Monday, March 11, 2013

A Romantic Comedy of Errors: Tidal Shift by Dora Heldt

Christine and Johann are looking forward to a restful vacation. They've been lovers for a year, but theirs is a long distance relationship. They're looking forward to two weeks together, even if they spend it close to Christine's family. She nervously hopes the proximity won't be a problem.

The first person they meet when they reach Sylt is a woman who looks like Christine's Aunt Inge. This woman, wearing a red hat and without Uncle Walter, can't possibly be Aunt Inge, but it is. Christine and her father Heinz are concerned. Inge wants to change her life. Does this mean leaving Walter. Their attempts to find out go awry in amusing ways.

Johann councils Christine to let her Aunt work things out. If Inge wants to change, let her. But Christine is afraid of change, so afraid that she tries to maintain the status quo in her own relationship. As the vacation progress, the characters become more rooted in their assumptions and more concerned about change: who's doing it and why.

I enjoyed this book. The characters are fun. They go about trying to solve their problems in clumsy ways, but it's all rather endearing. Christine keeps jumping to wrong conclusions about herself and her aunt, but Johann remains calm and steadies her. He is a wonderful, if unbelievable, character. He just calmly lets her pursue her misconceptions and only becomes distressed when she doesn't want to talk about taking their relationship to the next level.

The setting is marvelous. I wanted to go to Sylt and enjoy the views of the ocean, little shops, beaches, and restaurants. If you like a light, amusing novel with a serious theme, you'll enjoy this one.

I reviewed this book for the Amazon Vine Program.