HomeGroupsTalkExploreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

Beside the Sea (2001)

by Veronique Olmi

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
20127118,068 (3.89)22
A single mother takes her two sons on a trip to the seaside. They stay in a hotel, drink hot chocolate, and go to the funfair. She wants to protect them from an uncaring and uncomprehending world. She knows that it will be the last trip for her boys.Beside the Sea is a haunting and thought-provoking story about how a mother's love for her children can be more dangerous than the dark world she is seeking to keep at bay. It's a hypnotizing look at an unhinged mind and the cold society that produced it. With language as captivating as the story that unfolds, Vâeronique Olmi creates an intimate por.… (more)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 22 mentions

English (25)  French (2)  All languages (27)
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
Great translation, very well written and readable prose.
But.
I read to be informed and/or entertained and this story does neither for me. ( )
  neal_ | Apr 10, 2020 |
Felt staged (coincidence she’s a dramatist?) Felt purient. Like a Law and Order SVU episode. Read lightly. Kinda couldn’t bear it, but the end gained traction. And the last page was a stunner:

“I had two dead children. And them? What did they have? I stood up to look at them both, now they were the same. I looked at their bodies hidden by those old sheets and thin blankets, Kevin’s curled up in a ball and Stan’s stretched out. I looked at them and I saw. I saw something I’d never thought of, something I’d never imagined ever: Kevin’s face was turned toward the wall, and Stan’s toward the window. They had their backs to each other. They weren’t together, no, each had gone his separate way. They weren’t joined together in death, they’d lost each other there.

And I screamed.” ( )
  wordlikeabell | Apr 6, 2019 |
This dark short novella translated from French by Pereine Press centres around a mother taking a trip with her two small boys to stay in a wet and dreary sea side town. It's a profoundly sad tale of a woman who is struggling with mental illness, motherhood and social poverty.

The holiday has been planned in the wrong season with expectations of enjoyment for the children that will never be realised. We experience through her first person narrative the never-ending rain, their financial hardship and the mother's severely distorted thought process of what other people think of her.

It's a superbly written but deeply sad account of serious mental illness and tragedy.

4 stars for the fantastic writing, but the terribly sad tale makes for an appreciative read rather than necessarily an enjoyable one. ( )
  AlisonY | Aug 19, 2018 |
"When it came to an end that was where we belonged. We knew that"
By sally tarbox on 8 March 2018
Format: Kindle Edition
Read in one sitting: a woman takes her two sons - nine and five - on a trip to see the sea. But this is no jolly holiday memoir: the mother (narrator) is very obviously massively mentally ill. Her eldest son is very aware:
"Stan kept giving me suspicious looks like when I just sit in the kitchen and he watches me, thinking I don't know he's there, barefoot in his pyjamas, I don't even have the strength to say Don't stay there with nothing on your feet, Stan. Yep, sometimes I sit in the kitchen for hours and I couldn't give a stuff about anything."

She's planned this treat, saved up bags of change. But the whole thing is ill-thought ot, it's cold, wet,they can't afford to feed themselves, the hotel's awful. As the pressures build up, she resorts to sleep... But we have hints throughout that bode ill. Builds to a horrifying climax.
Amazing writing - one you'll never forget. ( )
  starbox | Mar 8, 2018 |
this is why i'll never have kids ( )
  xicohtli | Jul 20, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
This is a mesmerising portrait of a frayed and twisted mind...When you think of the rather more unadventurous stuff that does well over here and compare it with Beside the Sea, you despair.
 

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Veronique Olmiprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hunter, AdrianaTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nentwig, RenateÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Belongs to Publisher Series

btb (73229)
Peirene Press (Female Voice: Inner Realities, 1)
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
For Douchka
First words
We took the bus, the last bus of the evening, so no one would see us.
Quotations
It's lost. Fallen into a hole. You struggle to live as best you can but soon the whole lot disappears. We get up in the morning, but that morning doesn't actually exist any more than the night before which everyone's already forgotten. We're all walking on the edge of a precipice, I've known that for a long time. One step forward, one step in the void. Over and over again. Going where? No one knows. No one gives a stuff.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

A single mother takes her two sons on a trip to the seaside. They stay in a hotel, drink hot chocolate, and go to the funfair. She wants to protect them from an uncaring and uncomprehending world. She knows that it will be the last trip for her boys.Beside the Sea is a haunting and thought-provoking story about how a mother's love for her children can be more dangerous than the dark world she is seeking to keep at bay. It's a hypnotizing look at an unhinged mind and the cold society that produced it. With language as captivating as the story that unfolds, Vâeronique Olmi creates an intimate por.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
From the back cover:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A single mother takes her two sons on a trip to the seaside. They stay in a hotel, drink hot chocolate and go to the funfair. She wants to protect them from a cold and uncomprehending world. She knows that it will be the last trip for her boys.

A haunting and thought-provoking story about how a mother's love for her children can be more dangerous than the dark world she is seeking to keep at bay.

The French literary bestseller, first published in 2001, has been translated into all major European languages -- now for the first time in English.
Haiku summary

LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alum

Veronique Olmi's book Beside the Sea was available from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.89)
0.5
1 2
1.5
2 2
2.5 3
3 12
3.5 3
4 22
4.5 12
5 14

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 180,119,381 books! | Top bar: Always visible