The Open Arms of the Sea Paperback – 1 Oct 2012
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On the surface, this story details the minutae & tedium of military life (served with a healthy dollop of black-humour) as seen through the eyes of Lt. Deacon - but in fact amazing, heroic and terrible things are happening on nearly every page. Deacon feels he is an outsider due to his "taboo" sexuality (only briefly acted upon whilst still in school). He builds walls around himself to avoid any emotional involvement which he fears could lead to exposure. But he's far from a detatched cold person. People are attracted to him and love him (platonically and romantically).
The story covers decent people who care; stupid people who care about the wrong things and brutal people who care about nothing. Deacon and Lockett (his Corporal) are decent people. I so desperately wanted Deacon & Lockett to find a future together away from the surrounding violence and madness. In a way they did - but the ending still cut me like a knife! (That's all I can say without giving spoilers away)
As long as you're prepared to have your emotions put through the wringer, then you must read this.
More than anything, it's the sheer beauty of the writing, though, which has blown me away. The imagery is gorgeous even when describing the horror of war. The dialogue is consistently authentic and frequently witty. As the story built up to its climax, I felt such dread even while I raced to reach the end. Now I've finished it, I'm bereft. I'm not sure whether, for the duration of the novel, I was in love with Lieutenant Deacon, or I simply became Lieutenant Deacon. A stunning read. I cannot recommend this highly enough.
I was engrossed in the plot, and the characters. Like most people I knew nothing about this conflict, or the war, or the casualties of same.
It opened my eyes,
This was, a gentle ,beautiful, and delicately written account of men in an impossible position, in an unwinable conflict,
Much like today, but I sincerely hope that the powers in charge now are less self serving and less about their own self promotion.
Wow the pace and enticement that leaves you hungry for more in The Open Arms of the Sea is just as gripping as Anne Tyler's latest.
This story of war and passion is one you will not want to leave. Who will Lieutenant Deacon fall in love with and what does he really care about? How will this ordinary guy cope with the higher echelons and their exotic luncheon parties?
Dorgan leads us through a passionate story of war and romance; and there's plenty of manly action for those looking for a muscle-ripped hero or two! In fact there's lots in this novel for all sorts of readers and a good dash of cynicism about war for the peace lovers.
You'll want the Kindle app on everything so you can read this book wherever you are but I must go I've been saving the final chapter and I can't wait any longer.........
I do hope Mr Dorgan publishes his next book very soon!
What a magnificent and unforgettable book.