Book Review: The Silver Dark Sea by Susan Fletcher

The Silver Dark Sea by Susan Fletcher

The Silver Dark Sea: What it is about

From the publishers: “A profound tale of love, loss 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) and Witch Light. 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.”

The Silver Dark Sea: What I thought

I read this book for my face-to-face book group. It sounded good but unfortunately, I didn’t finish it. I read over a third of the book, but it never gripped me. The language seemed forcefully literary. The story I found a little silly, given that the book was a modern story. Really, a fish man? I found it hard to get into the story.

But not only because of that. I also had problems with the narration. The perspective changed every chapter (or even paragraph) and the writer did a good job at making sure you didn’t at first know whose perspective we were following next. It irritated me, it seemed the book was made unnecessarily vague – infuriating!

There were quite a few characters, but luckily there were two family trees at the beginning of the book. They did help understand who was who.

Some people in my book group managed to finish the book and enjoyed it. They gave it 3.5 to 4 stars. They said it was a book to sit down for and to take your time to read it. In the (very) end, a lot becomes clear about the past of the characters and the reason why some things happen as they do.

It’s a pity especially when I can’t finish a book group book, because it makes it harder to contribute to the discussion. But it happens, just every now and then…

Rating: Did Not Finish

Number of pages: 336 (read until page 160)

First published: 2012

I got this: from the library

Genre: contemporary fiction



About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

4 Responses to Book Review: The Silver Dark Sea by Susan Fletcher

  1. Melinda says:

    Too bad 😦 Hope your next read goes better.

  2. I get that – I had that happen recently in our book club, it makes it harder when it is see who leads the discussions… I usually have questions prepared and then sit back and listen to the discussion… some times the discussion is so good it makes me try the book again 🙂

  3. Laurie C says:

    Sometimes the discussion is better when a book is vague, because readers have different opinions, but too bad you didn’t like it! (BTW, the link for the publisher’s info seems to go to a different book — Mind of Winter by Laura Kasischke.)

  4. Care says:

    Maybe a book that tried to do too much. Or maybe you weren’t in the right place/mood for this one considering life is hectic and it sounds like you need something fun to read for escape?

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