Book Club: Running Against The Tide

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Author: Amanda Ortlepp
ISBN: 9781925030631
RRP: $32.99

Amanda Ortlepp returns after the success of her debut, Claiming Noah, which we read for book club and I loved.

Running Against The Tide sees Erin pack up her sons and leave Sydney for the small town of Mallee Bay on the Eyre Peninsula, she remembered holidaying nearby as a child and the place holds happy memories – and it’s far from the mess that is her marriage.

The house is a little rundown, the town is a little small and Erin begins to wonder what she has gotten herself in for. Her teenaged sons are not thrilled with the move, Mike is happy to make the best of the situation but Ryan is not so accommodating.

Erin arrives in Mallee Bay with more emotional baggage than actual baggage and it is only slowly that events are revealed to explain her move to South Australia.

Her arrival also coincides with a run of oyster thefts and an arson that have fingers pointing in all directions but no real evidence backing up suspicions. The storytelling is compelling with some unexpected twists and enough red herrings to keep you guessing until the end.

The small town characters are engaging and I loved getting to know them. Erin’s neighbours are Jono and Helen, the elderly couple are friendly enough and have always lived in Mallee Bay; Jono is an oyster farmer who inherited the farm from his father. The couple are childless and getting to know them and their story is heartwarming and restores faith in love that lasts forever.


I feel like there are many different character types in the story and it was interesting to see the way they interacted, the way that different people brought out completely different sides to illustrate how multi-faceted most people are and how important it is not to judge on one persons opinion because you may bring out a different side to them.

Fifteen year old Ryan is quite a complicated character and the glimpse we get past his exterior completely changes the perception of him; and he was not the only character I came to question my perceptions of through the storytelling of the talented Ortlepp.

I was captured by the scenery and the characters of Mallee Bay; I wanted to keep reading to find out where we would be taken next. Some of the behaviour of characters didn’t sit right with me but it wasn’t enough to affect my enjoyment of the story.

Running Against The Tide was a compelling offering by Amanda Ortlepp that cemented my opinion of her as a must read Australian author. The book is a gripping tale of addiction, new beginnings, consequences and the danger of perceptions; a book that I enjoyed and would recommend to readers who like a suspenseful family drama.

Running Against The Tide is Book #3 for the Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 2016.

Thanks to Simon & Schuster 30 of our Beauty and Lace Club Members will be reading Running Against the Tide so please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments.

You can follow Amanda on Twitter.

32 thoughts on “Book Club: Running Against The Tide

  1. Running against the Tide by Amanda Ortlepp is her second novel, I loved her debut novel Claiming Noah.
    This book was very well written and with the descriptions of Mallee Bay, I could picture myself – I lived on the Yorke Penninsular for awhile and the small towns are very similar.
    Oyster Farming is a hard Industry to work in and this is described authentically and shows that the Author has done research on the subject.
    I like how the story is told from different characters points of view and how they all interact with each other and their different outlooks on what is happening in this small seaside town the family moves too.
    It is hard for the family of Mother and two sons to move hundreds of Kilometre’s to a new State where she has fond memories from her childhood, to start afresh. Their new life is not a easy time for any of them, from looking for work, starting a new school and making new friends.
    Quite a few different topics are covered in this book, Domestic Violence, Depression, Stalking, Theft and Arson.
    There is good description of meeting the new neighbors and the blossoming friendship with them. They do play a big part of the story.
    There are a few surprising twists in it.
    Very interesting and I found I read the whole book in two sittings as I didn’t want to put it down.
    Highly recommend Running Against the Tide and will be looking forward to future works by Amanda Ortlepp.

  2. WOW! What a fantastic book! I loved it and couldn’t put it down (even after being told off by my husband because I wouldn’t turn my bedside light off!). The storyline was completely unexpected and I never thought it would end the way it did. I love books set in South Australia because even if I haven’t been to the place the book is set in, they just feel close to home. I would love to read a sequel to see what happens in the future. I wonder did Erin end up with Puff? Did Jono manage to leave the oyster farming work all up to Puff and relax with Helen? Did Ryan and Erin’s relationship continue to improve? Did Ryan make up with his dad? Did his dad try to contact anyone in the family again? How did Adam manage with the twins?

