The Ormering Tide is a coming of age story set amidst a series of darkly foreboding events. Rozel lives with her triplet older brothers and her parents in the bay of a small island. One of her brothers goes missing and the family's landlord, Mr Willow, is implicated as the menacing truths are discovered. The island is rich with nature; and the islanders' lives and the steady passing of the seasons contrast sharply with the realities of violence and inevitable revelations. The Ormering Tide explores the inherent human need to keep – and bury – secrets.
Kathryn Williams' first novel, The Ormering Tide, is about processing the past, after the fact. This is a brooding and astonishing debut from the Mercury Music Prize nominated singer-songwriter.
The Ormering Tide shines as brightly as the beautiful shell from which this novel draws its title and is as impressive and adventurous as the author's music.
“Kathryn Williams’ haunting first novel blends memory and island landscape, community, family and dark secrets, to explore how we emerge from the maze of childhood and adolescence into ourselves, able to name the shadows. A darkly brilliant debut which stays in the mind.” – Carol Ann Duffy
“I love this book! I went to bed reading The Ormering Tide and woke up reading more … I can still hear it in my head, like a shell, like the sea.” – Salena Godden
“The Ormering Tide is a brilliant debut, full of beautifully observed, beautifully phrased, strange and magical things.” – Jacob Polley
“A dark dream of an island childhood – every sentence is delicious. If you want to be enchanted, if you want to be swept away – reach for this book and don’t let go.” – Kirsty Logan
“A beautiful novel, inside and out, shot through with the originality, poetry and emotional truth we know and love from Kathryn Williams’s music and lyrics. A lovely, shining shell of a book.” – Laura Barnett
“A powerful and compelling coming of age tale. Kathryn Williams is an inventive storyteller whose beautiful writing draws you into the heart of this close-knit community.” – Rhiannon Ward
British folk singer/songwriter Kathryn Williams rose to prominence in 2000 when her self-released album Little Black Numbers was nominated for a Mercury Prize. A thoughtful and poetic songwriter with a delicate voice, Williams' newfound stature earned her a major-label stint in the front half of the decade after which she reclaimed her independence and, in addition to releasing her own albums, embarked on a series of interesting collaborations including 2008's Two with Neill MacColl and a 2010 children's album with punk musician Anna Spencer under the name the Crayonettes. She continued to enjoy critical acclaim and more widespread success in the 2010s, signing with One Little Indian and releasing albums like 2013's Crown Electric and 2015's ambitious Hypoxia, which was based on Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar. She later collaborated with author Laura Barnett on a companion album to the latter's 2017 novel, Greatest Hits. The Ormering Tide is Kathryn's first novel.