The Sea, The Sea Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Sea, The Sea

Charles Arrowby, a longtime English stage actor and director, has retired to an isolated home near the village of Narrowdean, on the north coast of England. Charles begins writing in a journal about his past. Various ex-lovers and hangers-on from that past show up and complicate his retirement, and then he discovers his first love, Mary Hartley Smith (now Mrs. Ben Fitch), also lives in Narrowdean. The two were a couple at the tender age of 12, and through all his adventures with women since, Charles has dreamed of Hartley. He schemes about winning her back, rescuing her from her unpleasant, working-class husband, and perhaps mentoring their son Titus, who is estranged from his parents. Various characters are tempted to kill one another, and the dark heaving sea will kill at least one person before Charles rids himself of his many illusions. This slow and inconclusive but rich 1978 novel won the Booker prize for Murdoch.
Click here to see the rest of this review

The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus

Chapter Analysis of The Sea, The Sea

Click on a plot link to find similar books!

Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   1980's-1999 Romance/Romance Problems    -   Yes Kind of romance:    -   rekindling lost love/marriage Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   unemployed Age:    -   60's-90's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   British


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   4 () Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK Water?    -   Yes Water:    -   swimming on    -   drowning Small town?    -   Yes Small town people:    -   hostile, like Gomer Pyle on steroids Misc setting    -   fancy mansion

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like The Sea, The Sea

Iris Murdoch Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
2 Ways to Search!

Our Chief Librarian