FROM A LOW AND QUIET SEA

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10

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Den scores

BY DONAL RYAN

pages

Irish writers have a strong place in the heart of the Reading Den, and From a Low and Quiet Sea doesn’t fail to change this opinion. A mesmerising and raw novel, it tells the part-story of three men who all suffer in some way and are randomly and unknowingly brought together.

 

Farouk, a doctor, is a Syrian refugee who against his better judgement decides to flea Syria with his wife and daughter. His journey is to have life-changing consequences. Lampy is a frustrated young man living at home with his mother and grandfather Pop, working as a driver for a retirement home, whilst trying to pursue a love-life. John is a successful accountant and business man/lobbyist whose flashbacks point to a life changed dramatically with the death of his elder brother. In trying to compensate for the void this loss has for his family, John can’t help himself by behaving cruelly. Aged 45 he falls in love and the end of this relationship is to cast a shadow over the rest of his life.

 

The writing has an eerie, lyrical quality which is pitch perfect. It beautifully captures the denial of Farouk, the suffocation of Lampy and the regret of John trying to seek forgiveness. There are religious undertones together with humour within the writing. They are not necessarily likeable or strong characters but everyone in the Den couldn’t help but feel empathy towards them.

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