    So many questions and no one to answer them 🙁 I was also fortunate enough to read Amanda’s first book, Claiming Noah, which was another excellent read. Amanda Ortlepp is someone who I will be keeping an eye on for her next novel.

    Thank you Beauty and Lace for another great read >:o)

  3. I equate the quality of a book to how long it takes me to read it. It took me a while to get through this one. This book, even though the storyline was intriguing and characters complicated, just didn’t grab me from the beginning. For me it wasn’t a book that I just couldn’t put down.

    The author described the setting perfectly as I felt I could envisage it so very clearly, however I found it a little slow getting going and gritty. I found the intimate description of the oyster industry a little tiresome. I must admit I had guessed the person responsible for the stalking/fire very early on so it wasn’t a surprise when the person was finally revealed.

    The difficulties faced by the younger son Ryan was well portrayed and such a relevant topic – dealing with troubled teens. The single parent role, escaping an abusive/gambling partner and dealing with children’s difficulties with coping with dramatic life changes was very well reflected. I didn’t expect the interesting unravelling of the end and by the end I was drawn in more with the storyline.

    Overall I enjoyed this book but for me it wasn’t up there as ‘the best’ but still it was a good read.

  4. Loved it!! Running Against the Tide by Amanda Ortlepp is such a great read! I was hooked from the beginning, and the compelling story of how Erin, and her teenage sons Ryan and Mike become part of a small town in Mallee Bay on the Eyre Peninsula, held my attention right until the very last page !!
    Lots of very relatable human drama, covering the full gamut of emotions – from love and friendship, to resentment, anger and obsession; plot twists and turns to keep you guessing what’s going on and why; as well as genuine, fairdinkum characters, all set against a raw Australian background.
    This was a very well written book, not only were the interactions between Erin, her boys, her neighbours and the locals interesting and authentic, but the writer also manages to capture the real essence of life in a small town.
    I really enjoyed this book, and I’m so pleased to have discovered such an excellent new Australian author. I can’t wait to read what else she has written…impressed.

  5. Running Against The Tide by Amanda Ortlepp is a well written book, but there were so many questions left unanswered that it didn’t feel quite complete to me.
    I picked who was doing the stalking from fairly early on in the story (“the past will always find you” on the front cover lead me straight to that conclusion), but the ending was still a surprise and drew me back in.
    Ryan’s character was very troubled and I must say I didn’t like his character much, but it was nice to see him making some positive changes towards the end of the book. Erin was quite a nice character, but I feel that her flaw was she seemed to be a little bit of a pushover; she was pretty accepting to the fire that destroyed her most prized things, and accepting of the way she was treated – I didn’t like that about her.
    I would like to see a sequel to this book as for me, it feels unfinished. Do Mike and Polly stay together? How is Jono’s health? Does Ryan get any help to control his issues? Does Erin manage to become successful with her paintings? etc etc….
    Overall, I did enjoy this book, and I particularly like Amanda’s descriptions of the landscapes of Mallee Bay. And it is interesting enough to keep you turning the pages, so I would recommend it, but must say that I enjoyed Amanda’s other book, Claiming Noah, better than this book. I look forward to finding out whether a sequel will follow. Thanks for the opportunity to review.

  6. Thank you for allowing me to read Running Against the Tide, this was a book I could not put down, excellently written the book flowed, I could imagine myself in Erin’s situation the upheaval of the move with the two boys from the city to a small country town such a big move, I really thought that Ryan was the trouble maker till later on in the story then I thought maybe the x husband Marcus was causing all the trouble I had no idea it was Sully till the sacks were found in the tinny ( bit of a shock) I really hope there is another book written so we can learn what happens to everyone and I really learnt a lot about the oyster industry never realised it was such hard work once again thanks for letting me read

  7. What a delightful book with many layers and expansive character developments. Ortlepp’s descriptive and informative style of writing lends perfectly to the reader being able to realistically imagine the backdrop and scenery.

    There’s many twists that keep the reader wanting more and I just couldn’t put this book down. The main character, Erin, decides to uproot her city family to a country town, known for it’s Oysters, after a messy separation. One son grows and flourishes while the other struggles and retreats within presenting another set of issues for the book to deal with.

