Sebastien’s search for his father leads him to a ship harbouring a dangerous secret.
Sebastien has heard only stories about his father, a mysterious sailor who abandoned his pregnant mother thirty years ago. But when his mother dies after a lifetime of struggle, he becomes obsessed with finding an explanation — perhaps even revenge.
The father he’s never met is Kostas, the commanding officer of a luxury liner sailing the Mediterranean. Posing as a member of the ship’s crew, Sebastien stalks his unwitting father in search of answers as to why he disappeared so many years ago.
After a public assault triggers outrage among the ship’s crew, Sebastien finds himself entangled in a revolt against the oppressive ruling class of officers. As the clash escalates between the powerful and the powerless, Sebastien uncovers something his father has hidden deep within the belly of the ship — a disturbing secret that will force him to confront everything he’s always wondered and feared about his own identity.
Eddy Boudel Tan writes stories that uncover how strange and extraordinary life can be, some of which can be found in Joyland, Yolk, Gertrude Press, and the G&LR. His debut novel, After Elias, was released in 2020. Eddy lives in Vancouver.
A propulsive, unpredictable adventure by a master storyteller. Tightly plotted with complex characters, Boudel Tan offers a cinematic second novel about identity, family, terrible secrets, romantic love, and immeasurable loss. Boudel Tan is a rare talent who can deftly weave tenderness and heartbreak with high-seas action and nail-biting drama into a perfectly paced narrative.
The Rebellious Tide is an impassioned meditation on alienation and belonging, power and violence, and the marks mothers and fathers leave upon their children. Sebastien Goh is a nuanced and wholly original protagonist. I will be thinking about him and his journey for a long time to come.
What I love about Eddy Boudel Tan's writing is his willingness to explore complicated lives and complex hearts. A perfect blend of mystery, family secrets, and romance, The Rebellious Tide is an ambitious and layered novel that pulls you under its wave in the best possible way.
The Rebellious Tide plumbs the depths of what ties us to our parents, and how destiny can — and sometimes must — be overcome. With clear and filmic prose, complex characters, and a keen grasp of the emotional and psychological struggles of young adults finding their way in life, Boudel Tan establishes himself as an exciting voice in Canadian literary fiction.
Sexual and cultural identities are explored in a novel that doesn't close its eyes to the darkness, even as it celebrates a world that is vast and filled with adventure.