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July's Best Reads: Dive into Summer's Hottest Page-Turners!

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The Sea by John Banville

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Also by John Banville:

Snow, October 2024
Mass Market Paperback
The Drowned, October 2024
Hardcover
The Lock-Up, September 2024
Trade Paperback
Birchwood, March 2024
Trade Paperback / e-Book
Kepler, February 2024
Trade Paperback / e-Book
Doctor Copernicus, February 2024
Trade Paperback / e-Book
The Lock-Up, June 2023
Hardcover / e-Book
The Singularities, November 2022
Hardcover / e-Book
April in Spain, October 2021
Hardcover / e-Book
Snow, October 2020
Hardcover / e-Book
The Infinities, March 2010
Hardcover
The Sea, November 2005
Hardcover
The Sea, November 2005
Hardcover

The Sea
John Banville

Man Booker Prize

Knopf
November 2005
208 pages
ISBN: 0307263118
Hardcover
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Fiction

The author of The Untouchable (“contemporary fiction gets no better than this”—Patrick McGrath, The New York Times Book Review) now gives us a luminous novel about love, loss, and the unpredictable power of memory.

The narrator is Max Morden, a middle-aged Irishman who, soon after his wife’s death, has gone back to the seaside town where he spent his summer holidays as a child—a retreat from the grief, anger, and numbness of his life without her. But it is also a return to the place where he met the Graces, the well-heeled vacationing family with whom he experienced the strange suddenness of both love and death for the first time. The seductive mother; the imperious father; the twins—Chloe, fiery and forthright, and Myles, silent and expressionless—in whose mysterious connection Max became profoundly entangled, each of them a part of the “barely bearable raw immediacy” of his childhood memories.

Interwoven with this story are Morden’s memories of his wife, Anna—of their life together, of her death—and the moments, both significant and mundane, that make up his life now: his relationship with his grown daughter, Claire, desperate to pull him from his grief; and with the other boarders at the house where he is staying, where the past beats inside him “like a second heart.”

What Max comes to understand about the past, and about its indelible effects on him, is at the center of this elegiac, vividly dramatic, beautifully written novel—among the finest we have had from this extraordinary writer.

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