View basket and checkout
Events Subscriptions Vouchers Contact

The Place of Tides

by James Rebanks

Hardback £22
Published 17th October 2024
You’ll be able to choose Delivery or Click & Collect after you enter your address.
UK postage is £2.95, or free for orders over £60.

On order

On order
in Bath

On order
in Edinburgh

On order
in Ely

On order
in St Andrews


We are all in need of lights to follow.

One afternoon many years ago, James Rebanks met an old woman on a remote Norwegian island. She lived and worked alone on a tiny rocky outcrop, caring for wild Eider ducks and gathering their down. Hers was a centuries-old trade that had once made men and women rich, but had long been in decline. Still, somehow, she seemed to be hanging on.

Back at home, Rebanks couldn’t stop thinking about the woman on the rocks. She was fierce and otherworldly – and yet strangely familiar. Years passed. Then, one day, he wrote her a letter, asking if he could return. Bring work clothes, she replied, and good boots, and come quickly: her health was failing. And so he travelled to the edge of the Arctic to witness her last season on the island.

This is the story of that season. It is the story of a unique and ancient landscape, and of the woman who brought it back to life. It traces the pattern of her work from the rough, isolated toil of bitter winter, building little wooden huts that will protect the ducks come spring; to the elation of the endless summer light, when the birds leave behind their precious down for the woman to gather, like feathered gold.

Slowly, Rebanks begins to understand that this woman and her world are not at all what he had previously thought. As the weeks pass, what began as a journey of escape becomes an extraordinary lesson in self-knowledge and forgiveness.


The Place of Tides
by James Rebanks


Penguin Books Ltd


Publication date
Oct. 17, 2024