    I don’t want this review to be a spoiler so will only say that it’s a fascinating and insightful look at relationships between parents, children, neighbours and new romantic encounters. It’s the sort of book that could be dissected for study or book clubs because of it’s diverse cross section of characters and the way they interact with one another but also lends itself perfectly as a relaxing weekend read – yes weekend – you will not be able to put it down!

  8. This novel did not take long to finish as I found extremely hard to put out down from the first page. Erin Travers moves away from Sydney to escape from her troubled life with her two sons, Mike and Ryan. They arrive in the small town of Mallee Bay on the Eyre Peninsula where oyster farming is the main industry. Erin’s eldest son Mike ends up finding work at the oyster farm while her other son Ryan finds it hard fitting into a new school with dramatic and then with the unexpected turns and twists around the corner, will this all be okay for Erin?
    This book is full of interesting, likeable and realistic characters that are very easy to relate to. You will get to know the gorgeous neighbours Helen and husband Jono and who help Erin settle in a little easier during this turmoil time in her life. It’s eye opening and touches base relating to domestic violence, bullying and surrounding community issues. I do like how the story is based in Australia as I could clearly create the scenes and settings in my mind. This is such a well written book that intrigued me from the very beginning to the very end. Thank you Beauty and Lace for the opportunity in reading and reviewing “Running Against the Tide” by Amanda Ortlepp.

  9. Another great read from Amanda Ortlepp.I truly enjoyed her 1st novel Claiming Noah and I can honestly say the same for Running Against The Tide .
    I finished this novel in two evening sessions which is always a good indicator of an enjoyable read for me .
    Set on the beautiful Eyre Peninsula, main character Erin and her two sons have moved there from Sydney to escape their troubled lives.
    There are many likeable characters in this book which also has just enough twists and turns to keep you interested enough to want to turn that next page in expectation of what is coming next, only for not to be what you expected.
    The interactions between not just between Erin and her sons, but of those between her and her neighbours for example, were a joy to read and added the right amount of warmth to the book .
    Lots of questions remain to be answered but often you end up making those conclusions in your head , perhaps the author may make a sequel, but it in no way detracted from my enjoyment of what I thought was a great novel.
    Thank you Beauty and Lace for the chance to read and review “Against The Tide”.

    1. Please excuse my error in my last sentence I enjoyed “Running against The Tide” (lack of sleep while typing” but I would hate for someone to be looking for it and not have the complete name 🙂

  10. WOW, what an incredible read! From the first few chapters I expected a romantic novel but it is a thriller with excellent build up and a realistic and good conclusion. Running Against the Tide by Amanda Ortlepp is quite different from other books I’ve read and I was totally unprepared for the climax.

    I was impressed with the characterisation and the way the story flowed, having me interested from the first page. It was interesting reading about oyster farming, something I knew nothing about and I particularly liked the way the characters interacted with each other. Jono and Helen are beautifully portrayed and believable and even the less likeable characters and the downright horrible people are believable. To give any real account of the story is impossible, I feel because the story is woven so well in the way the suspense mounts that to say anything about the plot would be likely to spoil the story for someone about to read it.

    I haven’t read Claiming Noah but if Amanda Ortlepp can produce 2 novels of such high standard, her future is obviously assured. I am always delighted when I read an Australian author’s work that I enjoy as much as I have with Running Against the Tide. I did find parts confusing as I read but the confusion evaporated with the resolutions.

    To me, it was an incredibly satisfying book, excellent characters, believable situations and satisfying climax and lovely rounded conclusion. Very much a “pass on to favourite people” book. Thank you so much for the opportunity to review, Beauty and Lace and Simon and Schuster. Highest congratulations to Amanda – a wonderful read that I have no hesitation in recommending.

  11. I couldn’t put the book down as the story was intriguing from each character. I loved that each told their own version of the life now in Eyre Peninsula. Small town but great characters fill the community telling an unusual story with a few twists. I loved each character in their own way and feel there could be more to tell. What happens now? Are relationships mended & does time heal? I will be reading more of your stories Amanda Ortlepp! Will be reading this again!

  12. “Running Against the Tide” is Ortlepp’s second novel. I enjoyed her first, “Claiming Noah”, and so picked this up with interest. Although it has some weaknesses, this is again an involving read with strong characters.

