On the Lonely Shore is a fantasy tale that feels like it’s been pulled from a Jane Austen landscape, complete with a distant house, many walks by the seashore, and a sickly young man who harbors a secret future. Their daily routine is unburdened by work or worries of any kind, save for the sickness that comes and goes in the young man. We see his companion, a woman fallen from fortune, who marvels at the large house by the sea and the amenities it brings. Their relationship continues to grow until it hits a wall for reasons unknown. It’s not until the end that the young man’s secret is revealed and we see that a future isn’t possible between them.
As I was reading, I continued to wonder what made this a fantasy tale. It’s not until the final few paragraphs that we learn this man’s secret, that he’s meant to live in the sea and only has hours left on land. His sickness comes from the changes taking over his body, and the world above the sea is becoming more and more toxic for him. This fact doesn’t thwart the love growing between the two and it ends in a romantic embrace.
Overall, On the Lonely Shore was a delightful story, written expertly in the cadence of those beloved eighteenth century novels. It has a surprising ending and, along the way, you see the beauty and loneliness of a secluded life lived by the sea.
On the Lonely Shore
Written by Silvia Moreno-Garcia