Tidal Flats

Tidal Flats wins the Gold Medal in Literary Fiction at the 2020 Independent Publisher Book Awards.

Paperback available for pre-order

Hardback with award-winning cover

This is the story of a marriage.

Mary Cassatt Miller falls for famous photojournalist Ethan Graham, who is equally in love with her. But for months at a time, Ethan’s work takes him to the dangerous streets of Afghanistan, and Cass wants a husband who comes home at night. Then there’s the issue of family—he wants one; she doesn’t. What Cass and Ethan do want is a life together, so Ethan agrees that after three years, he will stop traveling—whether Cass agrees to children or not.

Tidal Flats opens nine weeks before their third anniversary—the day Ethan will be home for good—as Cass anticipates all that the year will bring. In addition to Ethan at home, Cass will become the director of Atlanta’s Howell House, the Westside home for three older women, known to the staff as the Fates.

As the clock counts down, Cass wonders if Ethan will ever give up the work he loves, and it doesn’t help that Singer, the artist-bartender, is always in Atlanta, and the enthralling Setara, the subject of Ethan’s most famous photograph, is also his business partner overseas.

Then, a new danger in Afghanistan changes everything.

In this elegant and honest debut novel, one couple must navigate that fine line between the things they want for themselves and the life they want together, and it appears that each will have to make a choice—the person they love or the life they want.

–Mainstream/Literary Fiction

“A Woolfian talent for taking the full measure of small moments.”

Rebecca Makkai author of THE GREAT BELIEVERS

“TIDAL FLATS is written out of the rough wisdom that knows that love is a peculiar, dynamic force, and all we can do against it is to be alert and open and awake.”

Paul Lisicky, author of LATER and THE NARROW DOOR

“A gorgeously observed account of one woman’s life, lived in our era of global reach, of international obligations…”

Robin Black, author of LIFE DRAWING

“A universe of betrayal, compassion, and regret in which two people’s love for each other is surpassed only by their loyalty to their convictions.”

Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of THE DEEP END OF THE OCEAN

“The novel swirls with light and love.”

Joshua Mohr, author of SIRENS and

“Cynthia Newberry Martin shows us to ourselves: our penchant for choosing lives that will crack us open… This book is a stunning, heart-expanding debut.”


Other Writing


Mackenzie” in  Gargoyle #57

The Empty Armchair” in Contrary Magazine–chosen for the Top Ten in Fiction

“The Splitting Sound” in Clapboard House–chosen for the print edition The Best of Clapboard House I

Watching” in Six Sentences

Frosting” in Contrary Magazine

Into the Woods” in Storyglossia


Not Every Sentence Can Be Great But Every Sentence Must Be Good” in Brevity

Childhood” in Numéro Cinq

What it’s like living here” in Numéro Cinq

“A Practice” in The View from Here Magazine


Natalie Serber’s Shout Her Lovely Name in Hunger Mountain

Rebecca Rasmussen’s The Bird Sisters in Contrary Magazine

Heather Newton’s Under the Mercy Trees in Contrary Magazine and
republished by the National Book Critics Circle on Powell’s Books Review-a-Day

Susan Froderberg’s Old Border Road in Contrary Magazine

Susanna Daniel’s Stiltsville in Contrary Magazine

Kim Wright’s Love in Mid Air in Contrary Magazine

Francesca Kay’s An Equal Stillness in Contrary Magazine

Mari Strachan’s The Earth Hums in B Flat in Contrary Magazine

Rachel Cusk: The Slow Construction of a Writing Life in Blogcritics

Elizabeth Diamond’s An Accidental Light in Contrary Magazine