Zoë Marriott's Reviews > The Starless Sea

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
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liked it

I liked some things about this a great deal - enough to make it a five star book. But I liked other elements so little that it would have struggled to make it to three.

The book's structure is scattered, with dozens of only loosely connected elements, and only one of those gets any kind of satisfactory development or resolution. Only two *characters* get any real development (neither of them the main character!) and all the rest feel underserved and barely sketched, though in a book this long that is truly difficult for an author to manage. There were moments when I felt a real pang of emotion from reading this - mainly from the dream-like allegorical/fairytale bits - but other moments which were clearly intended to be highly emotional didn't land at all.

In fact, I have a weird suspicion that the author didn't even want them to: they were either described in such distant, elevated language that there was no chance to empathise, or else the writer cut away at the moment when we should have seen the reaction of the character, which completely undercut the very thing which had been so painstakingly set up. What was going on there? I can't understand why you'd create a scene of poetic tragedy or triumphant love returned and then whip away before anyone - character or reader - can even begin to feel it.

I don't know. I just don't know. Definitely original, unique and interesting, anyway. I only wish it made sense to me either as a story about stories or even a plain old story, but it's.... not quite there.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
June 28, 2020 – Shelved
June 28, 2020 – Finished Reading

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