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Tuesday Book Review: The Sea and the Silence by Peter Cunningham

First of all, I KNOW it’s late Wednesday, not Tuesday!  Are schedules made to be pushed around?  Or do they push us? 

I51zgyjnUnLL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-70,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_t wasn’t a murder mystery, but The Sea and the Silence had in it both murder and mystery.  If I told you who was murdered, it would spoil the entire story.  Usually you know the victim, when you read a novel, but in this mysterious page-turner you don’t even know there is a victim until near the end.  So now that YOU know there was a murder, you MUST read it to find out who got axed, how, and why!

Spanning nearly the lifetime of the protagonist, discovering her mysteries, was like unraveling the threads of a carefully hand-stitched king-sized quilt by starlight. I read the book, then started to read it again, to see what clues I missed in the first reading of The Sea and the Silence, and to make sure that I didn’t say anything misleading.

I wish I could summarize the plot, but it would spoil it for you, and besides it is too intricate to tell in only a few words.  Let me just say that Iz Shaw, the first person narrator of most of the story, was tragically beautiful, yet not always appreciated by her family. She loved, married, had a child, lost family members, and eventually died herself, Her story was prefaced and epilogued by her attorney.

Now you might be asking, why did a beautiful woman need a lifetime affiliation with an attorney, so much so that he was the one who shared her story with us?  Was she the murderer?  Did she come to an untimely death?  Did her husband, Ronnie or her son, Hector, predecease her?  Who names their child Hector, anyway, and why did she choose that name?

Common Core Connection:  While this story has a historic Dublin setting, starting in the year 1945, the real core of the story is its literary value.  It requires close reading to understand the intricacies of the plot and characters.  I don’t think a student would necessarily take away much other than ambiance from the book’s historical data, because most of the story took place behind the eyes of the storyteller, Iz.  So I guess I would say, that the value for Common Core standards is to determine what the meaning of the word “Iz” is.  🙂

Peter cunningham

All in all I heartily recommend Peter Cunningham’s most famous historic novel, The Sea and the Silence.




To read more about this author and other books he has written try these blogs.

10 replies »

  1. “Spanning nearly the lifetime of the protagonist, discovering her mysteries, was like unraveling the threads of a carefully hand-stitched king-sized quilt by starlight. I read the book, then started to read it again, to see what clues I missed in the first reading of The Sea and the Silence, and to make sure that I didn’t say anything misleading” That is the perfect paragraph to absolutely convince me to read something. Then on top of it, DUBLIN!

    I have heard of this authour before. Must snag a copy. It sounds most delightful.

    I recently read my first “Wallander” book, translated of course. I don’t know why I’m mentioning this…perhaps because there was an axe involved in the story. Well, several actually. The main character reminded me very much of Sir. By the way, been reading “Elephant Whisperer” TOO funny!

    Excellent post. I am keenly looking forward to sluicing through the pages of this book. Myriad cheers!

    Autumn Jade


    • How are you my friend, Autty! I’ve seen you slithering around on FB, but you are the silent type on that venue. So great to hear from you. You would absolutely love this book. It’s totally you – set by the sea, 1945-1963, strong woman heroine. Yes, you’ll love it! I’m glad you are enjoying the Elephant Whisperer. It is an amazing book! 🙂





Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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