Thursday, November 17, 2011

Seeing Change

Sea Change was sent to me by Penguin.  BlogHer is paying me for this review.  My thoughts are my own.

Sea Change is an odd book.  A novel within a novel, printed in a different font and an almost-but-not-quite-dissimilar-enough authorial voice, Jeremy Page's tirbute to the loving memory of Kate Jones never quite caught my attention.  I finished it and I never thought of it again until I sat to write this review. 

That rarely happens to me.  I'm still carrying Theodora with me, nestled up next to Dr. Faust and Cicero.  If I'm more attached to school work than I am to a novel.... well, denizens, I think it's a sign that I didn't care about the book.

Granted, coping with the death of a little girl is probably not the best theme for me right now.  Jeremy Page's best writing is the telling of the story of that afternoon, with the shining drop of dew and the frightened and then running for safety little girl, and I guess I do remember some of the book because I can feel him watching her cross the field, feel the danger rising, feel his wife and the horse and the ground beneath my feet.

I just wish the rest of the book had kept up.  Perhaps it's because I refuse to stay stuck in the past, and Guy can't seem to move beyond it.  Living a double life, his reality contorted and dysfunctional, unable to look clearly at his present and his past, this character is a mess.  It would have been a better book had he been a more likeable or interesting mess.  I wasn't thrilled with his wife's behavior, but I was much more interested in her (never revealed) reasoning than I was in Guy's immobility in response. 

Page is often a wonderful writer; his descriptions of floating on the North Sea brought me to a place I'd never thought of before.  He likes writing, but asking it to reclaim the things you've lost is a bit much. Several pages later he tells us that you remember the things you save; you don't forget the things you've lost. So which is it?  Do I need to write it down ?  How is changing the ending filling that empty place?  Like Guy, I've never knkown a space more absent than the space where a child was.  I'm just trying not to wallow in it.

And so I am back to the opening of this review.  In loving memory of Kate Jones is inscribed in the center of the last page of the print book which I held in my hand.  It felt like a cheap shot, an unexpected kick to the gut, a statement that this is quite close to a real story and who are you to judge.

Then, again, it might be my PTSD acting up. 

Sea Change is not a happy read, it's not a truly satisfying read, but it does have its moments.  I'd be happy to send you my copy if you think you'll like it more than I did.

In fact, if you are interested in reading what others have written, click on oer here and see what the BlogHer Book Club has to say about Sea Change.

1 comment:

  1. This doesn't sound like a good book at all. And the subject matter would put me into a tail-spin. Thanks for the review.

    Happy Thursday.

    Megan xxx


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