Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a student who needs to play video games in preparation for his thesis but instead he has been spending his time reading old children's stories from his University library. After searching for a new book to read he comes upon Sweet Sorrows where some of the pages detail, very specifically, an event that happened to Zachary as a child. After checking-out the book something strange begins to happen and threads of a story need piecing together for Zachary to figure out his next move.
My wonderful boyfriend bought me a special edition of this book, signed by the author with special sprayed edges and it was beautiful. The book itself reflected the writing perfectly. Erin Morgenstern is known for writing 'The Night Circus' which has been on my TBR pile for so long that when I got the opportunity to read her work with 'The Starless Sea' I jumped at the chance. Writing styles always effect how well I receive a story and this writing could have told me a terrible story but I'd still enjoy it. Morgenstern has such a beautiful writing style that each detail is just enough to grasp the environment, emotion and atmosphere that it creates a full bodied story easy for the reader to comprehend, the perfect combination.
Complicated stories spread out across several time frames, settings and characters are usually easy for me to follow if they're very clearly connected. This story was not so easily connected and I think the subtle connections and references were lost on me unfortunately. I was so confused with how the actually story was progressing. 'The Starless Sea' follows Zachary, our main character, but it also follows different characters who are parts of other stories but somehow connect to the main one. I got so close to understanding what was happening but each time I tried to sit and understand the story I lost the grasp and confused myself.
I was disappointed in myself that I couldn't follow the story because the concept is such a good idea of storytelling, telling a story, within a story, within a story! Morgenstern created a beautiful set of characters and settings to create the world of the Harbour and the Starless Sea but my favourite character was part of the normal world. Kat was such a refreshing character to read, her witty remarks and focus on the task at hand was a nice contrast to the seriousness of Zachary's story. Her diary entries in the last part of the book are so quick and easy to read which is always appreciated in a book nearly 500 pages long.
The story was great, but confusing to the point that I could tell you the general story but not the intricate details and intertwining of the stories within the book. Anyone that can, can you please explain the ending to me?! Either way, it was an good read as the world Morgenstern created was enjoyable to be a part of and the writing itself was so easy and comfortable to read as it didn't make me work for the imagery. Also, the bees at the end of the story and nearly enough for me to bump this up to five stars, they were adorable, thank you Erin Morgenstern for making me love the bees.