    Erin Travers is escaping the fallout of a collapsing marriage. With her two sons, she has fled Sydney for the Eyre Peninsula, which she remembers fondly from childhood holidays. As an adult, the reality is a little different; a down at heel house, trouble finding work, and a bitterly unhappy younger son.

    In fact, this was the first weakness of the novel for me. Both Erin and her older son appear to have had work in Sydney, as well as friends and so on. Yet she has taken off to a small town, responsible for the sons, with no work, and no prospect of it – and similarly, her older son has no work. Would you really do that without a little more thought? Sure, she’s just lost her house and her marriage. I’m not sure that really explains this irresponsible and impulsive behaviour.

    However, if you ignore that and just accept that she’s done it, the novel then quickly engages. This is largely on the strength of the characters. Erin’s parental concerns are understandable, as are some of her problems of daily life. Her older son Mike is strongly drawn, and many readers will empathise strongly with Ryan (her younger son) and his aggravation at being taken from everything he knew. I must say that the fire sale of his possessions would have angered me too, and again made me wonder why Erin would run off without a job.

    Their new neighbour, Jono, is a particularly strong character. Equal parts aggravating and helpful, most people will have met someone like him. Too quick to judge, but essentially good hearted, Jono will set your teeth on edge but also have you caring what happens to him.

    I did feel that elements of the plot were spectacularly obvious, but that didn’t stop it being an involving and interesting read. The other main weakness of the novel, for me, came at the end. I can’t be too specific without outrageous spoilers, but there were at least two things Erin could have done which would have avoided the final crisis, and I can’t really see why she didn’t. I also felt that the aftermath of the final crisis lacked some of the emotional punch I might have expected.

    Overall, though, this was an entertaining novel. The characters were strong, the setting well drawn, and the plot interesting if a little obvious in places. I recommend it.

  13. What can I say about Running Against The Tide, Wow , The beginning is full of suspence. Erin goes away with her boys to escape a marriage she is trapped in. Many people can relate to that. The middle seems to drag a little but the last few chapters is where the book gets interesting. I could not put the book down. That poor woman gets trapped into someones psycho obsession. I was horrified for her. The author has finished the book leaving me hanging for more.
    A sequel could be a possibility. I have already given the book to a friend.

  14. I really enjoyed this book but I must admit it took me a few chapters to get into, reading different characters and thoughts was good and to see into ryans issues from his point of view was an eye opener for me as a mum. The plot thickens and its amazing what people can and do do to get there own way the end of this book left me wanting more totally making up for the slow start

  15. I loved this book! It kept me guessing the whole way through, and the twists and turns were well written and convincing.

    Erin is a character we can care for, and the difficulties she has reaching out to her troubled son Ryan, make us understand how much teenagers can feel the separation of their parents after a breakup, and how we as adults struggle to help them. It is painful to read of how out of touch the two of them are.

    The older son Mike is mature and reliable, which is a comfort to Erin. He finds work quickly at their new town, and settles in well.

    I enjoyed the background of Oyster Farming the story is set in, and I learned something new which was interesting.

    The ending surprised me, and I thought was unexpected and perhaps didn’t quite fit in with the style of the rest of the story, but it tied up most of the lose ends.

    Thank you for selecting another great book. I am loving the variety of books that are chosen for us to review.

  16. I wasn’t sure when I first started reading this book if I was going to enjoy it, but gradually the characters and the writing style drew me in. Overall I enjoyed the book, however it didn’t leave a lasting impression.

    Erin and her two sons Mike and Ryan have left their family home and moved back to the small town on the Eyre Peninsula where she grew up. The house they move into is dilapidated and not at all what they have been used to. Mike, the older son, seems determined to make the best of the situation, Ryan, the younger son, seems determined to be miserable. Their new neighbours are old but friendly and on discovering that Erin paints encourage her to enter a painting in the town art show. Entries for the art show close the next day, with judging only a couple of days after that, and the first prize is $1000.00.

    From this unlikely start the story moves to intrigue, theft, grudges, allegations, domestic violence, gambling addiction, stalking, arson and attempted murder. Along the way we discover things about Ryan and gain an understanding of his character. Although we never really get to understand why Ryan has so little awareness of the issues between his parents that resulted in their separation.

