Together in Spirit

An online reading group ('TIS a reading group!) to bring together friends, and friends of friends, who aren't able to be in a conventional reading group due to constraints of time or geography.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Sea house

I like Emily was unconvinced by the four "love" relationships. And in fact these irritated and got in the way of me enjoying the prose. Which it was good to be reminded (thank you Emily) was actually good.

I found the book confusing at the beginning until I'd clocked it was being written on two different timescales - I know, I'm a bit slow! Was Alf the living link, beyond the twins...?

I enjoyed the reverence paid to written communication, the appreciation of arguably the lost of art of letter writing. Lily's point that letters can't be interrupted, unwillingly, by the reader when being received, unlike those unsatisfactory phone conversations she had with Nick which were constantly being interrupted. However, I'm not so sure I'd have been thrilled to have received the letters Klaus wrote to Elsa. The loved expressed seemed patronisingly possessive. I suppose Lily craved the undividedness of Klaus' love.

Which brings me onto the relationships, which irritated. Mainly because I wasn't sure what the writer's definition of love was. Most of the time I was unclear why Lily and Nick were together, and certainly had no clue why we were left with them possibly drifting off into the sunset to live happily ever after. Lily and Grae, seemed more real, and yet that ended abruptly and interestingly "inadvertently" so by Nick via his e-mail proferring advice against predatory males. Was that a turning point for Lily, a sign of encouragement and evidence she was something worth protecting and therefore loved? As for Klaus and Elsa, they rarely seemed to be in the same place , whereas Max was physically there for Elsa, and so those were the arms she sank into to assuage her loneliness. I don't know....

Gertrude seemed to emerge "a winner", a project in the local artist, twins and Elsa to pour love into, and brothers for Alf. Much to give herself too, and much to receive back.

Forgive me, feel I've been terribly negative, a distant and indifferent observer. My recollections of the book are terribly flawed, by a distracted mind and the fact I can only snatch moments in a day and therefore ended up reading it over a couple of weeks. I wonder whether it is one of those books best read in a day or two, so that one can be totally immersed in it...?