The Changing Tide
by Laurie Davidson
Trafford Publishing

"Now they were all gone, Mother, Father, Aunt Jo and Ted. There was no one any more to depend on, no one to take her away from this place. She had been a fool ... she should have told Ted that she'd go. The kids would manage. Maybe it wasn't too late."

A story of determination and devotion, The Changing Tide is a sequel to The Magic Land. As such, it does a good job of reintroducing the characters without being too obvious, but there are elements of the earlier story that need to be known to understand fully the underlying symbolism of this one.

Told from multiple perspectives throughout, this is the story of six children as they struggle to get along, cope with common age-appropriate issues and support themselves on a remote farm without running water or electricity. The oldest of the six, Katy, is sixteen when the story opens and must deal with her own romantic desires even as she must play mother to her younger siblings. David is a year younger and finds himself in the role of father and provider to the rest after their guardian aunt dies suddenly. Mara, at thirteen, is still struggling to accept the crippling effects polio has had on her body while she struggles to contribute to the family's welfare. Twins Elfrida and Ethan are vastly different from one another at age 7 while baby Seth, at 4, requires a lot of looking after.

The bulk of the story covers the older set's teenage years, their struggles to hold together as a family and their attempts to overcome the unique challenges each faces. These problems only grow worse as first one, then another, must come to grips with the reality of unplanned parenthood and it seems the family is being pulled apart. Hope returns as the younger set comes into maturity and the older group begins to make sense of their earlier decisions.

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