In the Beginning Was the Sea

“In the Beginning Was the Sea” by Tomás González (Colombia)

Review

Despite the fact that some readers liked the book while others didn’t, everyone agreed that it was an easy read. With short chapters and at just over 150 pages long, readers zipped through what some described as a well-written, depressing modern-day fable. They liked the setting and felt that the author manages to convey a feeling of decay and increasing threat as the story unfolds. Readers felt that all the characters lacked depth and they would have loved if the story had been fleshed out more. Some said they couldn’t get a feel to either of the protagonists, which made them not care what happened to them. Given that the omniscient narrator drops hints from the start as to the fate of J., some readers said they lost interest in his story, whereas others liked that they could pace their reading since the plot was without suspense. Everyone agreed that the translation was good and they liked the ending, which closes the book with the epigraph! Overall, it averaged a 6.7 out of 10.

Synopsis

The young intellectuals J. and Elena abandon the parties, the drinking and the money of the city, and start a new life on a remote tropical coast. Among mango trees, hot sands and everlasting sunshine, they plan to live the Good Life, self-sufficient and close to nature. But with each day come small defeats and imperceptible dramas… Read more

Nicola’s Book Club reading list

Season 20 (Oct 2016 – Feb 2017)
“Life Begins on Friday” by Ioana Pârvulescu (Romania)
“In the Beginning Was the Sea” by Tomás González (Colombia)
“Island of a Thousand Mirrors” by Nayomi Munaweera (Sri Lanka) *
“By Night the Mountain Burns” by Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel (Equatorial Guinea)
“The Joy Luck Club” by Amy Tan (U.S.)

Extra book:
“The Yacoubian Building” by Alaa Al Aswany (Egypt)

* The book club favourite
In italics, Nicola’s Coup de Cœur

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