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The Sea House

by Esther Freud

Complex and compelling - two generations are linked as their stories are told in alternate chapters. I found it quite taxing to keep track of the characters and their interwoven lives - but the effort was worth it. This is a detailed, beautifully told story of love, loss and hope.

Extract

They walked on in silence, pushing past the people who were drifting, idling, shredding bread for ducks. At the tip of the lake, where it swept under the bridge, there was a cafe where once, when they'd first met, they'd stopped and had a drink. They'd had a fruit juice each, gritty and warm, in glasses without ice, and when the bill had come they'd gasped at the price. Nick had put his arm round her and whispered in her ear, 'I'll bring you here for your birthday if you don't behave.' It had been a joke between them, an unlikely pavilion of their love, but now, heads down, they walked fast past it and up on the road.

Parallels

Possession by A S Byatt
 

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