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The Silver Dark Sea

por Susan Fletcher

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616432,572 (3.85)4
This powerful novel from the award-winning author of Richard and Judy pick 'Eve Green' is a tale of love and the lore of the sea. The islanders of Parla are still mourning the loss of one of their own. Four years since that loss, and a man - un-named, unclothed - is washed onto their shores. Some say he is a mythical man from the sea - potent, kind and beautiful; others suspect him. For the bereft Maggie, this stranger brings love back to the isle. But as the days pass he changes every one of them - and the time comes for his story to be told... Tender, lyrical and redemptive, 'The Silver Dark Sea' is the dazzling new novel from the author of 'Eve Green' (winner of Whitbred First Novel award). It is a story about what life can give and take from us, when we least expect it - and how love, in all its forms, is the greatest gift of all.… (mais)
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Abigail Coyle used to tell me, we only know the foam...A sweep of her arm, over the sea. And I’d walk home understanding her. We do not know it all. That’s what I’d tell myself, when standing waist-deep in water. When I sat on a boat I’d think of what was beneath me--the deep, deep chasms, the secrets and the dark.

Tom Bundy is dead. He was taken by the sea that he loved, and his death has collapsed the lives of his mother, Emmeline; his wife, Maggie; his brother, Nathan; and most of the small community on the island of Parla. When a man who resembles Tom is washed up on a beach at Sye four years later, all the grief, all the guilt, all the sadness bubbles to the surface, but what also comes is the retelling of an ancient myth, a Parlan myth of a half-man, half-fish who comes from the sea and brings hope and healing.

There is so much healing that is needed. So few have come to grips with the finality of their loss. The found man is a catalyst, he is an unknown element that changes life on the island and he forces people to look into their souls, and sometimes bare them.

I know this; there is no sense to grief. There is no pattern or shape or texture, and there are no books or stories which can lessen the pain at losing a person you have loved, and will always love. There are no rules with loss.

Susan Fletcher understands love, she understands loss, and she understands grief. Parts of this novel were so poignant that I had to stop reading to collect myself. So much of it struck a chord with me that I ached for each of these people. I cried for Maggie. I thought how unfair life can be and how difficult it is to move forward when every aspect of your life feels destroyed. I thought of how I clutched my mother’s chenille housecoat to my face so that I could smell her distinctive scent in the months after she was gone and how I cried when my husband accidentally put it in the wash and made it smell of fabric softener.

Grief is such a lonely thing. There is no one in it with you--others may grieve for the same soul, but they do not grieve exactly for what you also grieve. No one has lost precisely what you have lost. Not exactly, never exactly. We are in it alone.

If you have ever lost someone you love, I highly recommend this novel. But I caution you to buy tissues before you begin. You will need them.
( )
  mattorsara | Aug 11, 2022 |
Als er een aantrekkelijke man met geheugenverlies aanspoelt op het eilandje Paria, krijgen de bewonerseen sprankje hoop dat hij voor wat geluk in hun leven kan zorgen, neg als in een oud volksverhaal ( )
  huizenga | Aug 11, 2018 |
Magnificent. Lyrical, measured prose that utterly transported me to the fictional island of Parla. Fletcher writes so beautifully that I am quite confident that I would enjoy her shopping lists but on top of her absolute mastery of her craft she weaves one hell of a tale.

In an another's hand this could be such a bleak tale of the hardships and severity of island life. Every Islander we meet could rage against the hand that fate has dealt them or be crushed by that hand. Grief and the sense of what all of us have to loose is ever present. Yet I read this filled with hope, convinced by Fletcher of the redemptive power of love, kindness and stories. ( )
  boobellina | Jul 13, 2017 |
Eräänä päivänä Parla nimisen saaren rannalta löytyy merestä huuhtoutunut mies. Mies on elossa, mutta menettänyt muistinsa. Kuka mies on ja mistä mies on? Missään ei ole kaatunut laivaa eikä kukaan tunnu olevan kadoksissa, paitsi tämä mies itseltään. Nopeasti saarelaisten mieliin nousee kertomus Kalamiehestä, joka on mies ja kala samassa ruumiissa, ja joka voi ottaa ihmisen hahmon yhdeksi kuunkierroksi. Kalamiehen sanotaan tuovan toivoa sitä kaipaaville. Toiset epäilevät miehen juonivan ja toiset haluavat kiihkeästi uskoa vahnaan taruun, mutta mikä lopulta on totta?

Tummanhopeinen meri kertoo tarinan saaresta ja saarelaisista, joita on kohdannut valtava suru. Suru on koskettanut jokaista asukasta omalla tavallaan ja muuttanut heidän tarinaansa. Vaikka päivät vaihtuvat uusiin, suru on silti läsnä. Vasta rannalta löytynyt mies saa heidät heräämään. Se saa heidät toivomaan.

Kirja on runsas ja hitaasti aukeava, mutta kaiken sen arvoinen. Kun tarinaan pääsee kiinni, kun kuulee tuulen tuiverruksen saarella, ei enää tahdokaan pois kirjan maisemista. Kirja on lohdullinen, lämmin ja kaunis. ( )
  gatri | Dec 2, 2014 |
This is extremely poetical indeed - to the point that the story and any deep engagement with character is sadly lost. It's also very difficult - and sometimes dull - to read, and needed a great deal of editing and slimming down, which would have helped to increase the power.

That's not to say it's not beautifully written - as it absolutely and most definitely is. But it's so beautifully written that anything else is very hard to dig out, I'm sorry to say. It also - as I've said above - tends to dullness and so I was skimming for 60% of the time.

There are however some very beautiful (there's that word again!) and also poignant vignettes, but the story itself is of course very cliched and sometimes basic. In many ways, it's like an opera - the music is amazing, but please don't concern yourself with the plot, my dears, as it's ultimately laughable. Oh well. I just wanted the characters to stop emoting and declaiming all over the place and just show a little backbone and get on with their lives. Perhaps it's a lesson to us all not to live on an island. Still, I have to say it - the poetry is beautiful. ( )
1 vote AnneBrooke | Nov 21, 2013 |
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This powerful novel from the award-winning author of Richard and Judy pick 'Eve Green' is a tale of love and the lore of the sea. The islanders of Parla are still mourning the loss of one of their own. Four years since that loss, and a man - un-named, unclothed - is washed onto their shores. Some say he is a mythical man from the sea - potent, kind and beautiful; others suspect him. For the bereft Maggie, this stranger brings love back to the isle. But as the days pass he changes every one of them - and the time comes for his story to be told... Tender, lyrical and redemptive, 'The Silver Dark Sea' is the dazzling new novel from the author of 'Eve Green' (winner of Whitbred First Novel award). It is a story about what life can give and take from us, when we least expect it - and how love, in all its forms, is the greatest gift of all.

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