The Marriage of the Sea: A Novel
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The Marriage of the Sea: A Novel

3.25 of 5 stars 3.25  ·  rating details  ·  85 ratings  ·  15 reviews
In a damp Venetian palace, Oswaldo contemplates the ravages of time to his body and his beloved city. In New York, Lach savors his freedom, having just dropped Vera to join his new love, Francesca, in Venice. In rainy London, Max packs for New Orleans, in pursuit of Lucinde, a woman he barely knows. From New Orleans, Lucinde flies to the aid and comfort of Vera, who has ac...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 1st 2004 by Picador (first published 2003)
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Oct 13, 2008 Amy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: fiction
It is not a very good book; I know this. Yet I inexplicable love this story. It is stories of various people tied together by their cities on the water: Venice and New Orleans. It is a beautifully written book with vivid imagery and well thought out characters that are just on the precipice of reality.
Aug 14, 2014 victoria.p marked it as did-not-finish
The prose is lyrical and lovely, but fifty pages in, I was having a hard time caring about the characters, or even telling them apart.
Nicole Ambarchian
The dialogue was confusing and vague. The book has a spooky desolate quality to it. The only reason I finished it was hoping for something positive in the end. The descriptions of Venice were evocative. The characters were only loosely connected. I still don't know who Therese was to Max. There are many other books with more engaging plots to be read. I do not recommend this book.
Bookmarks Magazine

Alison's debut book, The Love Artist, was an interpretation of the demise of Ovid that was lauded for its fine detail and grace. Here, Alison applies her interests in history and excavation in a different manner, using the metaphor of "the sea" to uncover truths about her characters. Reviewers complained that Alison's gorgeous flair (and attentiveness) for the small details sometimes left the reader with too little information about the characters' motivations. Critics praised her talents with f

Small, short chapters of intriguing characters that never really develop beyond sketches. There are many interesting parallels between Venice and New Orleans, usually subtle but not always so. Alison definitely has a poetic way of looking at things: Small, seemingly insignificant details stick in your mind and trap you with their crushing beauty and despair. You're left wanting more. She does a lot with a small amount, but I wanted a concrete building rather than the drawings for one, even if th...more
I agree that the book is confusing, but i think the book is truly a representation of the sea itself, at times murky, always beautiful. The characters are always within a kind of watery dance with each other, and the cities of Venice and New Orleans are beautifullydescribed and embodied within the languasge.
Wonderfully confusing. Story of several people searching for something but not finding it. About wanting and struggling....strange...could be frustrating if you're looking for a clean ending.
I read this because it was set in Venice (which I love) and New Orleans, where I was traveling to! Interesting story and characters, and it was fun to be "in" two cool cities.
Lolly LKH
So far I am juggling books here, I do that when my mind is restless but this one I am reading at night and it's lovely and very human.
Margot Jennifer
This was strange and meandering. No plot, just pieces from several different sad peoples' lives.
Heather Murray
It's been criticized for it's sketchiness, but that's exactly what I loved about it.
Loved the setting but character development was a little weak.
I read this when I used to read real books.
Melody Lee
Interesting story, disapointing ending.
Written by Jane (Shumate) Alison (Wilson '79), it is a beautifully written love story. Her prose and descriptions are lyrical.
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Jane Alison was born in Canberra, Australia, and grew up in the Australian and U.S. foreign services. She attended public schools in Washington, D.C., and earned a B.A. in classics from Princeton University. Before writing fiction, she worked as an administrator for the National Endowment for the Humanities, as a production artist for the Washington City Paper, as an editor for the Miami New Times...more
More about Jane Alison...
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