A father and son struggle to overcome the distance between them. Each is drawn irresistibly to an unforgiving landscape, one that has been the scene of tragedy and loss.
The son’s return to the northern shore he abandoned as a young man promises the chance to heal the rift. But is it too late?
Arni left his remote corner of Iceland as soon as he could, seeking opportunities beyond winter and fishing. Married to an English woman, he builds a life as a successful scientist but can never quite escape the pull of the West Fjords and bleak landscape of his birth, nor shake the guilt he feels towards his distant father.
When Eirikur goes missing, he sets off to find him on a windswept spit of land lost in an angry ocean.
Today I am happy to share a guest post : Favourite character to write
Finding Eiríkur Einarsson
When I started writing Time’s Tide, I knew it was about the relationship between a father and a son. I just wasn’t sure which: the novel moves through three generations of Icelanders. The older two (the first father and son) are both fishermen; the youngest is a white-collar worker who has settled in the UK. For quite a while I thought I was writing about Árni, whose life experiences most resembled mine. Only when I was deep into the writing did I realise that the book is about Eiríkur, father to Árni and only son of the gruff Einar.
Now, maybe it’s because Eiríkur’s life is so very different to mine that I enjoyed finding him in the writing. He’s dour, stubborn and awkward, and he has a splendid beard. The hardships of his work as a fisherman and of the harsh landscape are etched into his body – I found myself returning to his salt-bleached hands frequently. Others are quite daunted by him, but he has a vulnerability at his core, not least because he carries a huge burden of guilt within him from his very early childhood. That guilt, and the repeated blows that befall him as he grows into a man, a father and a grandfather, are the root of his silence and his stoicism.
No-one – real or fictional – is just one thing. We all have strengths and we all have weaknesses. It would have been easy to write Eiríkur as simply the distant, hardened father, a caricature of a man that so many men have lived. But because the story traces his life from infancy to old age, I had the space to draw a richer, deeper picture of the man as his personality evolves over the years. Instead of a two-dimensional snapshot, someone to move the plot along, I ended up getting to know someone so far from my experience. I discovered that I liked him very much, so much so that he, rather than his son, became the hero of my story.
Thank you, Adrian Harvey and Love Books Group Tours
About the author
Since escaping the East Midlands to find his fortune in the big city, Adrian Harvey has combined a career in and around government with trying to see as much of the world as he can. He lives in North London, which he believes to be the finest corner of the world’s greatest city. His debut novel, Being Someone, was selected for WHS Fresh Talent, and he followed it with the acclaimed Cursing Stone in 2017.