Three Ladies Beside the Sea

Three Ladies Beside the Sea

By Rhoda Levine; Edward Gorey (Illustrator)

New York Review of Books, Hardcover, 9781590173541, 40pp.

Publication Date: July 13, 2010

Wickedly funny and delightfully sad, Three Ladies Beside the Sea is a tale of love found, love lost, and love never-ending. Edward Gorey's off-kilter Edwardian maidens are the perfect accompaniment to Rhoda Levine's lilting rhymes.
The place is remote:
Three houses beside the sea.
The Characters are Few:
Laughing Edith of Ecstasy,
Edith so happy and gay.
Smiling Catherine of Compromise,
She smiles her life away.
And then there is Alice of Hazard,
A dangerous life leads she.
The question in the plot is quite simple:
Why is Alice up in a tree?
The answer can be discovered:
Edith and Catherine do.

About the Author

Edward Gorey (1925 2000) is famous for the bounty of books he wrote

and illustrated, filling more than one hundred works with his unique

humor and distinctly crosshatched characters.

Praise For Three Ladies Beside the Sea

"A rhymed story of charming eccentricity, Rhoda Levine's Three Ladies Beside the Sea has a fable-like quality. Three friends — Edith of Ecstasy, Catherine of Compromise and Alice of Hazard — live in harmony, doing their chores, drinking tea and playing chamber music. (Once you've seen Edward Gorey's pictures of their elongated figures and their odd, tower-shaped cottages, it's impossible to imagine them otherwise.) Alice has a disturbing habit of climbing a tree — in all weather! — and gazing intently out at the sky. It's a compulsion, she explains when her friends confront her about it...Ah, then why does she do it? There's the question, to which Levine and Gorey's answer seems to be: One has to accept all kinds of mysteries in friends." --Los Angeles Times

"Ms. Levine's wry imagination and Mr. Gorey's powerfully epicene drawings (figure that one out) constitute a whole new country for a child to visit or for a lucky grandfather to act as tour guide. ...This is, of course, a must for the many Edward Gorey fans of all ages, and a chance to discover the fine poetry of Rhoda Levine. I read this one to my five year old grand-daughter because it is just long enough to be engaging and just short enough to be wiggle proof, and just wise enough to set a young imagination free as a bird." –Sherman Yellen, The Huffington Post


Three Ladies by the Sea consists of more nonsense about the formal activities of the three ladies of nobility with the exception of Alice who insists upon in a tree where she seeks a bird she saw long ago.” —Charlotte Jackson, Los Angeles Times