Friday, October 21, 2016

Review: The Silver Dark Sea by Susan Fletcher

Cover image for The Silver Dark Sea by Susan Fletcher
The sea has always fascinated me, which is why I picked up this book. The prose is so very rich that I had to ration the amount I read in one go, so as not to overdose, the way one might only have a small slice of lavish chocolate cake per sitting. 

Fletcher’s pace glides, bounces, and slips between points of view, at times even for the same character, and it was sometimes difficult to keep track of everybody, which is where the inclusion of a family tree was helpful. Most of the characters are related to one another in some way, whether by blood or marriage, and it is important to know what these relationships are in order to understand their reactions.

The novel seeks to examine the nature of loss, and the fragmentation in its wake that is felt by those who are left behind. In this way, the sense of confusion and disjointedness I experienced were appropriate. The changing points of view and the wide cast of characters serve to reinforce their turbulent lives and the influence of the sea. Reading it, I experienced a wide range of emotions, from sadness and melancholy to sympathy, understanding and elation. This is a book that catches hold and doesn't let go.

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Written by Ann Brook (Library and Information Assistant)