The Stone Boatmen

Sarah Tolmie. Aqueduct (www.aqueductpress.com), $20 trade paper (312p) ISBN 978-1-61976-027-1
The voyages of the ship Aphelion reconnect three isolated cities whose shared past is an enigma of half-understood relics and myth. Tolmie gently guides the reader through a winding thread of linked relationships that span decades as each generation rediscovers infatuation, love and hate, grief, and joy; what could be mere grand inhuman spectacles of epic historical processes are firmly rooted in individual friendships, romances, and bitter feuds that add a vital human dimension. Tolmie’s prose is addictive, “a feast of words burning bright against the dark,” drawing the reader into the subtle tale. Intimacy is favored over flashy action, contemplation over bold speeches. This unique little gem eludes comparison to other works, and discerning readers will count themselves lucky to discover it. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/17/2014
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