No Signposts in the Sea by Vita Sackville-West

“And now see how I stand, as sentimental and sensitive as any old maid doing water-colours of sunsets! I once flattered myself that I was an adult man; I now perceive that I am gloriously and adolescently silly. A new Clovis, loving what I have despised, and suffering from calf-love into the bargain, I want my fill of beauty before I go. Geographically I do not care and scarcely know where I am. There are no signposts in the sea.”

I read this one a few months ago, sitting in my Boston hotel room overlooking the city lights and a slight view of the harbor. Very fitting I think for this sort of tale. Edmund Carr is a journalist who has just learned that he has little time left to live. He leaves his job and buys passage on a ship to a destination that is not disclosed to the reader. Really, this does not matter to Edmund because a woman whom he secretly adores will be on the ship.

Though Edmund is determined to hide his feelings, the two spend time together walking about the ship. As the sea infinitely stretches before Edmund he constantly grapples with his impending death and his growing love for Laura.

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