The Whale: A Love Story by Mark Beauregard

The Whale: A Love Story by Mark BeauregardThe Whale: A Love Story by Mark Beauregard
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four-stars

A rich and captivating novel set amid the witty, high-spirited literary society of 1850s New England, offering a new window on Herman Melville’s emotionally charged relationship with Nathaniel Hawthorne and how it transformed his masterpiece, Moby-Dick

In the summer of 1850, Herman Melville finds himself hounded by creditors and afraid his writing career might be coming to an end—his last three novels have been commercial failures and the critics have turned against him. In despair, Melville takes his family for a vacation to his cousin’s farm in the Berkshires, where he meets Nathaniel Hawthorne at a picnic—and his life turns upside down.

The Whale chronicles the fervent love affair that grows out of that serendipitous afternoon. Already in debt, Melville recklessly borrows money to purchase a local farm in order to remain near Hawthorne, his newfound muse. The two develop a deep connection marked by tensions and estrangements, and feelings both shared and suppressed.

Melville dedicated Moby-Dick to Hawthorne, and Mark Beauregard’s novel fills in the story behind that dedication with historical accuracy and exquisite emotional precision, reflecting his nuanced reading of the real letters and journals of Melville, Hawthorne, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and others. An exuberant tale of longing and passion, The Whale captures not only a transformative relationship—long the subject of speculation—between two of our most enduring authors, but also their exhilarating moment in history, when a community of high-spirited and ambitious writers was creating truly American literature for the first time.

As an English major, the synopsis of this book had me intrigued, these two men are some of the biggest contributors to American Literature and I am nosy.  I am not the biggest fan of Melville or Hawthorne but I cannot deny their influence and the brilliance of their work. It was a very thought provoking and now has me wanting to go back and read their work with a little more attention to detail, but then I quickly change my mind because thinking about reading Moby Dick again makes me want to cry! I would rather not. The Whale is not for everyone and not my typical read, but it is a love story at the heart of it all. It was very interesting to say the least.

The lovely people at Penguin will give one Paperback copy of this book to one of my awesome blog followers!! So please comment below with one of your favorite forbidden romance for a chance to win!! I will close this giveaway in a day or so and you will receive your book directly from the publisher. Thank you for reading!!  

four-stars

Comments

  1. Danielle Hammelef says:

    One of my favorite forbidden romances is Catch Him if You Can by Jennifer Shirk.

  2. Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma is one of my favorites of the forbidden nature.

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