The Sea; achingly sad and wonderfully written

My rating: 5 stars (out of 5)

the seaThe Sea, by John Banville has been on my reading list for years, ever since it won the Man Booker Prize in 2005. It tells the story of a man at the end of his life who heads to a small cottage on the coast to come to terms with the recent death of his wife, as well as the death of a childhood friend. It’s stunningly written, particularly about feelings of loss and childhood. Banville said that the book was “a direct return to my childhood, to when I was ten or so. The book is set in a fictionalized Rosslare, the seaside village where we went every summer as children. Looking back now it seems idyllic, though I’m sure ninety-five percent of the experience was absolute, grinding boredom.” Nothing like the book then… A real treat.

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