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The Resource The seas, novel by Samantha Hunt

The seas, novel by Samantha Hunt

Label
The seas
Title
The seas
Statement of responsibility
novel by Samantha Hunt
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Review
  • Hunt’s fevered, reality-bending first novel is clearly inspired by the 1811 German novel Undine, about a female water spirit who falls in love with a mortal knight. When he betrays her, she kills him with a kiss. In Hunt’s version, Undine is the nameless 19-year-old narrator who is in love with a 33-year-old fisherman, Jude, a former soldier (knight) who has returned to their small town in the far north unable--or unwilling--to speak about his experiences in the military. To extend the Undine analogy, the girl’s father--before vanishing into the ocean 11 years earlier--has told her that she is a mermaid, “from the sea,” a sentiment that obsesses the girl. Is she? And if so, will she kill her knight with a kiss? Some readers, overburdened by obscure symbols and narrative ambiguity, won’t care. Others, however, will enjoy this fusion of fiction and folklore that is illuminated by flashes of quite fine writing. -- Michael Cart (BookList, 11-15-2004, p556)
  • In this retelling of "The Little Mermaid," Hunt traps readers in an undertow of tragedy gripping a bleak Northern fishing town. A young woman meets Jude, a sailor whose experiences in Iraq have rendered him watery and insubstantial. Jude becomes both love interest and paternal figure for the girl, whose own father disappeared at sea years before. Convinced she is a mermaid, she believes her love dooms the mortal Jude, but she longs to take him into the ocean with her. The sea's presence is constantly felt in the bleak, isolated town. "There is little else to do here besides get drunk and it seems to make what is small, us, part of something that is drowned and large, something like the bottom of the sea...." Atmospherically, the book resembles Annie Proulx's The Shipping News , but in this story, chances for redemption are rare, and the line between reality and fairy tale is blurred. The girl's grandfather, a typesetter, fills her head with words and definitions, but despite determining to observe everything as a scientific experiment, she cannot find a way to define the wet footprints she finds in odd places, the strange things she sees on the beach and her drowning love for Jude. While Hunt occasionally hammers her themes too hard—in one instance even listing them for us—this book devastates with its lonely, cold imagery. Agent, P.J. Mark at Collins McCormick. (Nov. 8) --Staff (Reviewed October 18, 2004) (Publishers Weekly, vol 251, issue 42, p48)
  • As the title implies, Hunt's first novel is a sea story featuring a narrator who fancies herself a mermaid. It's also an odd and fabulous tale in the true sense of the word, a fable based purely on imagination and legend. In a gloomy coastal town, the 19-year-old narrator waits for her father to return from the ocean he walked into 11 years before. Although presumed dead by the townspeople, he is not dead to his daughter (nor perhaps to his wife). He returns to her in visions and reminds her that as a mermaid, she belongs in the ocean, just as he does, and that she needs to join him there. There is a third person in this triangle—Jude, a part-time fisherman and Gulf War vet who is more than twice the narrator's age. In a mystical sort of attraction, the narrator falls for Jude at first sight, waiting for him to return her feelings and to come back completely from the war. While at first he is the playful, protective older brother, hesitant to get involved, his feelings deepen over time. A cross between Rosamunde Pilcher's Coming Home and R.A. Dick's The Ghost and Mrs. Muir , this is a beautifully unconventional story. Recommended for academic and medium or larger public libraries.—Lisa Nussbaum, Dauphin Cty. Lib. Syst., Harrisburg, PA --Lisa Nussbaum (Reviewed November 1, 2004) (Library Journal, vol 129, issue 18, p75)
  • A poetic, almost successful debut tale of a small-town girl who's in love—in about equal parts—with the sea, her absent father, and a man named Jude.That the narrator often seems younger than her 19 years may be due partly to the influence of the seedy, parochial, decrepit little seaside town where she lives—the town her father mysteriously disappeared from 11 years back, leaving wife and daughter to catch as catch can. "We don't move away," she tells us, " . . . because we are waiting for him to return." And the wait, it's hard for a reader to deny, feels long as the girl aches incessantly not only for her father but for the love of 33-year-old Jude, whom she met once when she was wading in the sea—and Jude was coming out of it, thus reminding her of her father, who may (not an absolute certainty) have disappeared into it. Jude and the girl become fast friends but not lovers—nor, however much she yearns for sex with him, do they become lovers later, in the novel's present time, after Jude has gone to and returned from the first Iraq war. After Iraq, he's different—inward, melancholy, "war-torn." And sexually unresponsive. And so things are frozen, halted. Only as Hunt turns farther toward a lyric magic realism where the real, symbolic, and imaginary blend, is it possible for the story's resolution to occur. The trouble is, though, that all hangs on Jude's war traumas, which have an inserted and prepackaged feel, and, further, don't provide change but only shock. Dream, madness, error, and sorrow, plus another strange and magical encounter, will at last bring everything to an end, if not a close.Intelligent, complex, and ambitious, with symbols and structure that have life and movement, while the psychology at the base of it all remains stubbornly—and unsatisfyingly—inert. (Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2004)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
130074
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Hunt, Samantha
Dewey number
813/.6
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Young women
  • Fatherless families
  • Mermaids
  • Sea stories
  • Young women
  • Fatherless families
  • Mermaids
  • Fatherless families
  • Mermaids
  • Sea stories
  • Young women
Label
The seas, novel by Samantha Hunt
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
512865
Dimensions
21 cm
Extent
192 pages
Isbn
9781931561853
Lccn
2004014851
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9781931561853
  • (OCoLC)55797842
Label
The seas, novel by Samantha Hunt
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
512865
Dimensions
21 cm
Extent
192 pages
Isbn
9781931561853
Lccn
2004014851
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9781931561853
  • (OCoLC)55797842

Library Locations

    • Central LibraryBorrow it
      710 W. Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX, 78701, US
      30.2713021 -97.7460168
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