I picked up The Sea by John Banville, based on Davin's recommendation. Here is the first passage:
They departed, the gods, on the day of the strange tide. All morning under a milky sky the waters in the bay had swelled and swelled, rising to unheard-of heights, the small waves creeping over parched sand that for years had known no wetting save for rain and lapping the very bases of the dunes. The rusted hulk of the freighter that had run aground at the far end of the bay longer ago than any of us could remember must have thought it was being granted a relaunch. I would not swim again, after that day. The seabirds mewled and swooped, unnerved, it seemed, by the spectacle of that vast bowl of water bulging like a blister, lead-blue malignantly agleam. They looked unnaturally white, that day, those birds. The waves were depositing a fringe of a soiled yellow foam along the waterline. No sail marred the high horizon. I would not swim, no never again.I read and re-read it a few times, and maybe I'll manage to herd my thoughts into something that resembles coherent ideas sometime next week. In the mean time, enjoy!