    At times the story became disjointed and far fetched and I did not find Amanda Ortlepp to be as compelling a story teller as the blurb on her book suggests. However the book was an easy read and overall quite enjoyable.

  17. Running Against The Tide is the second novel from Sydney-based writer, Amanda Ortlepp (Claiming Noah). It’s also an intense mystery that stars a strong woman named Erin Travers. She is a lady that has packed up her life and two teenage sons into a car and travelled from NSW to the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia in order to leave an abusive relationship. It’s a relevant and timely story that offers some real food for thought in our contemporary society where prejudice is common and domestic violence figures are high.

    Ortlepp has done an excellent job of creating a complex story that is almost like an onion. It’s a slow and nuanced tale that reveals Travers’ narrative little-by-little as well as the troubling events that occur in the small and sleepy close-knit town of Mallee Bay, which is known for its oyster farming. Ortlepp writes well and offers very descriptive prose and rich characterisation of the Travers family and their neighbours, Jono and Helen. But while there is some darkness and drama to the story, there are some points where it is a little too slowly paced to retain the reader’s attention and the ending was far too rushed.

    Running Against The Tide is a realistic book that will have readers wanting to know what actually happened and who’s responsible for some troubling events in the town (like arson and theft). It’s a story that will keep you on your toes and leave you guessing as prejudices and fractured relationships are the order of the day. It also means the reader’s own prejudices will colour their view and interpretation of this Aussie whodunit. Clever stuff.

  18. Running Against the tide is a second novel written by Amanda Ortlepp. I haven’t read her first novel and after reading Running against the tide I am definitely going to pick up her first novel as I absolutely loved the style of her writing. Running against the tide also has a preview chapter of her first book (Claiming Noah) at the back to give you a taste of Claiming Noah.

    This was really a great read. I just wanted to finish reading the book in one sitting. The story just flowed and felt like as if I was watching a movie instead of reading a book. The author described each and every scene with great talent. Nothing was over exaggerated and everything just flowed like a movie scene.
    This book is a thriller, a mystery and you just want to keep on reading to see what happens next or to know who did that?

    The story covers reality subjects ie Divorce,separation ,single mothers , starting out a new life ,theft,arson,gambling etc which a lot of people could relate to their own lives . This book taught me so much. First of all we judge someone by their behaviour but deep down they can be totally different and not what we would expect.
    For example the characters played by Ryan, how in the beginning we feel that Ryan is a troubled teenager but in the end it is revealed that he isn’t too bad just wants someone to talk to him and listen to him. Also character played by Puff, just because he has a tattoo all over his chest doesn’t mean he is bad , he turns out to be a pretty good character. The character played by Gavin, he is portrayed to be handsome,cute,charming but it is revealed in the end that you cant just trust someone by the looks.
    It teaches me that communication is key in every relationships be it husband to wife or mother to child . Communication can prevent a lot of problems.

    The author has done her research very well when writing this book . Topics covered ie Oyster Farming are described in so much depth. I found that quite interesting to read and learnt a few new things about Oyster farming.

    There is a lot of suspense in this book and slowly by slowly the answers to the suspense are revealed. Therefore this book keeps you on your toes and keeps you wanting to read more and more in order t reveal the suspense.

    I love the multitude of characters . So many characters in this book and each character just enriches this book . I really loved the character played by Jono the neighbour. It just relates to my life and I remember the time when we moved to a small town in QLD in Rockhampton where we didn’t know anyone. I had the pleasure to meet a neighbour who was so similar to Jono. It was as if the author knew about my neighbour Kevin and wrote about him.

    The ending is quite unexpected and sad. The death of a character was taken so simply and not elaborated..
    There are a few questions unanswered . For example what did really happen to Erin”s wrist .Who bruised it?
    I love that this story is set in Australia . I could just imagine myself living in Malee Bay in South Australia.

    I think this is great book for all ages. Young old , if you love a mystery or thrillers then this book will be great for you.

