Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Sea Lady

I'm a big Margaret Drabble fan so it is hard for me to say I was disappointed by The Sea Lady. Humphrey Clark and Aisla Kelman met as children by the seaside in England. Now in their sixties they are on their way to meet again - one of them unwittingly - by the same seaside.

They were very different sorts of children and, unsurprisingly, became very different sorts of adults. Humphrey grew up to be a marine biologist, while Aisla became one of those people well-known through their books and television appearances but famous for their shocking opinions and flamboyant publicity stunts. This is the story of their two lives, the ones they lived between the two bookend meetings of this novel.

Drabble told the story she set out to tell quite well, as she always does. The trouble was it wasn't the story this reader most wanted to read. I was more interested in what would happen to Humphrey and Aisla now that they had met again, rather than all that preceded this meeting. Unfortunately I wanted this story to begin right at the spot it ended.

First line of The Sea Lady by Margaret Drabble: "The winning book was about fish, and to present it, she appeared to have dressed herself as a mermaid, in silver sequinned scales."


Bybee said...

I read one Drabble book -- The Waterfall -- and didn't like it, so I've never read another. On the other hand, I want to like her, so I bought a used copy of The Peppered Moth, and search regularly for The Millstone (sp?).

ratherbereading said...

Bybee, you might be interested in Drabble's The Red Queen. It is set in Korea, a historical novel about a (real, I think) Korean princess.

Bybee said...

I have seen that novel here...maybe I will give it a go. Thanks.