THE INNOCENT SAILOR by Anne de Tourville


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Akin to the Prix Femina winner, Wedding Dance, last year in the quiet spirit of the telling, this is again a story of Brittany, specifically the story of a sailor, Yves Gael, who was himself only when battling the elements at sea. His widowed mother sought to make a landsman out of him, but in vain. The call of his father's trade was in the blood -- and he was pledged to the sea, though it almost lost him the girl-with-the-lamp to his older brother. But once he had manipulated her in to marrying him instead, he gave her seven days and nights, and returned to the sea. And so it went. She bore his son and lost him, another son and a daughter- and then she left him. So when the North Sea almost claimed his life- and retirement time caught up with him- he returned to neither wife nor home. At long last, the wife Fate had in store for him, the-girl-who-was-born-a-day-too-soon, waif of his boyhood, was his- and they lived happily ever after. A gently persuasive pastoral. Not for many palates.

Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Young