Wednesday, June 29, 2022

"The Drowning Sea"

Sarah Stewart Taylor is the author of the Sweeney St. George series and the Maggie D'arcy series. She grew up on Long Island, and was educated at Middlebury College in Vermont and Trinity College, Dublin, where she studied Irish Literature. She has worked as a journalist and writing teacher and now lives with her family on a farm in Vermont where they raise sheep and grow blueberries.

Taylor applied the Page 69 Test to her latest Maggie D'arcy mystery, The Drowning Sea, and reported the following:
On page 69, my main character, Maggie D'arcy, and her boyfriend, Conor Kearney, a history professor, are talking about the history of the remote Irish peninsula where they're spending the summer. They discuss the fact that a local real estate developer is buying the Anglo-Irish Big House on the peninsula, with plans to turn it into a luxury hotel:

"'Grace must have said,' he says. 'It makes sense, I suppose. Seems like he's buying up the whole village. It's a good bit of symmetry, isn't it? The cook's son taking over the Big House. Generations of colonialism undone with a flourish of the mortgage lender's pen?'"

This page is actually quite a good introduction to some of the themes of the novel, that history is embedded in physical structures, that it's never truly forgotten, and that violence and brutality live on in the community lives of places where they occurred. The history of the peninsula serves as a backdrop to the mystery at the center of The Drowning Sea, but it also lives right at the very core of the plot.
Visit Sarah Stewart Taylor's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Mountains Wild.

The Page 69 Test: A Distant Grave.

Q&A with Sarah Stewart Taylor.

--Marshal Zeringue