SEAROAD by Ursula K. Le Guin
Kirkus Star

SEAROAD

Chronicles of Klatsand

KIRKUS REVIEW

Various private lives in an Oregon seaside village are pried open for inspection in this winning example of Le Guin's best writing--meditative, perceptive, and dead-on in its characterizations. Welcome to Klatsand, a typical American beachside community whose medley of small-town voices combine to form a timeless, penetrating novel in the classic Le Guin tradition. Tales of Klatsanders--the discouraged middle-aged couple who operate the run-clown tourist court outside of town; the aging businessman whose weekend on the beach brings him face to face with his own mortality; the passionately self-reliant professor who brings her fatherless daughter home to grow up sheltered by her past; the aging librarian who indulges in a brief affair with the local bookstore owner--all start small but grow to a powerful crescendo as the town's complex entanglement of small-town loyalties, betrayals, and generations-old resentments comes clear. Le Guin performs best with her female characters--particularly the four generations of Hernes women who, from the late 1800's to the present, scandalize the town with divorce, unwed motherhood, and other forms of unheard-of independence, and whose tale of matriarchal determination occupies the final third of the book. Ending in a defiant retelling of the Persephone myth, the Hernes' story perfectly echoes and enhances the smaller tales that preceded it, making for some deeply satisfying reading--rich, warm, and as easy on the soul as an afternoon on the beach. Another triumph.
Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1991
ISBN: 159030084X
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1991




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