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The Silver Dark Sea Paperback – 28 Mar 2013

48 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate (28 Mar. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007321635
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007321636
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 103,863 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Susan Fletcher was born in 1979 in Birmingham. She is the author of the bestselling 'Eve Green' winner of the Whitbread First Novel Award, 'Oystercatchers' and 'Witch Light'.

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Review

‘Quietly beautiful…poetic, dreamlike prose’ Sunday Times

‘Susan Fletcher’s prose shimmers like light on water, and she’s equally adept at charting the emotions of her memorable characters … Old resentments are revisited, dark secrets are revealed, while barricaded, shut-away hearts let in the possibility of love’ Marie Claire

‘Fletcher is a powerful storyteller – full-blooded, a bit old-fashioned and with a knack for combining sensual narratives with a feel for ancient myth and natural landscape… Delicious, briny writing’ Metro

‘Smooth, flowing and feminine, Fletcher's prose lulls you with its lyricism and emotional resonance… [a] fishy, mythical tale of love and loss and the depths that grief can reach’ Herald

About the Author

Susan Fletcher was born in 1979 in Birmingham. She is the author of the bestselling EVE GREEN, winner of the Whitbread First Novel Award, WITCH LIGHT and OYSTERCATCHERS.


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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Alex Roddie on 8 July 2012
Format: Hardcover
Like all of Susan Fletcher's books, this is a full-on treat for the senses--or, at times, an assault. The story places the reader on the Scottish island of Parla, a place so richly created in every sentence that you can't help but feel you have known the place intimately since birth. It's like a mouthful of an Islay malt whisky: salty, peaty, uncompromising. I can feel the sea-spray from every page. Like her previous book, Corrag, it is a masterful evocation of Scotland and all who love the highlands and islands will love this book.

So much for the atmosphere, how about the characters? The book may take its time to get going (a good thing in my view), but the characters are built up to be some of the most human and complex I've seen in a book of this type. We feel we know them all intimately by the conclusion, which is both touching and resonant. The major themes running through the veins of the story are important ones: the multifaceted nature of love; the complexity of grief; belief; kindness; and the way in which stories shape our lives without us even realising.

In my opinion this is the most mature of Susan Fletcher's novels, and also at once the most profound and the one which raises the most questions. Like Corrag, it will stay in my mind long after I turned the final page, and will subtly influence the way I look at the world and think about everything.

I wouldn't say it's an easy read, but if you're looking for something immersive and thought-provoking with a powerful storyline, look no further.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Denise4891 TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 9 Sept. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Corrag (Witch Light) was one of my favourite books of 2011 and it looks like Susan Fletcher is going to make it into my top 3 again this year.

The Silver Dark Sea is a very lyrical and beautifully written novel which tells the story of a man who is washed ashore on a remote Scottish island where the inhabitants are mourning the loss of one of their sons four years earlier. Despite the modern-day setting, the islanders of Parla seem to be living in a more basic and innocent age. The surrounding sea is a huge part of their lives and livelihoods, and the myths and legends which emanate from it are never far from their minds. The stranger, who appears to be suffering from amnesia, is thought by some to be an incarnation of the mythical `Fishman'; for others he is only too real and the effect he has on their lives is profound.

I can see some people finding this too slow and introspective a read, but for me it was a heartbreaking story not only of loss and grief but also of hope and the redemptive power of love. Fletcher's prose is brooding but quite breathtaking in places and I became totally engrossed in the lives of this small island community and the mysterious stranger in their midst.

I always hesitate to compare one book to another because I think reading is a very personal thing and my experience and impressions of a book will be different to anyone else's. However, for me there were definite echoes of the poetic, dreamlike style of Jon McGregor's writing and the haunting, introspective nature of Maggie O'Farrell's early work. The themes of loss and healing also put me in mind of The Snow Child. I can only take magical realism in very small doses and thankfully Fletcher managed to get the prescription exactly right here.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kathryn Joyce on 23 April 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you have ever wondered what it would be like to be a part of a community on a small Scottish island, reading this book will give you the virtual experience. It's perfectly constructed and wonderfully evocative, with graphic scenery and real people who test and are tested by the space and confines they and their environment creates.
This book should be winning prizes.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Frenchie on 26 May 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really think that Susan Fletcher writes exceptionally beautiful books and The Silver Dark Sea is a wonderful read. She has a unique style of writing , almost poetic . Her descriptions are just spot on. You can imagine the scenes and feel the emotions depicted so vividly that it is easy to become immersed in the story. It is a gentle tale of love and loss and the characters are ones you gradually begin to understand and start to really care about. Once finished the story lingers in your mind and makes you reflect. Unfortunately not many books have the power to do that, but Susan Fletcher has that gift. I am now waiting anxiously for her next book!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Yorrel on 8 Nov. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been a fan of Susan Fletcher since her first award winning book. She has a way of writing about ordinary people in a compassionate way, understanding their motives without condemning them for wrong decisions. The Silver Dark Sea tells of island people coping with a tragedy affecting everybody within the confined community. Their individual stories make compulsive reading
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Suzy Soo on 11 July 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read all of Susan fletchers previous novels and have liked all of them - but this book 'The dark silver sea' has taken my breath away.

The prose is both astonishing and beautiful - you only have to open the book, start reading and straight away you hear the sounds and smells of the sea. Characters speak to you with their stories. This book has so many stories to tell.

A man is washed upon the beach one day on the island of Parla. None of the islanders know who he is, and they find him mysterious and to some frightening - but in the end even he has his story to tell.

'The dark silver sea' is both memorable and haunting and stays with you for a while. To me this is storytelling at it very best.

I hope that you do not find my review evasive; i have not mentioned characters names, the plot etc in order not to spoil it. I cannot urge you strongly enough to read this beautiful book - you, (i hope) will find it well worth your while. Just savour it.

Five stars.
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