Tides That Bind


Tides That Bind is an edited version of the first two novels in this popular three-part series. Will the Lion family survive to build a successful dynasty or will The Lion Property Empire fall apart when Chancellor dies and Roosevelt disappears?

In 1978, Parliamentary Minister Whiteman dies and Marlene Blanchette is left to raise his outside child, Venus. Impoverished and alone they are at the mercy of the men who enter their lives. Venus seems destined to follow in her mother’s footsteps. She believes it impossible to break out of the confines of this poor town in the Caribbean.

In 1990 Chancellor Lion, a wealthy property entrepreneur, visits his native island from the UK. One of his twin sons falls in love with Venus, but it may prove impossible for the volatile Roosevelt to marry the girl he wants.

Back in London, Roosevelt and his brother, Washington face the cultural conflicts of living in the UK. They are only too aware that their African identity makes them targets for inequality despite their private education and wealth. Both men are prepared to protect their families from the destruction and corruption of both British and Caribbean societies, whether by fair means or foul.

Issues of AIDS, poverty, exploitation, inbreeding, equal rights, identity and culture are woven into this rags to riches story.

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Reader’s Comments

‘Miss Francis has nailed it. Looking for a book that shows the changes in the life of the Caribbean over the past 25 plus years – Tides That Bind is the answer. Claudia Ruth has been able to weave the beauty, the reality, and most importantly the people living in the Caribbean together and has written a beautiful story of love, survival, and hope.’ 

The history of the Caribbean connection with the UK can be found im many history books but in the “Tides That Bind”, Miss Francis takes it one step further and demonstrates how history impacts not only those that stay on the Islands but those that have the opportunity to share both the UK and the Caribbean in their lives. In an insightful, emotional and yet objective way the author has shown the emotional, personal side of the lives of the Islanders that share the UK influence.

The best news is that the story continues in the sequel “The Road To Wadi Halfa”- another must read.’ – February 18, 2012 by Paula L Miller (Salem, CT, US)

Island Issues was my Dominica read. You have a writer’s knack for detail, and boy, you sure know how to communicate sexual heat! The man-woman relationships communicated themselves loud and clear! As for the description of Jerome, I just loved it!

“Islanders alone know the real truth about who are ‘The Chosen People’. Find yourself in a funeral service…and you KNOW who is close to God. Black Peoples. Blaaacck Peoples! And all the other mixed up gringos on the Island of course. People of colour, born of hardship and enforced servitude. Islanders do not go to God. God lives with them.”- Mrs. Reynolds of Antigua

Praise for Island Issues Part 1

‘…A wonderful little novel…reflecting (all) the “issues” that face Caribbean nations today…(and) interestingly touching on the issue of West Indians in the UK. How will this generation overcome the Caribbean prejudices of class, gender, political partisanism and poverty? How can this generation make its rightful mark in a country, the mother country, better known as the UK, that cannot accept that this generation of twenty and thirty-somethings are now determined to claim a birthright from shores that their parents insisted would bring better opportunity and life? - The Daily Observer, Antigua (4 July 2003)

‘I’ve just finished reading A Bigger Island on my lunch break. I really enjoyed it. It definitely touched on some issues that I’m dealing with’ – Doctor Mary Ann Jones in Florida

‘…I enjoyed your second novel A Bigger Island Thank you for giving me such A Grade entertainment.It was…a real joy to read,so much so that it kept me reading late into the night…the action packed breathless speed of the second novel complimented the descriptive slower pace of the first novel and reflected the differences between England and the small island well.’ – Danny Smith. UK Writer.

Praise for Tides That Bind

‘What a treat it has been to get caught up in the Lion family saga, as Roosevelt rises to the challenges of conquering his dynamic personal and professional worlds, employing his well honed street smarts, but balancing them with newfound responsibilities; as Chancellor passes the mantle and shifts his vision to “the most likkle of things”—”The lace curtains swinging in the breeze, the patterns they make on the balcony, the light reflecting the criss cross patterns of the trellis…It’s the smells, the colours, the perfumes, the peoples, my peoples…” I must admit that I cried at Chancellor’s funeral, I did. It was an eminently fitting tribute to a proud life.
So many delights—the flowering of Venus, the oh so true Digby-Smith dialogue, the conflicting instincts within all the players—against the background of the unmistakeable reality of black existence…“You are black Lennox, everything else is secondary…If a line were drawn down the centre of the world and you had to get on one side or the other which side would it be? Like it or not; so don’t get confused.”
The subtexts to this grand life adventure transformed an enjoyable entertainment into a thought provoking reward. Thank you, and thanks for the gift of an ambiguous finish, allowing me the privilege of my own conclusions. -’ Elizabeth Punnet, St.Vincent.

…Concise, punchy and full of invention, her style is immediate and playfully compelling as she weaves a richly textured narrative that displays considerable insight into island issues and the complexities of families and communities shaped by transatlantic and diasporic experiences. Fast-moving and filmic in their swift evocation of contrasting places and moods, the stories are underpinned by an understanding of many contemporary social and cultural, economic and political realities as well as being grounded in a sense of historical legacies. As readers…we encounter a skillfully drawn gallery of characters that exemplify Ms.Francis’s skills as a storyteller. …These stories reflect her capacity to shift our gaze beyond familiar clichés and consider further how people seek to live with themselves and each other…” – Heather Norris Nicholson (Dr), Visiting Fellow, School of Languages, Linguistics and Culture, Birkbeck College, University of London, England.



* The Voice and New Nation are West Indian papers in the UK

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