I was wrong. Oh, how I was wrong. There is a drowning. I feel foolish for assuming there wasn’t. How could I have questioned it?
Is the Booker Prize bestowed on writers who don’t deliver on plot? Who don’t deliver on their innuendo and tacit promises? Who don’t shepherd all their grass-gazing, cud-chewing, wandering, wolf-shying sheep back into the paddock? Booker is not bestowed on lesser writers, but on greater.
Perhaps you knew this. Perhaps you saw the movie version. I was ignorant of the movie’s existence, too, until yesterday morning when searching about for a cover image for my review on The Sea.
It’s not just the drowning. In The Sea’s closing pages there are other wrap-ups and reveals. I guessed one, the correct party to Rose’s affair—it wasn’t Mr. Grace, but someone else—, but most I didn’t.
Miss Vavasour, innkeeper at the house where our bereaved widower hangs his hat, knew things. But we didn’t know she knew them. Our bereaved widower didn’t know. We thought he was the clever one. He was insightful, imaginative, philosophical, but not a Sherlock H.
We thought Miss Vavasour had the significance of an upholstered chair; the anti-macassar on said upholstered chair. A teacup. We were more interested in the Colonel’s machinations and habits. We found Miss V’s kitchen offerings unexceptional; her “amusements” elicited yawns. A big-screen TV? What? No library? No checkers? Please. We appreciated the chicken luncheon she prepared for the Colonel’s daughter and grandchildren and were just as disappointed as she when they failed to arrive, but we never looked to her for answers. We should have. We’re sorry.