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Customer Review

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary Book, November 25, 2009
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This review is from: Seacage: A romance for another time in three voices (Hardcover)
"Seacage" takes place in an unnamed country at an undated time in history. A young king is deposed from his throne; those who deposed him want him dead but do not want a king's blood on their hands, and so instead imprison him in a large bronze cage set into the stone of a volcanic rock formation in the ocean to die of starvation, dehydration, and exposure.

There are just two characters in this book, and trust is a major theme between them. The young king is certain he will die from exposure in the cage or by murder at the hands of a young woman. But, in fact, the woman is afraid the king will kill her, and both do not believe the reassurances of the other. They both irrationally love one another; the king asks the woman at one point, "Is it possible to love where one does not trust?" She answers that she doesn't know, that she is the wrong person to ask.

The author's writing style is unusual: The dialogue is elementary, almost as if paraphrased (and the reader should fill in the blanks), and at times I had to reread passages to understand what she was trying to express. I could not reconcile the sequence of events or the timing in this story. I believe this is due not to the author "forgetting" what she wrote, or inattentive editing, but that we are in the king's head, and he is injured, ill, frightened, and confused the entire time. His confusion is our confusion.

This is the third book I have read by this author, the other two being "Edward, Edward" and "Alyx." I feel those were a little better than "Seacage" (the other two being much more intense and complex), but all three are extraordinary books. Her characters are not brave heroes, or men with great insight or James Bond-cleverness. They are normal people dealing the best that they can with desperate, unrelenting, impossible situations and inescapable miseries. These books cannot be read for enjoyment or entertainment. They are much, much too dark for that. Rather, I found it fascinating to follow the way these sad, lonely people persevere (or aren't able to persevere) in unbearable circumstances.

The author wrote six books; she died in 2002. The three I have read are so remarkable that I have bought the other three, sight unseen, without knowing or caring anything about them. Very powerful psychological dramas.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 13, 2014 12:17:13 AM PDT
Does this book have a HEA? Please? I enjoy dark books only if there's light at the end. Thank you.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 13, 2014 4:39:14 PM PDT
Arual says:
Hi Glitter Spirit! I've missed seeing you in the Forum discussions.

This book is a strange one. I love the way the author writes - I love all her books - but her style probably isn't for everyone. And this story really is not a romance at all. The ending? I can say it ends on a positive note. I'd say YES! give the book a try. And if you like it, Edward, Edward: A Part of His Story And Of History 1795-1816 Set Out In Three Parts In This Form Of A New-Old Picaresque Romance That Is Also A Study in Grace and Alyx are even better, in that they're darker and more complex. Neither of those are Romances either. They're just odd, very well-written stories.
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