Susan Fletcher’s fourth novel, The Silver Dark Sea, is unashamedly romantic. Championing hope, love and the transformative power of stories, it is set on Parla, one of a small group of fictitious, sparsely populated islands, which, with their puffins and sheep and imaginative folklore, recall the Orkneys.
The action takes place in the present. Maggie, now in her early forties, is mourning her husband, Tom Bundy, who accidentally drowned four years previously. Maggie was an inlander, but Bundys have inhabited Parla for generations. The community is close-knit and inward-looking, and Tom’s death arouses feelings of guilt and