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.
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