Anna Maria Island, Florida, is where Melissa Keiser spent her childhood years and was a victim of bullying from the ‘cool kids’ who called her Messy and mocked her second-hand clothes. Now she’s back and trying to avoid catching the attention of those kids—except her best friend is dating one of them, and the boy she had a crush on actually seems to have noticed her (in a good way).
Melissa’s had a rough upbringing. Her father abandoned the family before she started school and hasn’t been heard from since. Her mother has paraded through a series of ‘boyfriends’ over the years, her older brother is a dopehead, and her friends do little but party. Her escape is to swim in the neighbour’s pool at night—until she gets caught. This forms the start of an unlikely friendship.
As I was reading, I was trying to decide whether or not Like Moonlight at Low Tide was actually Christian fiction. Missy wasn’t a Christian, her mother certainly wasn’t, and it didn’t seem that any of her friends were either. It wasn’t until quite late in the book that the Christian element started to come through, but it was worth waiting for.
“When I was seventeen, the only boy who ever called me by my full name took his own life. It was the first time I ever saw a mistake that couldn’t be undone.”
Yes, this novel is different. It’s written in the first person, and Missy is a complex character growing up in a difficult environment. It’s gritty and real, yet with a bittersweet aftertaste, as though things shouldn’t be like this.
Like Moonlight at Low Tide is the debut novel from Nicole Quigley, and shows she is a voice to watch in Christian fiction for her edgy realism. Recommended.