Tides Go Out by Julian Vignoles: The secrets couples keep thrown into sharp relief by dementia

Sea imagery: Julian Vignoles, author of Tides Go Out

Henrietta McKervey

Fiona and Con, the protagonists of Julian Vignoles’ debut novel Tides Go Out will appear familiar to those who enjoyed his short story, Nothing More the Sea Can Do, which was published in the Irish Independent’s New Irish Writing series in January 2022. In Nothing More the Sea Can Do, married couple Aisling and Liam are taking a short break on Inis Meáin. Liam’s dementia is worsening, and his wife hopes that the tranquillity of the island will prove restful. Similarly, in Tides Go Out,Fiona Twomey takes husband Con on a holiday around Ireland as they try to come to terms with his diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.