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The Silver Dark Sea

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  478 Ratings  ·  90 Reviews
On the island of Parla some believe in the ancient tale of the Fishman, others believe in nothing. All carry with them the mourning and sadness for what the sea has taken away. But when a man with no name is washed up on the stones of Sye, it appears the mythical figure has returned.
Hardcover, 436 pages
Published July 5th 2012 by Fourth Estate (first published January 1st 2012)
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Chrissie
What makes this book special is the writing. Beautiful language that is both expressive and reflective.

The central theme is loss. How does one deal with that? Loss can be a result of death, but it need not be. It can simply be life moving on, circumstances changing, children growing up and the loosening of bonds.

Magic is woven into the telling, but with a beautiful touch. You see the magic as fits you; if you prefer to see life in realistic terms that is how you will see the story, but if you e
...more
Candi
"There are stories that come from the sea and those are good stories. They are the best I have heard, by far. I know stories, but none are better than those I was told in coastal homes, with sour-smelling oilskins drying by the fire or the pale chalk of whale-bones standing on their ends."

Susan Fletcher's writing is the kind that will allow you to completely immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and smells, or perhaps all your senses, in the small isolated world of her story. As in her novel Co
...more
Tracey
Feb 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
I finished this book last night at about 8 o'clock but decided to sleep on my decision to rate it and write my review this morning.
Susan Fletcher quickly became one of my favourite authors after reading Witch light / Corrag , I love how lyrical and poetic her descriptions of places are and the way she makes you feel you're actually in the place she is writing about . How is it possible that words can make you smell the flowers, the coffee, the scent of a person, the tang of the sea ? I feel I kn
...more
Kinga
Aug 28, 2012 rated it liked it
Feel free to judge this book by the cover, as there has never been a more apt book cover or title.
“The Silver Dark Sea” is exactly that – magical, part mythical, part real, lyrical, sentimental, cold and warm at the same time.

After reading “Eve Green” in August, Susan Fletcher’s debut, I was wondering where she was now as a writer, four or five books later. I have no idea what happened in between but judging by the first and last book, she is sticking to what has worked for her once.
I think the
...more
Simay Yildiz
For English, please visit Community BookStop.
Bu yazının orijinali canlabirsene'de yayınlandı.

Şimdiye kadar merkezinde deniz olup da "ıyk" dedirten bir kitapla tanışmadım. Gümüş Karası Deniz de yer yer beni zorlamış olsa da Fletcher İskoçya'nın Parla Adası'nı öyle capcanlı bir şekilde anlatmış ki suların yüzüme vurduğunu, ayaklarımı serinlettiğini hissedince ferahladım gitti. Zaten ada takıntım var, "Parla'ya götürün beni!" diye haykırdım valla.

"Eeee, denizden başka bir şey yok mu kitapta?" derse
...more
Karin Baele
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Soms heb je simpelweg zo'n boek nodig. En dan heb je geluk als je op zo'n moment dit in handen krijgt.
Ape
Sep 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scotland
I loved escaping into this book. Although honestly I don't think it is going to appeal to everyone. It's quite long, and very little happens in it. You've really just got to want to loose yourself in atmosphere if you're going to enjoy this one. It is also about love, grief and community, but for me what I liked most about it was the portrayal of small island life. I am fascinated by the islands around the UK, in particular the Scottish ones. So a book set on a small Scottish island, even if it ...more
Mary Lou
Aug 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
The islanders of Parla are struggling to come to terms with the loss by drowning of a young man, Tom, four years previous, when a stranger is washed up on shore. His appearance is a mystery - its a two hour ferry trip from the mainland, there have been no reported losses at sea, and he is suffering from amnesia.
There are whisperings of the legend of the Fishman, half fish half man who comes to land to bring hope and change.

Gradually the different effects of loss and grief on Tom's friends and fa
...more
Just A. Bean
Bailing on this one too (not doing well lately). Basically I got half way through and still wasn't terribly interested in any of the characters or events, beyond a mild curiosity as to the story behind the mermaid dude (I'll ask a friend who's read it). The writing was very pretty, but on the whole there was too much atmosphere and not enough plot. Also, what is WITH lit fic's war on the quotation mark? What did it do to anyone?
Denlillebogblog
May 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Warning: This is a slow story. A story that needs time to blossom in your heart.

This is a story full of melancholy, grief, hope and most of all - love.

This is a book for dreamers.
Sophie
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Oh, oh, wat houd ik van dit boek.

Een verhaal over verlies, over loslaten en terug verliefd worden.
Over het eiland Parla en zijn bewoners die vele volksverhalen kennen, die generaties lang aan elkaar worden doorverteld. Over Maggie en haar Visman.

Over het zilte water, het ruisen van de zee en het geroep van de meeuwen.

Het verhaal is zo schoon geschreven. Zo liederlijk en dichterlijk. Zo beeldend.

Ik legde het boek regelmatig opzij om wat weg te dromen bij de personages op het eiland en te mij
...more
Kirsty
Sep 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Silver Dark Sea is written by established author Susan Fletcher. It is a ‘profound tale of love, loss and the lore of the sea’, and is described as ‘tender, lyrical and redemptive’.

The opening lines of The Silver Dark Sea are rather reminiscent of fairytale-esque stories: ‘Once there was a man. He was bearded and kind. He lived on an island in a stone-walled house with a tap that dripped, and a small peat fire. He had no friends to speak of. All his family were gone’. Known locally as the Fi
...more
Mary-Beth
Nov 27, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, romance
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Katherine
Aug 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: general-fiction
Wow.

