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Cover design by Liz Dresner

Ess wakes up alone on a sailboat in the remote Pacific Northwest with no memory of who she is or how she got there. She finds a note, but it's more warning than comfort: Start over. Don't make yourself known. Don't look back.


Ess must have answers. She sails over a turbulent ocean to a town hundreds of miles away that, she hopes, might offer insight. The chilling clues she uncovers point to a desperate attempt at erasing her former life. But why? And someone is watching her...someone who knows she must never learn her truth.


In Ess's world, the earth is precariously balanced at a climate tipping point, and she is perched at the edge of a choice: which life does she want? The one taken from her—and the dangerous secret that was buried—or the new one she can make for herself?


A galvanizing riddle that is just as unmooring as it seems, this sharp character-driven odyssey explores a future challenged by our quickly changing world and the choices we must make to save what matters most.

Adrift editor: Shana Drehs

Published May 9, 2023

book cover for novel entitled Adrift featuring a crashing ocean wave with a rainbow oil slick on the surface. The author name is on the bottom in red text: Lisa Brideau
Finalist 2024png.png

* Nominated for 2024 Evergreen Award *

* Crime Writers of Canada Best First Novel Award Finalist 2024 *

Purchase Adrift wherever books are sold in Canada, US, UK, Australia. Support your local indie bookstores where possible - find one here

ISBN 9781728265681

Canada Links

 - Canada-wide local options

 - Vancouver area indie stores: Warehouse Books, Massy Books, Iron Dog Books, Kidsbooks, Pulp Fiction Books

 - Chapters Indigo

 - Ebook via Rakuten Kobo


US Links

 - Bookshop

 - Barnes and Noble (ebook & paperback)

 - (ebook & paperback)

 - Ebook via Rakuten Kobo

 - Ebook via Google Play


Libro FM, Barnes and Noble audio, Audible 


"The setting offers a stark glimpse of a possible future and the politics of climate displacement. Readers will root for Ess as she battles Mother Nature and herself in a quest for answers. VERDICT Give this one to suspense readers eager for a different kind of thriller, as well as fans of survival fiction."
             - Library Journal Review

" a fast-paced, riveting, not-quite-sf thriller. It is a gre
at read, offering an unsubtle warning of the future, that's suitable for all fiction collections."
             - Booklist Review


   "If this were just another amnesia plot, I’d take a pass. But Lisa Brideau’s real focus in this gripping psychological t thriller isn’t the heroine’s memory; it’s her instinct for survival in a world that is collapsing around her. Brideau hails from Nova Scotia and currently is a sustainability specialist for the city of Vancouver. 

   The story begins as Ess awakes on a boat with no memory of how she got there or who she is but questions of identity quickly take second or even fifth place to surviving. Ess’s memory may be gone but her sailor’s knowledge is in her bones and brain.

   Much of the best of the book is how those talents come back as she battles currents and waves in a world torn by the results of global warming. I was as transfixed by Brideau’s vision of the future as Ess’s survival. This is, in many ways, a very scary book."

               - Margaret Cannon, The Globe & Mail

"It's rare for a book to be a taut page-turning thriller and also be the kind of story that makes you think about the nature of self, but Lisa Brideau has managed to do just that. Full of apocalyptic tension, tempered by warm human connection, this is a book that will stay in my memory for life."   
              - Marissa Levien, author of The World Gives Way

"Timely and deeply compelling, Brideau's debut crackles with urgency and humanity, knotting together issues of climate, selfhood, and loss in a book made to meet the moment. A must-read for 2023.
               - Katie Lattari, author of Dark Things I Adore

"ADRIFT is an intelligent, warmhearted, and marvelously inventive page-turner that marks Lisa Brideau as a legitimate rising star.”
               - Owen Laukkanen, author of Deception Cove, Gale Force

“An eloquent, intelligent thriller with a truly scary message about a planet in crisis.”
               - Eliza Jane Brazier, author of If I Disappear, Good Rich People

"Adrift is a prescient, intelligent thriller. In a future world reckoning with having woefully mismanaged the climate crisis, dozens of migrants turn to forgetting their memories, and their whole selves, to escape bitter reality. With writing that is propulsive an
d deep, Brideau expertly writes to an apex that chills the reader even as it offers glimpses of redemption."
               - Saeed Teebi, author of Her First Palestinian

"A fascinating and compelling debut with a hard-hitting message that'll leave you thinking long after the final page. Lisa Brideau spins a dark mystery set against the terrifying reality of our climate-affected future. Adrift is an absolute must-read."

              - Sara Ochs, author of The Resort  [The Dive (UK)]

Book clubs

If you gather with friends to nerd out about books, you are a kindred spirit. If Adrift is your book club selection - reach out about scheduling Lisa to do a zoom drop-in to your club meeting! 

Contact Lisa to discuss: lisa[at]

cartoon illustration of an ethnically diverse group of people laying around reading books looking happy.
Local Vancouver Island Mystery Book Club having a lively conversation with the author of Adrift.
Reading & Yoga retreat hosted by Books & Shenanigans of Victoria BC after a lively book club conversation about Adrift with the author. Salt Spring Island, BC
Local Vancouver book club "Books That Matter" after a lively discussion about Adrift with the author.
The Book Rack bookstore in Florida meeting to discuss Adrift
The Bookshelf Irvington book club meeting at a local restaurant named Adrift, to discuss the novel Adrift

Amazing book clubs shown: in-person visit to a private mystery book club on Vancouver Island (top left), Reading & Yoga retreat organized by Books & Shenanigans of Victoria BC, in-person book club conversation (top middle), in-person visit to local Vancouver private book club "Books That Matter" (top right), The Book Rack, Florida book club meeting (bottom left), The Bookshelf Irvington book club meeting in a local restaurant named Adrift - author visit via zoom (bottom right).

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