First of all, I KNOW it’s late Wednesday, not Tuesday! Are schedules made to be pushed around? Or do they push us?
It wasn’t a murder mystery, but The Sea and the Silence had in it both murder and mystery. If I told you who was murdered, it would spoil the entire story. Usually you know the victim, when you read a novel, but in this mysterious page-turner you don’t even know there is a victim until near the end. So now that YOU know there was a murder, you MUST read it to find out who got axed, how, and why!
Spanning nearly the lifetime of the protagonist, discovering her mysteries, was like unraveling the threads of a carefully hand-stitched king-sized quilt by starlight. I read the book, then started to read it again, to see what clues I missed in the first reading of The Sea and the Silence, and to make sure that I didn’t say anything misleading.
I wish I could summarize the plot, but it would spoil it for you, and besides it is too intricate to tell in only a few words. Let me just say that Iz Shaw, the first person narrator of most of the story, was tragically beautiful, yet not always appreciated by her family. She loved, married, had a child, lost family members, and eventually died herself, Her story was prefaced and epilogued by her attorney.
Now you might be asking, why did a beautiful woman need a lifetime affiliation with an attorney, so much so that he was the one who shared her story with us? Was she the murderer? Did she come to an untimely death? Did her husband, Ronnie or her son, Hector, predecease her? Who names their child Hector, anyway, and why did she choose that name?
Common Core Connection: While this story has a historic Dublin setting, starting in the year 1945, the real core of the story is its literary value. It requires close reading to understand the intricacies of the plot and characters. I don’t think a student would necessarily take away much other than ambiance from the book’s historical data, because most of the story took place behind the eyes of the storyteller, Iz. So I guess I would say, that the value for Common Core standards is to determine what the meaning of the word “Iz” is. 🙂
All in all I heartily recommend Peter Cunningham’s most famous historic novel, The Sea and the Silence.
To read more about this author and other books he has written try these blogs.