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We Run the Tides by Vendela Vida review – an enigmatic coming-of-age mystery

Set in 1980s San Francisco, this evocative novel views disappearances in a wealthy suburb through the uncertain prism of adolescence

As 13-year-olds in 1980s San Francisco, Eulabee and her girlfriends own the streets of their affluent, coastal neighbourhood. Sea Cliff is famed for its unbroken views of the Golden Gate Bridge, and to keep it that way, everything ugly is hidden. Even so, menace swirls with the chilly fog that rolls in: Eulabee’s art-dealer father bought their house on the cheap, after the previous owners’ sons – the evocatively known “Prospero boys” – careened off the rails; one of her friends, Faith, is named after the child her parents lost before adopting her; and of course there are the rocks and the crashing waves, which the girls have learned to navigate by timing the tides.

They have altogether less control over their changing bodies, which as well as bestowing new powers are becoming magnets for a different kind of threat. After a man pulls over to ask them the time on their walk to school one morning, Eulabee’s closest friend, Maria Fabiola, claims to have witnessed a lewd act. The others agree, and Eulabee’s refusal to back her up leaves her ostracised.

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The Dangers of Smoking in Bed by Mariana Enríquez review – a South American Shirley Jackson

Pushy demons, spirits and dead babies haunt a jet-black collection of short stories set in everyday ...

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Dreamland by Rosa Rankin-Gee review – seat-edge tension in Margate

A former Londoner and her family fight for survival in the seaside town of the future in a sparkling...

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Surrogate by Susan Spindler review – a postmenopausal reckoning

This debut novel about a woman in her 50s who decides to carry a baby for her daughter is full of dr...

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Damned If I Do by Percival Everett review – sardonic take on identity politics

First published in the US in 2004, this subtle, original collection of short stories quietly subvert...

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Acts of Desperation by Megan Nolan review – fierce novel of obsessive love

The Irish writer’s debut conjures an unhealthy relationship with passion, wit and insightThere are ...

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Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi review – seeking solace in science

A neuroscientist tries to make sense of the loss of her father and brother in Gyasi’s shrewd follow...

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