The Sea Lady: Book summary and reviews of The Sea Lady by Margaret Drabble

The Sea Lady

A Novel

by Margaret Drabble

The Sea Lady
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  • Published in USA  May 2007
    352 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

This is the story of Humphrey Clark and Ailsa Kelman, who spent a summer together as children in Ornemouth, a town by the gray North Sea. As they journey back to Ornemouth to receive honorary degrees from a new university there—Humphrey on the train, Ailsa flying—they take stock of their lives over the past thirty years, their careers, and their shared personal entanglements. Humphrey is a successful marine biologist, happiest under water, but now retired; Ailsa, scholar and feminist, is celebrated for her pioneering studies of gender and for her gift for lucid and dramatic exposition. The memories of their lives unfold as Margaret Drabble exquisitely details the social life in England in the second half of the last century.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"An ode on childhood's joys and injustices, and a primer for marine biology" - PW.

"Starred Review. [F]or all its dark knowledge, oceanic psychology, and spiny social critique, Drabble's novel is as scintillating as a sunny day on board a fast-moving sailboat on the life-sustaining sea." - Booklist.

"Fortunately, the author's practiced narrative skills prevent the frequent watery images and literary allusions from overwhelming the story; nevertheless, this is not Drabble's best work." - Library Journal.

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Author Information

Margaret Drabble Author Biography

Photo: Chester Higgins Jr

Margaret Drabble was born June 5, 1939 in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England.

She attended the Mount School, York, a Quaker boarding-school, and was awarded a major scholarship to Newnham College, Cambridge, where she read English and received double honors. After graduating from Cambridge University, she joined the Royal Shakespeare Company at Stratford.

In 1960 she married her first husband, actor Clive Swift, who is best known for his role in the 1990 BBC television comedy Keeping Up Appearances. They had three children in the 1960's and divorced in 1975.

She subsequently married the biographer Michael Holroyd in the early 1980's. They live in London and also have a house in Somerset.

Her novel The Millstone won the John Llewelyn Rhys Prize, and she was the recipient of a Society of ...

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