So… I fell in love with a sea creature.

by karolinawaclawiak

I want to thank Sara and Megan for letting me into their world. I think you’ll find our brains think alike.

Valentine’s Day got me thinking about the greatest love story ever told. Well, in my opinion, that is. I’ve always needed some darkness to my love stories and this one’s got it. This story has all the hallmarks of a Noir: a perpetually morose wife on the verge, a philandering husband, post-war suburban streets lined with palm trees… and a dashing crocodilian sea creature on the loose.

Can’t imagine it? Rachel Ingalls has envisioned it for you in Mrs. Caliban. Dorothy simmers with the slow burn usually found in a marriage with the gaping holes of selfish husbands and dead children. Ingalls has the prim front lawn, but infuses the standard conventions with the fantastic when she introduces Larry, a sea creature that is more caring and thinking than any of the other characters running through these pages. I knew I had a problem when I started thinking, God, Larry is just amazing. He’s so honest and secure. She’s so lucky. *Swoon*

Let me set you straight. Mrs. Caliban is not a dabble your toe in sea creature/human female relations kind of book. This is sea creature sex by page 33 kind of fearless writing. Ingalls ratchets the tension in early pages, dropping hints of what’s to come and does it effortlessly, so when Larry finally arrives I’m begging him to save Dorothy from herself.

Let me just add… he loves smelling night flowers. Amazing.

But back to the sex. Right before taking off Dorothy’s bathrobe, Larry utters words to Dorothy that create havoc on my brain receptors –

“Before…There was nothing. Now there’s everything. I could do things. Couldn’t I? You wouldn’t prevent me?”

He’s talking about many things, including his escape from captivity, but the feeling belongs as much to the newly restored Dorothy as it does to Larry. I can’t help feeling it belongs to all of us. What an exciting feeling to be awoken after a long sleep with the possibility of… possibilities! Escape! No boundaries. How refreshing. How rare. How fleeting.

I won’t give away the rest of the book, because I want you to feel that sense of awe that I felt when entering Mrs. Caliban’s world.

Instead, let Larry lead you to salvation and for God’s sake cover your eyes! You know what happens in Noir.

3 Responses to “So… I fell in love with a sea creature.”

  1. I can’t believe I never heard of this before you mentioned it, it sounds so entirely up my alley. Do you know anything about the publishing history of the book & author–why it doesn’t seem to be more widely known?

    I have to say, I’m happily hitched, but Larry sounds kind of hot…

  2. I’m really not sure why she’s not more popular. She writes about anonymous American towns and was born in Cambridge, MA but has spent most of her life in England. Maybe it’s a matter of lack of stateside publishing support of her work because she’s an American residing in England. This book came out in 1982 and she has a few others.
    Ed Park wrote about her in 2005 in The Village Voice – http://www.villagevoice.com/2005-12-20/books/they-never-forget/
    I just think she’s hilarious and Caliban is hysterically funny at times and then profoundly sad just as quickly.

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