Beside the Sea is the best book I have read in a long time. It tells the story of a single mother who wants to ensure her two little boys enjoy a holiday by the sea.
Beside the Sea has the most intense narrative I have ever read. The words pull you in, leading you towards an ending that you know will be devastating. A dark sense of foreboding dominates the text, but when I finally reached the conclusion it was far more poignant than I could ever imagine.
Not much happens in this book. Regular readers of my blog will know that this is normally a very bad thing for me, but in the hands of such a fantastic writer this didn’t matter; the ordinary was given an emotional dimension and made to come alive.
The simple descriptions of taking two little boys to a hotel or out for a hot chocolate were amazingly accurate, perfectly capturing the behaviour of two brothers. I think the fact that I have two little boys meant that this book had a far greater impact on me. I have had similar experinces of loving them, but at the same time being frustrated by their behaviour.
Beside the Sea is just over 100 pages long, but the effects of reading this book will last far longer than the short time it takes to finish. Those little boys touched my heart and just thinking about them brings tears to my eyes.
I will remember this book for the rest of my life.
Highly recommended to anyone who likes books that provoke an emotional response.
Everyone seems to love this book:
I can’t think of many books where the atmosphere and intensity of the novel come off the page so instantly. Savidge Reads
I’m not sure I’ve ever read anything quite like it… Dove Grey Reader
However, I still found the ending so powerful, so intense and so quietly devastating that I’m still thinking about it a week down the line… Reading Matters
Have I managed to persuade you to read it?
What is the most intense book you have ever read?