The Tide Between Usby Olive Collins


An epic tale of passion, loss and inescapable destinies.

About the Book:

The Tide Between Us is historical fiction (1821 – 1991) based in both Ireland and Jamaica, an island where 25% of the population claim Irish descent.

Part 1 (1821 – 1891) tells the story of Art O’Neill, who records his life in his final years. He begins with his boyhood in Ireland where he lives in the shadow of Lugdale Estate. After the local landlord is assassinated, Art’s innocent father is hanged and Art is deported to the cane fields of Jamaica as an “indentured servant”  on Mangrove Plantation. Gradually he acclimatises to the strange exotic country and bizarre customs of the African slaves. He assumes his days of English tyranny are over until the arrival of the new heirs to Mangrove Plantation. His new owner is Colonel Stratford-Rice from Lugdale Estate, the man who hanged Art’s father. Art must overcome his hatred to survive. He takes us through the decades of his life, the harsh life of a slave, fatherhood and the eventual emancipation which liberated his coloured children. His greatest battle is fought quietly as he struggles with his abhorrence at his Anglo-Jamaica oppressors. Eventually Art is promised seven gold coins when he finishes his service. Art doubts the plantation owner will part with the coins.

Part 2 is based in Ireland (1991). It opens with the discovery of a skeleton beneath a tree on the grounds of Lugdale Estate with a gold coin minted in 1870. Yseult, the owner of Ludgale Estate, watches as events unfold, fearful of what may emerge about her family’s past and its links to the slave trade. As the body gives up its secrets, Yseult realises she too can no longer hide.


 About the Author:

Olive’s interests have always gravitated towards adventure and travel. Her desire to experience life in all its varied colours was further ignited by her love of books. At a young age, she realised that children would restrict her pursuits and independence, and that the role of motherhood and marriage was not for her.


She travelled alone through parts of the Middle East (Jordan, Egypt, and Israel). When she found herself penniless in Tel Aviv she turned her hand to plastering on a construction site. In Ein Gedi by the Dead Sea in Israel she worked with Orthodox Jewish Women and later worked with Arab women in the kitchens of Tel Aviv. In Thailand, she narrowly escaped the tsunami.


Olive draws on her experiences to write about the varied characters she has met during her travels and issues she has encountered. In the mid-90’s Olive attended a St Patrick’s Day party in Israel. A coloured man joined the celebrations and sang his own version of the Irish song, “The Wearing of the Green”. Afterwards he told Olive that he was descended from the Irish, like so many of his Jamaican friends. From that chance encounter, the seeds for The Tide Between Us were sown.



Olive’ s first book The Memory of Music reached Number 3 on the bestseller list.

"A compelling storyline and informed portrayal of Ireland's turbulent political history"

Sunday Independent

“An enjoyable, deftly written novel” Irish Examiner


A Poolbeg Trade Paperback, 9781781998526, 14th September, €14.99

For further information, please contact Poolbeg Press on 01 8063825 or email: