Orkney, the second novel from young British writer Amy Sackville, is certainly evocative: poetic, lyrical, lush in texture. But while this is its strength, the line between beautifully written and over-written is a fine one.
This is lovely: a beautifully painted story of love, obsession and loss, set on a remote northern Scottish isle, rising and falling like the tide …
3.5 rating based on 1,083 ratings (all editions)
Following her wonderful debut, The Still Point, Sackville returns with a strangely beautiful short novel about love and sex and obsession. A literature professor marries his prize student, a woman forty years his junior, and at her request he takes her to the say for their honeymoon. He is embarked on his life’s work, a book about enchantment-narratives in literature, most all of them involving strange girls and women, but soon finds himself distracted by his own enchantment for his new white-haired young wife.
They travel to the Orkney Islands, the ancient Mesolithic and Neolithic site north of the Scottish coast, “the Seal Islands,” a barren place of extraordinary beauty. And as the days of their honeymoon pass his desire and his constant, yearning contemplation become his normality. His mysterious bride becomes his entire universe.
He is consumed.