By Candia McWilliam
Set on a crusing boat because it travels from Tahiti to New Zealand, controversial Land is a narrative of reminiscence, early life and longing. On board Ardent Spirit are the painter Alec Dundas, escaping a damaging, failed courting; Logan Urquhart, the stressed skipper; his stricken moment spouse Elspeth, who fears Logan is slipping clear of her; Nick and Sandro, marine nomads; and Gabriel, an enticing younger girl who captivates the men.
As the send sails from island to island, the internal dramas of those six disparate members spill over into their relationships with each other. but if a typhoon arrives, they're wrenched from the non-public and compelled to stand the current danger.
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The Graf Stubendorf was known in Germany as a poet and aesthete, and also as one of the Kaiser’s intimates. He was a large man, stoutish and pasty, with a soft brown beard and gracious smile. Of course that may have been an accident; or it may have been because their Kaiser had prescribed the proper concerns of women—kitchen, children, and church—listed presumably in order of importance. Kurt’s father had arranged it with the Oberforstmeister, an important personage in a green uniform with silver braid; he furnished them a Jäger, who would carry a rifle for their protection.
So in the end everything became all right again; storm clouds blew over, and tears were dried, and Beauty was beautiful as she was meant to be. Der junge Herr danced with delight and carried the letter around in his pocket for days; the Frau Budd replied on fashionable notepaper that she was pleased to accept the kind invitation on behalf of her son. In a nice new traveling suit, and with a heavy overcoat and a French copy of Sienkiewicz’s With Fire and Sword, Lanny was ready for an expedition to the North Pole.
Now and then she would “fall for” something that was especially praised, and these hung as showpieces in the home. These canvases were becoming so valuable that Beauty was talking about having them insured, but it cost so much that she kept putting it off. VII There was, of course, a limit to the amount of time that a specialist in the art of painting cared to devote to exchanging ideas with a youngster; so presently the conversation lagged again. ” he inquired. Lanny handed him the volume, and he smiled one of those twisted smiles.
Debatable Land by Candia McWilliam