“Night Tide” by Anna Burke— The New Vet

Burke, Anna. “Night Tide”, Bywater Books, 2021.

The New Vet

Amos Lassen

Ivy Holden, the new vet at the Seal Cove Veterinary Clinic, works with Lillian Lee who was someone she really disliked when they were in veterinary school, hatred pulsing between them at first sight. Lillian felt that she had found a safe place in Seal’s Cove but Ivy seems to harm that feeling. She is dealing with a recent breakup and although though Ivy seems to have changed since they graduated, Lillian just does not trust her. in the six years since graduation, Lillian can’t bring herself to trust her.

The mutual feelings the two women share for each other is compounded but Lillian despising Ivy’s coming from privilege and wealth and she finds her arrogance to be unbearable. But more than that, this hatred forces Lillian to look at herself and her life. Lillian was raised by two mothers, one Black and one white. She saw how her Black mother (who was not her biological mother but her mother’s partner) faced racism. While Lillian’s life had not been easy, she always had the love that her mothers provided her with. Ivy never had to worry about anything and relishes how she grew up. However, she also understands that she has to deal with the pressures of being the best she can be and even though she comes from a family where she always felt love, her moving from her home to Maine, weighs on her. Even more interesting is that she feels something for Lillian and suffers from pain due to a condition that she will not disclose. She does not want to be pitied.

The two women have not seen each other since their school days. It was her medical condition that brought Ivy To Maine. It puts her close to her parents’ summer home and the opportunity to use what she learned at school. But, Lillian is there. Lillian and Ivy have to find a way to work together while at the same time dealing with the way they feel about each other.They cannot allow the tension between. them affect their colleagues.

As you might suspect, this is the story of how former enemies become lovers. It is a multi-layered story of flawed characters who somehow manage to become adults with regards to their feelings. It is also a novel about chronic illness and privilege that causes us to examine our own feelings.  Anna Burke is an amazing writer and I cannot wait to see what comes next.

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