The Sea and the SILENCE
by PETER CUNNINGHAM
The Sea and the Silence is a beautifully written historical fiction by Peter Cunningham. It is one of those books that you don’t appreciate the craftsman until you read it. I got an ebook format of it, a few weeks back on my Kindle application from Amazon.
This historical novel set in Ireland, spanning the years from WWII to the 1960s, the story is chiefly about Iz, the daughter of a cash-poor but land-rich Anglo-Irish aristocrat during a time when the IRA was “taking back” Ireland.
The novel is broken into two parts, the first entitled ‘Hector’ and it encompasses the years of Iz’s marriage. There’s not too much Irish history in this part, rather it is a portrait of Iz as a wife and her struggle. The reader must have patience because when the second part, called “Iz” comes along, everything falls into place. The pace picks up dramatically, as if the author spent the first part of the book taking you slowly to the very top of a roller coaster. The resulting rush of plot, drama, Irish history and politics is an experience to read.
The novel is written cleverly as is the title. Cunningham’s book (translated into French as La Mer Et La Silence) was awarded the Prix de L’Europe in 2013. This novel was also shortlisted for the Prix des Lecteurs du Telégramme and the Prix Caillou.
The storyline of the book is interesting and because of the appreciable writing, I would say it will touch your head and might touch your heart. When I began this book, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. But when I was halfway through, I knew I had to finish it for the sake of being a good reader. It is an epic love story set under the dignity of Anglo-Irish class.