The Sea

The Sea

by John Banville

Overview: In this luminous new novel about love, loss, and the unpredictable power of memory, John Banville introduces us to Max Morden, a middle-aged Irishman who has gone back to the seaside town where he spent his summer holidays as a child to cope with the recent loss of his wife. It is also a return to the place where he met the Graces, the well-heeled family with whom he experienced the strange suddenness of both love and death for the first time. What Max comes to understand about the past, and about its indelible effects on him, is at the center of this elegiac, gorgeously written novel among the finest we have had from this masterful writer.

Judy Stanton (02/03/18): Assigned this book for book club, was excited that it was not even 200 pages and a "Man Booker Prize" winner. I must admit, however, it took me forever to read. John Banville is, undoubtedly, an excellent writer. His similes and metaphors are amazingly descriptive. But, I personally felt like the story gets lost sometimes as you are taken off the path into these descriptive passages. So, if you are looking for an exciting storyline with action that leaves you wanting to know what happens next, this is NOT the book for you. I had a hard time plodding through what seems to me was more of a character study, oddly looking forward and back on the very same page. The reviews say "sensuous phrasing" and the reader is "arrested by a line...that demands to be read again"...and both are true. But, I guess I prefer a story that is intriguing and moves along, rather than one that is just beautifully described.
Rating: ***

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