The Night Ocean, Paul La Farge

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher *

The Night Ocean, Paul La Farge
Author: Paul La Farge
Publisher: Penguin Press
Pages: 400
Format: DRC
ISBN-10: 1101981083
ISBN-13: 9781101981085
Publisher: various formats

2 stars

Marina Willett, M.D., has a problem. Her husband, Charlie, has become obsessed with H.P. Lovecraft, in particular with one episode in the legendary horror writer's life: In the summer of 1934, the "old gent" lived for two months with a gay teenage fan named Robert Barlow, at Barlow's family home in central Florida. What were the two of them up to? Were they friends--or something more? Just when Charlie thinks he's solved the puzzle, a new scandal erupts, and he disappears. The police say it's suicide. Marina is a psychiatrist, and she doesn't believe them.
As a heartbroken Marina follows her missing husband's trail in an attempt to learn the truth, the novel moves across the decades and along the length of the continent, from a remote Ontario town, through New York and Florida to Mexico City.

This book is interesting. There are a lot of great details about H.P. Lovecraft and the people surrounding him. The movement around the science fiction in the early 30's. There are some great things happening with the people involved in the book and a lot of references getting me lost on Google more than reading. The other thing that got me was the not knowing which part of the story was true and what was made up. This was part of the set up and the confusion both Charlie and Marina were running into. Thing was that there was so much to question but there was nothing to really hold on to. Marina and Charlie often got lost as characters in the history of Lovecraft and his companions. I was never sure which of those characters was important and real and which one was not. It was not really reading as a story where a woman lost her partner and started to look for answers. It was more like a non fiction book about the history of Barlow.
Some knowledge of the Lovecraft stories and history is nice to have to understand the references in the book.
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