is not a typical teen: captivated by Rachel Carson's writings, he is interested in reading and in safeguarding the secrets of an elderly friend whose health is declining. But many things are changing in his life: his parents separate; he develops an unlikely friendship with an older boy who is obsessed with sex; and Miles himself hungers after the attention of the out-of-control girl next door. Lynch's lyrical writing holds great interest for teens concerned about the natural world; the book's haunting images will linger in their minds as they contemplate the relationship between the sea's mysteries and Miles's growing understanding of the mysteries of his life.-Ellen Fader, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

'***** This novel is so very special. If you reach the last page without having laughed out loud, felt tears well up or at least once sat back in wonder at the extraordinary descriptions of the sea and its creatures, then you may, quite simply, be inhuman' Independent on Sunday 'Original and appealing. His love of the ocean is infectious ... Even the most hard-hearted readers will finish this book wishing they had their own bay to explore' Matt Thorne, Sunday Telegraph 'The Highest Tide is one of the best novels it has been my pleasure to read for many a day ... Buy it you should. It is lyrical, moving, funny and breathtakingly well written ... This is a great novel which you will want to reread' Susan Hill, Spectator 'Poetic yet lean, restrained, lucid and radiant. The metaphors are sharp and newly minted, and the beautifully observed and described details of marine life suffused with a Wordsworthian sense of wonder' The Times

The fertile strangeness of marine tidal life becomes a subtly executed metaphor for the bewilderments of adolescence in this tender and authentic coming-of-age novel, Lynch's first. As a precocious, undersized 13-year-old living on the shore of Puget Sound, in Washington State, Miles O'Malley has developed a consuming passion for the abundant life of the tidal flats. His simple pleasure in observing is tested and complicated over the course of a remarkable summer, when he finds a giant squid, a discovery that brings him the unwelcome attention of scientists, TV reporters and a local cult. Meanwhile, Miles's remote parents are considering a divorce; his best friend, Florence, an elderly retired psychic, is dying of a degenerative disease; his sex-obsessed buddy, Phelps, mocks his science-geek knowledge; and his desperate crush on Angie Stegner, the troubled girl next door, both inspires and humiliates him. Events build toward the date of a record high tide, and Miles slowly sorts out his place in the adult world. While occasionally Lynch packs too much into a small story, this moving, unusual take on the summers of childhood conveys a contagious sense of wonder at the variety and mystery of the natural world. Agent, Kim Witherspoon. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Thirteen-year-old Miles O'Malley is a self-taught expert in the marine life of Puget Sound; he loves to spend summer nights in his kayak looking for unusual sea creatures-an activity that attracts the media when he finds not only a rare giant squid but also a ragfish and other sea life foreign to the bay. At one point, Miles predicts that an extremely high tide will occur near the end of summer, and when it comes, some homes are washed away. This "highest tide" is an ecological climax as well as a personal one for Miles: his parents separate; his elderly neighbor and best friend Florence dies; and Miles realizes that he is in love with Angie Stegner, once his babysitter and now the star of a local rock band. Particularly eloquent when writing about the sea, award-winning journalist Lynch offers beautiful descriptions filled with quiet passion. In addition, Miles responds believably to new situations and those around him. Unfortunately, when it comes to his sexual awakening, the novel declines into juvenile mediocrity that contrasts sharply with the remainder of this exquisite tale. Nonetheless, easily recommended for all libraries.-Lisa Rohrbaugh, East Palestine Memorial P.L., OH Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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