Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Marriage of the Sea

The Marriage of the Sea

A Novel

Jane Alison

Farrar, Straus and Giroux




As alluring as The Love-Artist, a contemporary tale of love and ambition, betrayal and revenge, set in two gloriously watery cities

In a damp Venetian palace, Oswaldo contemplates the ravages of time to his body and his beloved city, and dreams up a way to hold mortality at bay. In New York, Lach steps out into the crisp, clear night to savor his new freedom, having just dropped Vera to join his new love, Francesca, in Venice. In rainy London, Max packs for a precipitous move to New Orleans, in pursuit of Lucinde, a woman he barely knows. From New Orleans, Lucinde flies to the aid and comfort of Vera, who, betrayal or no, has accepted a grant to go paint in . . . Venice. And elsewhere in the Crescent City, Anton, leaving to seek his big break in that other renowned city of water—Venice, of course—sketches a good-bye upon the slumbering body of his wife, Josephine.

With wit, sympathy, and surpassing deftness, Jane Alison choreographs an intricate minuet among these characters, whom love and loneliness, aspiration and desperation, have drawn to two famously romantic, venal, and elusive cities of water.


The Marriage of the Sea

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Max landed in New Orleans like a sprinter. His cab barreled over the toxic empty highway into town, the battered streets and battered sidewalks and battered, crooked houses. He'd...


Praise for The Marriage of the Sea

“Ambitious, complex, challengingly intellectual--and yet Alison manages it all with a clarity, learnedness, and rigor that bring into being a creation of real beauty . . . A real achievement.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“Alison's poetic sensibility reveals itself in lyrical, intense prose and surprising juxtapositions . . . A sinuous journey of discovery.” —Publishers Weekly

“Unorthodox and complex . . . Alison's razor-sharp technique . . . makes this a uniquely flavored novel drawn from a refined talent.” —Booklist

“Against a backdrop of crumbling edifices, Alison presents an intricacy of characterizations as complex as the Venetian waterways or the twists and turns of the French Quarter . . . [The Marriage of the Sea] flows with stylistic brilliance.” —Judith Redding, The Baltimore Sun

“Beautifully balanced . . . so that the urge to find out what will happen next is counteracted by the wish to luxuriate in Alison's lush, beautifully evocative writing . . . Alison's exploration of the impermanence of human life make The Marriage of the Sea a dreamlike, gorgeously watery novel.” —Kate Washington, San Francisco Chronicle

“Elegant . . . A graceful, intelligent writer with a remarkable ability to capture the look and feel of her romantic settings, Alison follows these . . . characters through six months during which their lives become entwined. The result is an absorbing . . . tale of love among the ruins.” —Joanna Smith Rakoff, Time Out New York

“Art, high and low, has often pondered the connections among love, illusion and fidelity that lie at the heart of Jane Alison's intricate, elegant second novel, The Marriage of the Sea . . . In a novel notable for its prose . . . the connections among the characters, their struggles to know and be known, are revealed in ways that seem exactly right.” —Margot Livesey, The New York Times Book Review

“Deftly written . . . as complex and intricate as the weave of fine Venetian brocade . . . lush and evocative . . . Alison certainly is a writer to watch.” —Robert Girardi, The Miami Herald

“Enthralling . . . startling . . . positively Shakespearean.” —Fredric Koeppel, The Commerical Appeal (Memphis)

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Jane Alison

Jane Alison is the author of The Love-Artist. She lives in Germany.

Jane Alison

From the Publisher

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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