Following the death of his wife, the widowed narrator of The Sea spends a lengthy recuperative and reflective stay at the same beach town where he vacationed as a child. The story goes back and forth between his present grief and his coming-of-age memories.
John Banville, who won the 2005 Booker Prize for this elegant novel, has a graceful way of turning a phrase and more than a few clever lines. For instance: "If there was such a thing a 'long shrift,' I was in need of some" and "He was half way to a half wit" tickled my fancy for word play. The present-day story of the wife's death is particularly touching. The childhood story is charming, although the end did not work as well, in retrospect, as it seemed to. All in all, an entertaining read.
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