THE SEA FRIENDS by Pamela Ropner


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Gothic soap opera in washed out pinks and greys--pink, the color of fair Lucy's dress and ribbons; grey, her poor-little-rich-girl existence. . . until she makes some sea friends during a lonely walk on the beach. One is Jake the gypsy-boy, fourteen, forthright, son of the ""donkey man,"" and the other is senile hermit Captain Sandy who vegetates in a condemned cottage awaiting his long-gone shipmates. (""The sea takes everything. The sea gives nothing."") A self-righteous welfare lady wants to condemn him to ""The Haven, Home for Retired Seamen,"" and twelve-year-old Lucy commissions herself to prevent that. With Jake and an eccentric Doctor she cares for the old Captain even as he rejects her meddling, eventually risking her life for him--but repaid by his rescue attempt, which last chills him to near death so he ends up at The Haven anyway and dies there soon after. Then Lucy returns to her nursemaid and London, Jake goes back to the donkey man, the Doctor flies off to his patients: ""Nothing remained, only the sea,"" Pretense cast upon the waters. . . and drowned in wave after moody wave.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1969
Publisher: Coward-McCann