Originally written (and self-published) in 1938, this novel is filled with wonder and wisdom. Wilfred Maxwell as a character is a superb representation of human nature at its most paradoxical. From his on-going battle with his narrow minded, domineering sister, to his passion for the mysterious Vivien Le Fay Morgan and his tenderness for the young Molly, Wilfred’s spiritual growth is as fascinating as his sly wit is hilarious.
The style of the novel is a free-flowing and deep as the sea itself. When one remembers that it was written in the early part of the 20th century, it’s all the more remarkable for the forward- thinking philosophies and topics it touches on. And yet the wisdom contained in those philosophies are as ancient as ocean from which all life emerged.
The first 70% of the story swept me along with vivid imagery, excellent characterisation and profound ideas which are often lacking in today’s stories.
There was a section near the end of the story – where the occult rites were described in a lecturing tone, rather than a story telling one – where my interest waned, but in the last 10% of the novel, dealing with the aftermath of Wilfred & Molly’s experience with the mysterious Priest of the Moon, the pace picked up again.
The strength of this novel lies in Fortune’s compassionate understanding and insight into human nature. Her esoteric knowledge adds depth and imagination to a most unusual and interesting read.