For Fiona and Con, the past is seeping slowly into their present. She is still haunted by the devastating fallout of a long-ago love; he is distracted by thoughts of the enigmatic Kirsten, and is beginning to experience odd gaps in his memory. As a couple, the contentment of married life and the love they have for their children still hold them together, but the ties are beginning to fray. Then a terrifying diagnosis sends them both spiralling, their past coming to meet them ever quicker, even as each tries to push it away. Con’s native city, Cork, becomes surreal for him.
As the story of their marriage unfolds, journeys and songs feature in blurred scenes of passion and anguish: a tryst in London, darkness in Mississippi, the single, ordinary moment when their lives changed forever.
Can we ever really know the person closest to us, or are we forever destined to be a mystery to each other? Tides Go Out is about the secrets we hide, even from ourselves, the shifting sands of memory, and the redemptive power of music. Raw and honest, Julian Vignoles’ novel marks him out as a perceptive and heartfelt observer, of both the deep truths of a long relationship, and the ebb and flow of life.
‘I found myself glued to every page …’– Pat Shortt
‘Brilliantly observed … a superb piece of work.’– Joe Duffy
‘A tender, beautifully written book about memory, secrets and marriage.’– Rachael English
‘Vignoles has written an elegiac, finely observed novel.’– Sarah Harte
‘This is a heart-breaking and must-read story.’– Steph Booth, author of Married to Alzheimer’s
Julian Vignoles, a former radio and television producer with RTÉ, is the author of three non-fiction titles: A Delicate Wildness: The Life and Loves of David Thomson, 1914–1990; Inside the Eurovision Song Contest: Music, Glamour and Myth; and Rory Gallagher: The Man Behind the Guitar. His fiction writing has featured in the Irish Independent’s New Irish Writing. He was the winner of the Anthology magazine short story prize in 2021. This is his first novel.