Feel free to judge this book by the cover, as there has never been a more apt book cover or title.“The Silver Dark Sea” is exactly that – magical, part mythical, part real, lyrical, sentimental, cold and warm at the same time.After reading “Eve Green” in August, Susan Fletcher’s debut, I was wondering where she was now as a writer, four or five books later. I have no idea what happened in between but judging by the first and last book, she is sticking to what has worked for her once. I think there are two categories of writers: one is the people who strain their imagination to come up with something entirely different each time and the other who just try to perfect a few recurrent themes that are particularly important to them. Both have their pros and cons and both have their place in the world of literature.Fletcher writes about love like it’s 1820. It’s touching and it’s poetic but it’s not very realistic, and a cynical reader like me might find it occasionally maudlin and too full of things like ‘from the first moment they knew’. But Fletcher can write about grief and bitter-sweet melancholy.This is definitely not urban writing. Fletcher likes to write about small, isolated places and create a self-sufficient world within them. It might every now and then look like an episode of Bold and Beautiful where everything that happens happens within the core cast so people have to swap lovers and family members, but generally I’m weirdly fond of this literary technique. In ‘The Silver Dark Sea’ everything takes place on a small, made up island of Parla, which might or might not be somewhere by Scottish coast. As everything happens somewhere between a myth and reality, it’s suitable that it’s an unspecified cold sea island. In short, if the cover appeals to you, so will the book.The only thing I could possibly cook for this book was a hearty, no nonsense fish dish, the sort of thing the hardened fishermen from a cold sea island could eat. I baked silver carp with onions in a cream sauce (Silver Dark Sea – Silver carp, get it?) and served it instead of the classic carp this Christmas. And yes, I know carp is actually a freshwater fish, so the whole thing doesn’t make much sense, but not everything has to make sense. Also carp is what we eat for Christmas, it’s our turkey.