Tides of Honour
In the summer of 1916, Private Daniel Baker marches into battle with the boys of Nova Scotia’s 25th Battalion. Out of brutal necessity, Danny has steeled himself against the trials and horrors of war, but he is completely unprepared to meet the love of his life in war-torn France.
Audrey Poulin has the soul of an artist. She lives alone with her grandmother in the quiet French countryside, where her only joy is in her brush and palette. When, by chance, she encounters Danny, the handsome young soldier captures her heart and inspires her painting. The young lovers believe that only together can they face the hardships the war brings.
But love is just the beginning. Mere months later, Danny is gravely wounded at the Battle of the Somme, and his future is thrown into uncertainty. Soon, he and Audrey find themselves struggling to build a new life in Halifax, a city grieving its lost men. As the grey winter of 1917 sets in, Danny’s lack of purpose and Audrey’s isolation continue to mount, pulling the two apart just as a new catastrophe threatens their existence.
Heartrending and enthralling, Tides of Honour is a novel of love and second chances set against Halifax’s most devastating moment of the First World War.
Reading Group Guide
1. During World War I, the role of women changed drastically—from homemakers to munitions factory workers—but when Audrey remembers her own mother’s choices to abandon tradition and acceptable norms of women’s work, she understands that her mother did what she felt was necessary to provide for her family. Discuss Graham’s different portrayals of Audrey, Audrey’s mother, and Danny’s mother in light of the suffragette movement occurring in London and Halifax.
2. In the prologue, Graham sets up the morning of the Halifax explosion, then jumps back in time to Danny’s return to Nova Scotia. As you read the novel, did you realize that the plot was building up to that event? And given what you knew about Halifax’s history, how did Graham’s description of the horrors that happened that December morning change your understanding of the explosion?
3. Danny Baker is an example of what many wounded veterans faced when they returned from the front. Like so many others, he is jobless, depressed, and disillusioned—and without resources to help him integrate back into society. Do you feel Graham captures the need for organizations for returning veterans? What do you know about the creation of Veteran Affairs Canada and The War Amps of Canada after WWI?
4. Given the mounting tensions between Danny and Audrey, what do you think the explosion symbolize see more