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 sea 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.