One of our recommended books is We Run the Tides by Vendela Vida

WE RUN THE TIDES

A Novel


An achingly beautiful story of female friendship, betrayal, and a mysterious disappearance set in the changing landscape of San Francisco.

Teenage Eulabee and her magnetic best friend, Maria Fabiola, own the streets of Sea Cliff, their foggy oceanside San Francisco neighborhood. They know Sea Cliff’s homes and beaches, its hidden corners and eccentric characters—as well as the upscale all-girls’ school they attend. One day, walking to school with friends, they witness a horrible act—or do they? Eulabee and Maria Fabiola vehemently disagree on what happened, and their rupture is followed by Maria Fabiola’s sudden disappearance—a potential kidnapping that shakes the quiet community and threatens to expose unspoken truths.

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An achingly beautiful story of female friendship, betrayal, and a mysterious disappearance set in the changing landscape of San Francisco.

Teenage Eulabee and her magnetic best friend, Maria Fabiola, own the streets of Sea Cliff, their foggy oceanside San Francisco neighborhood. They know Sea Cliff’s homes and beaches, its hidden corners and eccentric characters—as well as the upscale all-girls’ school they attend. One day, walking to school with friends, they witness a horrible act—or do they? Eulabee and Maria Fabiola vehemently disagree on what happened, and their rupture is followed by Maria Fabiola’s sudden disappearance—a potential kidnapping that shakes the quiet community and threatens to expose unspoken truths.

Suspenseful and poignant, We Run the Tides is Vendela Vida’s masterful portrait of an inimitable place on the brink of radical transformation. Pre–tech boom San Francisco finds its mirror in the changing lives of the teenage girls at the center of this story of innocence lost, the pain of too much freedom, and the struggle to find one’s authentic self. Told with a gimlet eye and great warmth, We Run the Tides is both a gripping mystery and a tribute to the wonders of youth, in all its beauty and confusion.

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  • Ecco
  • Hardcover
  • February 2021
  • 272 Pages
  • 9780062936233

Buy the Book

$26.99

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About Vendela Vida

Vendela Vida is the author of We Run the Tides, credit Lili PeperVendela Vida is the award-winning author of six books, including Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name and The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty. She is a founding editor of The Believer magazine, and co-editor of The Believer Book of Writers Talking to Writers and Confidence, or the Appearance of Confidence, a collection of interviews with musicians. She was a founding board member of 826 Valencia, the San Francisco writing center for youth, and lives in the Bay Area with her family.

Praise

“The young narrator of Vendela Vida’s new novel is cast out of her friend crew (For what? For nothing) at the moment she and the girls around her are just beginning to understand the power they hold, and how to wield it. There’s violence lurking here, but also humor (it’s funny!), also love. This is one of the best novels about girlhood and female friendship I’ve ever read.” -Mary Beth Keane, author of Ask Again, Yes

“Set in a pre-tech boom San Francisco that feels moody, foreboding, and magical, this enigmatic tale of adolescent friendship, a disappearance, and coming-of-age is smart, sly, and as knowing about the mind and heart of a teenage girl as an Elena Ferrante novel.” -O, the Oprah Magazine

“The dreamy yearning and turmoil of youth are evoked here so vividly as to seem supernaturally conjured.  However long ago you were a teenager, We Run the Tides will bring the quandaries and sensations right back.  Vendela Vida has written a novel of absorbing, exquisite economy and percipience.  She has also written an intimate allegory of our unraveling tether to truth.” —Lisa Halliday, author of Asymmetry

We Run the Tides is smart, perceptive, elegant, sad, surprising and addictive. And it’s also FUNNY. Who knew that you could combine all of those qualities into one slim volume? Not many writers, that’s for sure. I loved every single page, and was sorry when I had to say goodbye to Eulabee and her family.” —Nick Hornby

“Hypnotic, knowing, and propulsive as it examines girlhood, friendship, and the strong pull of the past.” –Meg Wolitzer

Excerpt

1984–1985

1

We are thirteen, almost fourteen, and these streets of Sea Cliff are ours. We walk these streets to our school perched high over the Pacific and we run these streets to the beaches, which are cold, windswept, full of fishermen and freaks. We know these wide streets and how they slope, how they curve toward the shore, and we know their houses. We know the towering brick house where the magician Carter the Great lived; he had a theater inside and his dining-room table rose up through a trapdoor. We know that Paul Kantner from Jefferson Starship lived or maybe still does live in the house with the long swing that hangs above the ocean. We know that the swing was for China, the daughter he had with Grace Slick. China was born the same year we were, and whenever we pass the house we look for China on the swing. We know the imposing salmon-colored house that had a party at which masked robbers appeared; when a female guest wouldn’t relinquish her ring, they cut off her finger. We know where our school tennis instructor lives (dark blue tudor decorated with cobwebs every Halloween), where the school’s dean of admissions lives (white house with black gate)—both are women, both are wives. We know where the doctors and lawyers live, and where the multi-generation San Franciscans live, the kind of people whose family names are associated with mansions and hotels in other parts of the city. And most important, because we are thirteen and attend an all-girls’ school, we know where the boys live.

We know where the tall boy with webbed feet lives. Sometimes we watch Bill Murray movies with him and his friends at his house on Sea View Terrace and marvel at the way the boys can recite all the lines the way we know every word of The Outsiders. We know where the boy lives who breaks my necklace one day by the beach—it’s a silver chain my mother gave me and he pulls it violently and I run from him. We know where the boy lives who comes to my house the day I get a canopy bed and, mistaking it for a bunk bed, climbs up and breaks it. It’s never properly fixed and from then on the four posts tilt west. We suspect this boy and his friends are responsible for writing in the wet cement outside our school, the Spragg School for Girls. “Spragg is for girls who like to bragg,” the cement says. It’s hard to tell if the words were traced with a finger or a stick, but the imprint is deep. Ha! we say. They don’t even know how to spell “brag.”

We know where the cute boy whose father is in the Army lives. He just moved to San Francisco and he wears short-sleeve plaid shirts that were the style in the Great Lakes town he came from. We know his father must have a position that’s fairly high up because otherwise why wouldn’t he live in the Presidio where most people in the Army live? We spend little time thinking about Army hierarchy because their haircuts are so sad. We know where the boy with one arm lives, though we don’t know how he lost it. He often plays tennis at the park on 25th Avenue or badminton in the alleyway behind his house, which is the alleyway that leads to my house. Many of the blocks in Sea Cliff have alleyways so the cars can park in the garages in the back, so the cars don’t interfere with the view of the ocean, of the Golden Gate Bridge. Everything in Sea Cliff is about the view of the bridge. It was one of the first neighborhoods in San Francisco to have underground power lines because above-ground power lines would obstruct the view. Everything ugly is hidden.