Just like Romeo and Juliet,
the lovers across the ancient tide have been kept apart by circumstance. In the case of Montague and Capulet it was a warring family, a circumstance not wholly dissimilar to the social divide that separated the original lovers in this story, Diego de Marcilla and Isabel de Segura, who you may know from legend as the Lovers of Teruel. From then on, those who follow are similarly divided by destiny. Witchcraft; The Berlin Wall; The Stasi; all of them orchestrated by the invisible strings of fate, like helpless puppets.
The blurb for Ancient Tide sums it up nicely. It truly is a tragic tale.
For eight hundred years, it has fought tragedy. Against all odds, it has survived. Ancient Tide is the story of a love so intense that it refuses to die. England. 1990. Lauren Kennedy rushes to the aid of a dying girl, and is shocked to find they are identical in every way. As their hands touch, the true extent of fate’s ruthless master plan erupts through their sizzling connection. In that moment, Lauren knows what she must do. But hundreds have tried before her. All have failed. Will she succeed, or will she become another wave on fate’s merciless tide?
If you’re a fan of the story of Romeo and Juliet, and similar legends across the globe, then you’ll love Ancient Tide. It is truly a contemporary retelling of Shakespeare’s masterpiece through the most delightful vignettes, plucked from some of the most exciting historical events.
As the story evolves we begin to learn of a malicious undercurrent that begins to appear in the tide, a presence far darker than the Tybalt, Romeo’s nemesis in Shakespeare’s tragedy. Learn More.
Like Romeo, James Jordan is forced to obsess over his love Lauren from a distance, though the thought of being with her is like a beacon of hope in the distance. It is the one thing that prevents his spiral into depression, unlike Romeo, who originally was blindly in love with another character, Rosaline.
In fact, it is Lauren’s original love that turns out to be a false one, rather than James’. The immaturity of her first love has caused her to adopt the role of victim, one that does not suit her. But the thought of being with James is as strong as the pull that Romeo and Juliet have for each other.
“For never was a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo.”
William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
And so it is in Ancient Tide, a dark and tragic tale told over eight centuries. It is the story of a love so strong it refuses to dies, a love as incendiary as the legendary lovers of Verona.
When Lauren Kennedy rushes to the aid of a dying girl, it is an instinctive act, or so she thinks. She quickly discovers that there is no element of chance in their meeting. It turns out she is meant to be there, to witness the final moments of her double. And as she reaches to touch her, eight hundred years of memories swarm through their connection.
“A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life; Whose misadventured piteous overthrows do with death bury their parents strife.” William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
The memories are those of thousands of star-crossed lovers, all destined for a life together yet kept cruelly apart by fate. Through them, Lauren realises that a mission lays before her. She must locate James Jordan, the lover that fate has lined up for her.
But as she experiences the tragic vignettes of past lives and loves, Lauren begins to wonder whether her future has already been determined by a higher power. There is certainly evidence in those memories to suggests her task is insurmountable, that she is surely doomed to suffer the same fate as Romeo and Juliet, separated forever by circumstance.
“What fates impose, that men must needs abide; It boots not to resist both wind and tide.” William Shakespeare. Henry VI
The Ancient Tide in this story is itself a metaphor for the determinism that has governed the lives of eight centuries of lovers. The lovers have no choice, no free will, just like the waves upon the tide which are set on a course to destruction upon the beach, a mission that they are unable to deviate from. They crash forlornly to their death, one by one, before being resurrected by the tide. Just like the string of Romeo and Juliets in this fascinating tale. See Shakespear Site
“Our will and fates do so contrary run that our devices still are overthrown
Our thoughts are ours, their ends none of our own.”
William Shakespeare, Hamlet