Friday Features – Week 2 – A Quiet Tide by Marianne Lee

Friday, June 12th, 2020

This week’s Friday Feature is ‘A Quiet Tide’ by Marianne Lee.

Marianne Lee’s debut heralds an exciting new talent in Historical Fiction and remembers West Cork botanist Ellen Hutchins.

Ellen Hutchins was Ireland’s first female botanist with her life’s work lead her to catalogue over a thousand species of seaweed and plants from her native Bantry Bay! Ellen was a major contributor to nineteenth-century scientific discovery. And yet, like so many brilliant women lost in history, it is her personal story that will resonate today.

In her remarkable debut novel, Marianne Lee fuses fact with fiction to imagine Ellen’s rich but tormented inner life, repressed by the gender and class confines of her time. Unmarried, childless and sickly, Ellen is considered an ‘unsuccessful’ woman, dutifully bound to her family’s once grand and isolated estate, Ballylickey House. Still, she glimpses a happiness and autonomy she can never quite articulate as she reaches for meaning and expression, until the eruption of a long-simmering family feud and the rise of Ellen’s own darkness – her ‘quiet tide’ – will conspire to destroy her fragile future. 

A Quiet Tide is a life examined, a heart-breaking, inspiring story that at last captures the essence and humanity of a long-forgotten Irishwoman.

You can pick up A Quiet Tide in Kinsale Bookshop today or order your copy by emailing us at:


Marianne Lee grew up in Tullamore, Co. Offaly and now lives in Dublin with her husband. She has a degree in Visual Communications from the National College of Art and Design and an MPhil in Creative Writing from Trinity College Dublin. Marianne works as a designer and copywriter and has published a selection of poetry as well as self-recorded an album of music. She sings Bach and paints landscapes. A Quiet Tide is her first novel. @ThisMarianneLee |  


‘Marianne Lee is a new literary star’ — Nuala O’Connor


‘It is a triumph’ —The Irish Examiner


‘Lee’s novel beautifully captures the quiet resistance by one noteworthy Irish woman.’ — The Irish Times

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