The Unknown Sea
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By François Mauriac
The Unknown Sea follows the fate of the Revolu family after the financial failure and suicide of its patriarch. Oscar Revolu’s death hurls his family, once poised to enjoy lives of success and happiness, into disgrace and destitution. His wife Lucienne is left to generate some semblance of order for the estate, unassisted by their sons—Julien becomes a neurotic recluse and Denis remains haunted by the specter of his father’s death, even as he approaches adulthood. Yet it is their daughter Rose who bears the brunt of their humiliation, as her impoverished circumstances endanger her engagement and the possibility of a secure future. The Unknown Sea provides a near-perfect précis of Mauriac’s matchless ability to depict human freedom—and frailty—in the face of the infinite mystery of existence.
“For most men the road of life is a dead end, leading nowhere. But there are some who…realize that they are moving towards an unknown sea..”
François Mauriac (1885–1970) was a French, Roman Catholic novelist, poet, critic, and journalist. Critically acclaimed and respected, Mauriac received the Grand Prix du roman de l’Académie française for his novel The Desert of Love; was awarded the Grand Cross of the Légion d’honneur; and named laureate of the 1952 Nobel Prize in Literature.