It´s not every day that such a profound yet entertaining novel as Susanna Crossman’s debut, The Tide That Took the Sea, crosses our desks. We read it overnight, with our sense of discovery and excitement increasing over each page, and enjoyed it on several levels: emotionally, intellectually and even spiritually.
Jessica Craig said, “I first read the manuscript as I was settling into my new life in Barcelona after moving from London, and I was immediately captivated by the story of a middle-aged English woman who crosses the Channel to rediscover her joie de vivre in France. Susanna Crossman’s boldly questing heroine and her wise yet charming prose spoke to me so deeply that I am certain many other women on both sides of the Atlantic will cherish this novel as well. Some of the characters and situations in The Tide That Took the Sea are so funny I was laughing aloud while reading, and yet there is also genuine passion and pain in these pages so that by the last page I felt personally transformed by Isobel Oakwell’s extraordinary year.”
In her writing Susanna Crossman is inspired by literary novelists such as Faye Weldon, A.S. Byatt, Haruki Murakami, Michael Ondaatje, and Jeanette Winterson, and yet her marvelous characters and warm and embracing voice also evoke comparisons to recent bestsellers such as The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Eat Pray Love, Where Did You Go Bernadette?, and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. The Tide That Took the Sea sweeps the reader along through a revolutionary year, exploring timeless and universal themes of love, loss, and healing.
The novel begins with Isobel Oakwell having a terrible car accident that nearly paralyses her and that took the life of a little girl. When Isobel returns home after months in the hospital to her husband Johnny she feels like a different person, and is unable to cope with her doting Johnny and their close knit village. She is dismissed from her job at a cartography museum and on her last day, an intriguing French Revolutionary map falls into her hands. Fleeing Johnny and the English hills, Isobel crosses the Channel to the windy coastal citadel of Saint Malo to recover her strength and to uncover the truth about the map.
Susanna recently came from her home in Brittany, France for her first visit to Pontas offices. We enjoyed spending a special Friday getting to know her, and a delicious lunch at one of our favourite restaurants for traditional Catalan food (pictured: Jessica Craig, Susanna Crossmann and Marina Penalva).
The entire Pontas agent’s team were amazed after Susanna told us about her work and writing. Her demanding work as a therapist to handicapped, autistic, and schizophrenic patients; and as a mother to three young daughters, has not deterred her from voraciously reading and writing. Susanna Crossman’s short stories have appeared in online reviews and print magazines in Europe and the USA. Her plays have been produced in the United Kingdom and France. When she is not writing, she works with individuals and organisations as a drama-therapist and lecturer specializing in non-verbal communication, what lies between the words. She read Drama at Exeter University, and has Masters degrees from the Université de Rennes 2 and Université Francois Rabelais. She is British but has been based in France for nearly half her life. She speaks and writes fluently in both English and French. The Tide That Took the Sea is her first novel. You can hear Susanna online reading apiecerecently commissioned by a NY based literary project here. And we recommend you look at her wonderful blog.
The Tide That Took the Sea announces Susanna Crossman as a wise and exciting new author whose fiction is simultaneously charming, moving, and enlightening. We are thrilled to feature The Tide That Took the Sea as one of the novels Pontas is most excited about for The Salon du Livre and the London Book Fair.
Submissions are currently underway to editors in the US, UK, and Germany.
More information: Jessica Craig – Jessica@pontas-agency.com