Hazzard, Shirley. The Bay of Noon. Little, Brown and Company, 1970.
Reason read: the Battle of Oranges takes place in February.
There is a secret in Bay of Noon. My eyes did a double read when the words “I am in love with my brother” floated past my face. Did narrator Jenny mean what I think she meant? Is that the secret every reviewer alludes to when writing about Bay of Noon? Hazzard drops hints like pebbles disturbing tranquil waters.
In addition to being a story about a woman fleeing a dark secret, Bay of Noon is about the power of friendship. In the end, the reader is left with this question: do years of disconnection matter if the bonds of relationship are stronger than any prolonged length of time?
Confessional: None of the characters were likeable to me and maybe that was the point. I really did not care for Justin. His refusal of plain speak was annoying. Circumventing addressing matters of the heart the way he did would make me walk away. What I did love was the vivid descriptions of the Mediterranean. It made me hunger for all things Italy.
Bay of Noon has been called a romance novel and I guess in some ways it is, but I didn’t like any of the couples and I never really felt any of them were actually in love.
Author fact: Hazzard was Australian but wrote a great deal about Naples.
Book trivia: Bay of Noon was originally published in 1970 but found life again after being republished in 2003. It was shortlisted for the Lost Man Booker Prize in 2010.
Play list: Hazzard has many opportunities to mention songs of musicians by name through all of the dancing, signing, and listening to the radio, but she doesn’t.
Nancy said: Pearl called Bay of Noon “most likely autobiographical” (Book Lust To Go p 148).
BookLust Twist: from Book Lust to Go in the simple chapter called “Naples” (p 146).