From a Low and Quiet Sea – Donal Ryan – 08.09.20

Hmmm, what to say about this book… I have mixed feelings. It is clearly well written, with lyrical prose and a richness and depth of characters, but why are the characters all so angry and sad and broken?? My book group read The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan, and I was just looking back at my review, to see that I also found it to be beautifully and interestingly written, but depressing with angry broken characters (!). From a Low and Quiet Sea is divided into four parts. The first three seem to be unconnected novellas each following a different (sad, angry and broken) male character – a syrian refugee, a young Irish man with a broken heart and an older Irish man thinking back over all the terrible things he’s done in his life. In the fourth part the three characters come together and we see that they are in fact connected, which I liked although I see some other reviewers found this to be too forced and sudden. I think I’m glad that I read it, and I feel somewhat enriched by the experience, but I’m also glad that’s over now. (I really like the title though!).

Published by sarahrwray

I'm an erstwhile writer and forever reader and book reviewer.

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