This is one of those books that unfolds ever so slowly, taking the reader a while to get a footing in the story. However, Fletcher has such a unique gift of voice and characterization that as she discloses small, individual pieces of information about the characters, and their intertwined histories (they all live on a small Scottish isle), you come to know them in a deeply personal and profound way.

With the themes of love and loss, grief and redemption Fletcher exhibits remarkable skill an
...more
Sophie Rose McManus
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa
Nov 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
A beautiful book and I miss reading it now because of how deeply steeped in ocean imagery I was, so I felt I'd spent time in the elements, buffed and bruised -- felt I lived on that island. Her other books kept me holding my breath all the way through the end. This one did not leave me with that feeling of being slightly off kilter as the others, which I appreciate in literature. I almost felt that she was perhaps seeking to meet a deadline with this four of her five books. I do recommend this r ...more
Fi Quinn
Nov 19, 2012 rated it liked it
I loved her writing style and prose, and the island of Parla came alive, but sometimes I got lost with who was talking as there were so many characters. The second half of the book picked up and I felt much more in tune with the characters.
Roxane
Apr 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful, poetic and lyrical. This is such a wonderful and touching novel centered around a widow who's husband was lost at sea four years ago, a story of how myth and legend can help mend grief and sorrow.
Emili
Mar 27, 2015 rated it it was ok
Huh, näin työlästä kirjaa en oo kyllä ennemmin lukenut ja väkisin ainakin 10 kertaa jatkoin vaikka mieli teki jättää kesken. Mutta nyt se on luettu! Vain 3kk siihen menikin :)
Deirdremannion27
Hard going....a big disappointment after her other books. Overly written and too descriptive.
Alan Thomson
Mar 01, 2015 rated it liked it
Beautiful writing and descriptions but I struggled with the plot and story I'm afraid. I loved Corrag and Eve Green but this was not as good I'm afraid
Sarah
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Magnificent. Lyrical, measured prose that utterly transported me to the fictional island of Parla. Fletcher writes so beautifully that I am quite confident that I would enjoy her shopping lists but on top of her absolute mastery of her craft she weaves one hell of a tale.

In an another's hand this could be such a bleak tale of the hardships and severity of island life. Every Islander we meet could rage against the hand that fate has dealt them or be crushed by that hand. Grief and the sense of wh
...more
AnoukM
Dec 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is emotional, slow paced and descriptive. All of those things can be either bad or good, depending on your taste or patience level.
While the author paints a very lively and pretty picture of the island and its inhabitants, I found myself skimming over some sentences in order to get to the actual events. If you think there are less then a hundred ways to describe the sea, this book proves you wrong.
I generally enjoyed the story and the myths included in it, but the prose was at times
...more
CakesandCat
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Après avoir lu une trentaine de pages, j'ai abandonné le livre. Trop de personnages, trop de destins qui s'emmêlent...difficile à suivre et un rythme trop lent. Et puis, je l'ai repris un peu plus tard et je l'ai trouvé sublime! Chaque phrase est un poème. J'ai aimé le côté mystérieux, les personnages touchants et la plume sensible, délicate et juste de Susan Fletcher. Un roman magnifique tout simplement!
Roxyline
Très beau, l'écriture de Susan Fletcher est toujours aussi poétique et belle. Ce livre parle de deuil, de tristesse, de souffrance mais aussi de joie, de beauté et d'amour. C'est une très belle histoire, mais peut-être pas celle à laquelle je m'attendais et j'ai parfois eu un peu de mal à avancer dans ma lecture que j'ai trouvé trop longue par moment. Cela reste quand même une belle histoire qui m'a beaucoup touchée.
Debbie Ruffell
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Spellbinding.
The author weaves a web of magic as she describes the fictional island and its inhabitants. Their stories interlink and develop as the tale of the Fishman unfolds.
I borrowed the book from the local library, but bought it to keep after finishing it. It's one I'll read again and again.
Mary
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hope and Wonder

Susan Fletcher is among my favorite writers. Her style is so lyrical - beautiful. This story is grief, and hardship and joy and magic and healing. All the stuff of life. Highly recommended.
Felicity
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful. Like a fairy story.
Elviira
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Perfect! Loved it!
Mary
Aug 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: scotland, read-2013
The islanders of Parla have lost one of their own, a lobsterman named Tom Bundy. His death has left the small community in a state of grief, but no one is more affected than Tom's widow Maggie. When a man washes up on-shore, there are whisperings that the nearly drowned man is the Fishman, a creature from the sea who leaves his fish tail behind so that he might walk on land and restore hope on the island. There are some who resist the myth and others who embrace it, but the story and the truth b ...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Susan Fletcher is the author of Eve Green, which won the Whitbread Award for First Novel, Oystercatchers, and Corrag. She lives in the United Kingdom.
More about Susan Fletcher...

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“I know this: there is no sense to grief. There is no pattern or shape or texture, and there are no books or stories which can lessen the pain at losing a person you have loved, and will always love. There are no rules, with loss.” 4 likes
“Isn't it the rarest thing? Never mind the whale migrations, or total eclipses of suns and moons: love that lasts, and is returned in equal measure, is the rarest thing she knows of.” 4 likes
More quotes…