  19. Erin is a newly separated mother of two teenage boys.
    She leaves the bright lights of Sydney and moves to the seemingly idyllic Eyre Peninsula. One of her sons fits in well and the other, not so much.
    For me the book is not about new beginnings but about first impressions. Are people always who they seem?
    Sometime a little predictable but overall well written and informative ( I enjoyed learning a little about Oyster Farming) I did feel like there were a few unnecessary relationships ie Ryan and his father.. it didn’t add anything for me.
    Heartbreaking and at times quite scary, I felt like the end left many issues unresolved. But overall I enjoyed the latest offering from Amanda Ortlepp.

  20. Having read Amanda’s first novel Claiming Noah I was very excited to have the opportunity to review her new novel.
    The book did not disappoint. I was kept guessing the whole way through which is what I love in a novel.
    Every single twist and turn was well written and very believable.
    I feel like a lot of people could relate to Erin’s story. She runs away with her sons to try to escape her marriage.
    What unfolds in the Eyre peninsula is great and sure kept me guessing.
    I really hope Amanda writes another novel as she is a fantastic author.
    Thank you so much for the opportunity to review another fantastic book.

  21. What an enjoyable read! Although it took me a few chapters to get into it, it didn’t take long and then I was hooked! I did not want to put the novel down!

    I immediately recognised the author when I received the book. Claiming Noah was absolutely fantastic and I have to say that novel went straight up in my top 5 best reads ever!

    Running Against the Tide was full of twists and turns and secrets popped up from everywhere! This was why I was hooked – I just wanted to know everything about the characters.

    I really felt for Erin throughout the novel. From her ex, to her hard to manage son Ryan, to her stalker ex-boyfriend. How much can a woman take???

    Jono and Helen were absolutely gorgeous. The love they had for each other just warmed my heart. I have to say all the characters were fantastic and so believable – even psycho Gavin!

    The ending was bittersweet but really left me wanting more. I would love Amanda to write a sequel so I know how Erin and Puff continue in their exciting relationship and how the bond between Erin and Ryan develops.

    Thank you so much Beauty & Lace for yet another great read and giving me the opportunity to review it!

  22. Thank you Beauty and Lace for another wonderful book to read.

    Amanda Ortlepp has done it again by giving us another fantastic book.

    Right from the start I found myself drawn into the life of Erin and her sons moving to begin their new life on the Eyre Peninsula.

    Erin has just ended a bad marriage and is keen to start a new life for her and her sons Michael and Ryan so she heads to a place where she spent many happy holidays, Mallee Bay.

    Here is where she hopes life will be ok and new beginnings will come along.
    There are some wonderful characters we meet along the way and each has their own story which is worked in really well.
    As each character told his story is was easy to follow along and it all blended really well.
    I did find that it was easy to work out who the stalker was although the ending to that story line was not what I was expecting.

    I did really love the book but felt that there were a lot of unanswered questions. Who knows maybe that’s another story.

    I would recommend this book to friends for sure as it is a wonderful story of life, love, standing up for yourself and being strong.

  23. Running Against the Tide by Amanda Ortlepp

    Not a book that I would usually read. I’m a great “judge a book by its cover” kind of person but I was really surprised by this book. Holidaying often on the peninsula myself it was a really accurate depiction of the rural towns.

    I could simply not put this book down. I “binge read” it in 2 days. I was obsessed with finding out who was causing all this trouble. I was sure through the whole book that the stalker was Erin’s ex-husband and the troublemaker was her youngest son, and I could not believe the ending!

    I felt that the death of her sister was skimmed over a little too breifly and a few questions lingered for me. Like did she stay with puff/what happened? How is Jono’s health, Did Ryan ever see his father again? Did knowing the truth about his father help Ryan with his issues about moving away?
    But I always remain a little hopeful that there will be a sequel.

    Over all I loved the story and will definitely tell everyone I know to start reading it

