Orkney by Amy Sackville

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Sackville’s rare gift is for rendering the ordinary so distinctly that it becomes fantastic...one does not read to find out what happens, but to find out how it will be described.
-NY Times

Synopsis

Following her wonderful debut, The Still Point, Sackville returns with a strangely beautiful short novel about love and sex and obsession. A literature professor marries his prize student, a woman forty years his junior, and at her request he takes her to the say for their honeymoon. He is embarked on his life’s work, a book about enchantment-narratives in literature, most all of them involving strange girls and women, but soon finds himself distracted by his own enchantment for his new white-haired young wife.

They travel to the Orkney Islands, the ancient Mesolithic and Neolithic site north of the Scottish coast, “the Seal Islands,” a barren place of extraordinary beauty. And as the days of their honeymoon pass his desire and his constant, yearning contemplation become his normality. His mysterious bride becomes his entire universe.

He is consumed.
 

About Amy Sackville

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Amy Sackville was born in 1981. She studied English and Theatre Studies at Leeds, and went on to an MPhil in English at Exeter College, Oxford, and an MA in Creative & Life Writing at Goldsmiths. Her first novel was The Still Point. She teaches creative writing at the University of Kent.
 
Published April 1, 2013 by Counterpoint. 274 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Orkney
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

NY Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Hannah Tennant-moore on Jun 28 2013

Sackville’s rare gift is for rendering the ordinary so distinctly that it becomes fantastic...one does not read to find out what happens, but to find out how it will be described.

Read Full Review of Orkney | See more reviews from NY Times

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Gemma Kappala-Ramsamy on Mar 24 2013

Though the foreboding atmosphere that Sackville's prose creates is a joy, the story lacks narrative tension. Perhaps this is because Richard's bride is so inscrutable that changes in her behaviour do not have the power to shock.

Read Full Review of Orkney | See more reviews from Guardian

Reader Rating for Orkney
69%

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