Raised near the beaches of Arcachon, Chantal inherits from her mother a deep love of swimming in the sea. Through her young eyes, Thomas vividly evokes the sensory pleasures of the beach: the smell of seaweed on the shore, the first sharp touch of cold water. With her parents' troubled marriage in the background, the young Chantal roams the maritime landscape freely. In a series of short, delightfully varied chapters, Thomas depicts her growing sense of independence through her developing connection to her environment. Memories of Low Tide is at once a coming-of-age memoir and a multi-faceted exploration of the geography and culture of a seaside town.