Welcome to Halfman, Halfbook for my stop on the Blog Tour for The Draw Of The Sea by Wyl Menmuir and published by Aurum.
About the Book
Since the earliest stages of human development, the sea has fascinated and entranced us. It feeds us, sustaining communities and providing livelihoods. It fires our imagination, providing joy and solace, but it also wields immense destructive power. It connects us to faraway places, offering the promise of new lands and voyages of discovery, but also shapes our borders, carving
divisions between landmasses and eroding the very ground beneath our feet.
In thirteen interlinked chapters of beautifully written prose, Wyl Menmuir sets out to investigate what it is that draws us to the water’s edge, portraying the lives of fishermen, surfers, sailors, boatbuilders, free-divers, swimmers and artists. In the specifics of these livelihoods and their rich histories and traditions, he captures the universality of humankind’s connection to the sea. In more personal, reflective passages, Wyl reveals the grief that underpinned his settling in
the far South West and how living by the sea has consoled and restored his family.
The Draw of the Sea is a meaningful and moving investigation into how we interact with the environment around us, how it comes to shape the course of our lives, and what we have to lose – as individuals and as a society – if we don’t acknowledge its significance. As unmissable as it is compelling, as profound as it is personal, this must-read book will delight anyone familiar with
the intimate and powerful pull of
life beyond the shoreline.
About the Author
Wyl Menmuir is a novelist, editor and literary consultant living in Cornwall. He is the author of the Man-Booker nominated novel The Many, and the critically acclaimed Fox Fires and his short fiction has appeared in Best British Short Stories. A former journalist, he has written for Radio 4’s Open Book, the Guardian and the Observer. He is co-creator of the Cornish writing
centre, The Writers’ Block, and is a lecturer in creative writing at Falmouth University.
I have always been drawn to the sea, whether spending time at the beach watching the waves gently lap the sand or being in awe at the power of a storm crashing into the rocks. Wyl Menmuir is another who feels this draw too. So much so that he moved from the centre of the country down to Cornwall to be closer to the coast.
In this book, he travels around Cornwall and Scilly Isles and all the way up to Svalbard finding out the stories of the people who live and love the coast in the same way that he does. Across twelve chapters, he meets rock poolers, scavengers, wreckers and surfers. He even has a go at free diving, those amazing people who can hold their breath for minutes at a time.
Most fascinating was his walk with Lisa Woollett who has become a collector of the random items that wash up on the seashore and Tracey Williams who has a thing about finding the Lego pieces that wash up from a container that was lost at sea many years ago. He begins his own collection, but his wife asks him to move it outside as the smell worsens…
I must admit I loved this book. Menmuir has picked an interesting bunch of people that have a story to tell about their life on the coast. He wants to be involved or participate in the thing that he is investigating. I think that this gives him a better perspective on their lives and his prose about the subject is lyrical and informed. If you have the slightest interest in the sea then I can highly recommend this.
Don’t forget to visit the other blogs on the blog tour
Buy this at your local independent bookshop. If you’re not sure where your nearest is then you can find one here
My thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for the copy of the book to read.