Book - 2014
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"Belonging to neither land nor sea, they cling to one another in a motley yet kindly society. There is Maurice, by occupation a male prostitute, by happenstance a receiver of stolen goods. And Richard, a buttoned-up ex-navy man whose boat dominates the Reach. Then there is Nenna, a faithful but abandoned wife, the diffident mother of two young girls running wild on the waterfront streets. It is Nenna's domestic predicament that, as it deepens, draws the relations among this scrubby community together into ever more complex and comic patterns"--Publisher.
Publisher: Boston : Mariner Books, 2014
Edition: Second Mariner Books edition
Copyright Date: ©1979
ISBN: 9780544361515
Branch Call Number: F Fit


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Jan 25, 2016

A short novel about "bohemians" living on barges on Battersea Reach in London in the 1960s. The children are especially amusing and well done.

Jul 07, 2014

This is a good little read. Quick. Easy. And with some very quirky and interesting characters. Nicely done.

Full review here:

Apr 24, 2014

"Offshore" by Penelope Fitzgerald was a novel I really liked. Set amongst a - somewhat - claustrophobic cast of quaint people living on near-derelict boats on the Thames within London, the story unfolded gradually and naturally. My only complaint is to nitpick and say that the 6 year-old and 12 year-old girls behaved as if they were older. I would have put them at 11 and 14 years old. And the Austrian boy seemed more like an 18 year old than a 16 year old. The "date" scene seemed weird and odd if it really was taking place between a 12 and 16 year old. As I say, I just imagined the two to be older than what Penelope Fitzgerald said they were. Even the mother Nenna, who was 32, seemed to be given a past incompatible with her age. I doubt she was a camp counsellor at the age of 10, and yet Fitzgerald had a scene where she recalls her past before the war when she would have been 10. The story is set explicitly in 1961. I think Penelope Fitzgerald either didn't count on her fingers or mis-judged the age of her characters. But that is just nitpicking. I really enjoyed the book.

stewaroby May 24, 2013

Mannered and a bit dated but still delightful.

Aug 15, 2012

Very nice writing about houseboat dwellers on the Thames. Good character descriptions, beautiful turns of phrase, and some drama.

Dec 05, 2007

Penelope Fitzgerald's books are small wonders. This story, about a group of barge dwellers in London in 1961, is told in her typically economical and subtlely witty prose. It won the Booker Prize in 1979.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at PPL

To Top