Monday, 1 August 2011

One Novella Down. . .

Well, that was a lovely way to start the day. Cup of tea (actually several) and a sweeping story about a beautiful, headstrong woman named Freya, "a ship-child, a sea-girl", the two sailing captains who lust after her - one man's love is requited, but he's equally in love with his boat, the other is quite simply a delusional villain - and Freya's father who is completely oblivious to all the drama going on around him. Of course it was never going to end well, but Conrad rather deliciously and sympathetically, plays with the shifting level of each character's complicity in this tragic, tropical triangle. Not forgetting our curiously nosy and astute narrator who understands what is happening (is probably just a bit in love with Freya too), and who has a hand in the secrets but doesn't say anything until it's too late. It's an old-fashioned yarn of envy, pride, anger, and the melodramatic revenge plot that only can comes from being scorned and humilated over love. It was too early in the morning, but I really should have read this in a pub with a half-pint of shandy.

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