The sea, the sea (Iris Murdoch)

Ms Harrison recently read Iris Murdoch’s novel ‘The sea, the sea’ and would like to share her thoughts on the book with us.  The story concerns Charles Arrowby when he decides to escape from his London life:

“When Charles Arrowby retires from his glittering career in the London theatre, he buys a remote house on the rocks by the sea. He hopes to escape from his tumultuous love affairs but unexpectedly bumps into his childhood sweetheart and sets his heart on destroying her marriage. His equilibrium is further disturbed when his friends all decide to come and keep him company and Charles finds his seaside idyll severely threatened by his past.”  Nielsen Bookdata Online.

Ms Harrison observes:

” …. [a]  good read of recent weeks has been Iris Murdoch’s ‘The Sea, the Sea’ and I would recommend this very highly. It becomes increasingly frustrating and absorbing as one follows the lead character’s descent into depression, desperation and questionable sanity. I was hugely moved at the end, proving that I had in fact grown more sympathetic than I had consciously realised. A highly cunning author!!”

Perhaps it is time to return to authors from earlier in the 20th century, especially with publishers now issuing reprints…  Don’t forget them!


Author: Berkhamsted School Library

Main aims for Berkhamsted School Library • to provide a central resource for the whole school curriculum • to encourage an ethos of enquiry and discovery • to assist pupils in becoming confident and independent learners • to develop research and information skills throughout the school • to offer resources which enrich cultural values and experiences for pupils, as well as have a role in their recreational life and promote reading for pleasure as a lifelong activity

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