    1. I too have just finished reading this marvellous book, one I had to keep going with…. This story highlights life at present amongst a lot of women, in fact in parts it portrays my own former life. Violence against women is predominently in the news, so it is a great topic to read abou t someone else and how they managed. To escape Erin goes back to her wonderful childhood growing up in an oyster town, believing that all will be just as wonderful again in her life, with her two sons, but I notice.that. nowhere does it ask her boys, do they want to go with her,or stay with the father, and throughout the story I get the impression that the you nger one did not want to leave his dad. In the course of many segments in the book even “borrowing his mothers winnings” to forge the cheque and give to his dad, he clung to this ideal, only at the finish to find his mum was right, and the father was an “error in her judgement” gambling being his true forte… Hard less to learn, but the you nger son Ryan did learn it.. Erin”s past does catch up with her, and a small clue is given half way thru, that I have to admit I missed as such. The story unfolds in segments, each coming to be part of the story, and relating to the whole. The way she has been caught, at the end, and is with her sister is breathtaking, and I had to sit and wonder more in this section as to whether they both would survive. The story then has the unusual twist that one does not… not like most stories…. but leaves many questions unanswered … Fortunately her you nger son does get a message from her, on her mobile, and even thought this is eventually taken from her, by her “would be” killer, it gives the police enough of a lead to be able to track down where it was last used, and so a rescue is obtained. Have to admit have never read a story that used a mobile, like this, but it is part I guess of todays world. I have not read about this author before, but certainly will now be chasing up to get her first book Noah.. and I do hope that some day another sequel to this book can be written… Like does Ryan stay working with Jono the oyster man and his own brother, does mum remarry? does the elder son stay oyster fishing with Ryan and Jono or does he go off to another place and start some other way.. My thanks go out to whoever choose me to be able to read it, as well as others. I have passed the book on to my daughter to read, and she in turn will pass to her friends, so the au thor will be widely known by many people….

  24. What a fantastic read! Having read Claing Noah, I was eager to find out what ‘ Running Against The Tide’ was like. Amanda Ortlepp dioesn’t disappoint.
    Once I started reading I found it difficult to put down. I wanted to know what would happen next.
    I loved the storyline /plot, an Australian family drama covering many topical and very current issues, including, divorce, single parenthood, domestic violence, relationships etc, all set in a small Australian town.
    Great characters, great story, one that ends with many questions left unanswered and the thought that there might/ could be a sequel.
    Thank you Beauty and Lace for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book and congratulations Amanda Ortlepp on another great book.

  25. I was excited to read and review Running Against the Tide as I thoroughly enjoyed Amanda Ortlepp’s debut novel Claiming Noah last year. My favourite aspect of Running Against the Tide however was the setting in rural, coastal South Australia. Ortlepp’s evocative descriptions of the landscape are fabulous and the natural setting suited the storyline well also. I loved learning about oyster farming, about which I previously knew nothing.

    This new novel certainly presented mystery, intrigue and multiple plot twists as Erin and her family start their new life. The motley crew of characters gave the book great depth. The crime spree certainly shook things up in sleepy Mallee Bay! One of the messages of the book for me was that it is never wise to make assumptions. As in Claiming Noah, Ortlepp explores a number of complex issues in this novel with skill and insight that is all too rare in our society.

    Another delightful book (aside from that scary crazy-man towards the end that is!) from Amanda Ortlepp, and i wonder what she will turn her hand to next. I look forward to finding out. Thanks Beauty and Lace, and Simon and Schuster for the opportunity to read and review. I might go book my next holidy – a road trip to Mallee Bay perhaps?

  26. What an enthralling book my congratulations to the author Amanda Ortlepp for such a great storyline.
    Set in such a wonderful area that she described so well you could picture yourself immersed in the landscape watching the story unfold.
    The characters were all strong in their own right showing a mother that would do anything to protect her family & a strongwilled teenager with a few issues including the pain of hormonal changes as he starts his journey to become a man & separation from the father figure but will surely come out the other side a better person.All the characters I enjoyed & feel made the book more enjoyable.
    With the mystery twist & turns the plot thickened & surprisingly I hope for another instalment to see what happens next.
    Thank you for the chance to read this delightful book.

  27. really enjoyed this book I love a book where the writing allows me to visualise the story as it happens. Most definately a page turner which I couldn’t put down – took me a while to get to this book which is very unlike me but so very glad that I did – highly recommended

  28. Sorry for my late review….this book has been to Houston, New Orleans, Arizona and Utah….and back to Australia.
    Amanda Ortlepp is a good Australian author and her first book Claiming Noah was equally as gripping as Running with the Tide. I believe many readers who read this genre will enjoy this book,
    I absolutely loved the Running with the Tide.. It was a really great story and I found it hard to put down at night – not much housework was done until the book was finished 🙂

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