A difficult review to write: The Sea on our Skin by Madeleine Tobert.

This is a book I’ve been flirting with on and off for months, never quite sure why I couldn’t get into it, and determined to sit down and give it proper attention at some point. Today was the day, I’ve spent hours under a feeding baby and I was determined to finish it.

And finish it I did. Which left me with somewhat of a quandary. You see, I wanted to love it. It’s a debut novel, published by Two Roads who have shared some wonderful books with me in the past, and I enjoy reviewing for them. But me and this book just didn’t gel.

I don’t know what it was that didn’t work for me. The prose is excellent, the characters well drawn, the story flows and is (mainly) believable, the setting beautiful. Perhaps the story is too stark, a little too relentless – there are hints of happenings to come that at a late stage of pregnancy I just didn’t want to read about, which was one of the excuses I’ve been using to put off reading. It kind of reminds me of Steinbeck, there’s a quiet desperation to the way the novel progresses that just depressed me as I went along.

So, would I recommend this book? Not if you are pregnant I don’t think. To much foreboding and unhappiness contained. Though I’d very much like to read other opinions of it, to see whether I’m overreacting in my hormonal and somewhat exhausted state.

About Jax Blunt

I'm the original user, Jax Blunt I've been blogging for 14 years, give or take, and if you want to know me, read me :)

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  1. Sometimes I’m in the mood for a straightforward story. If I feel pressed for time, I don’t have the patience to sink into an atmospheric kind of book.

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