The Village by the Sea is a novel written by Anita Desai and was published in 1982.
The novel focuses on a small family in India who lives in a village near the sea. The family is in a difficult situation because the mother is extremely sick and the father spends his time drinking instead of working or taking care of the children. Because of this, Lila and Hari, the oldest children in the family, become the parental figures for their younger siblings.
The novel presents how children can mature in a short time when they are forced to grow up too fast, but it also has a happy ending despite focusing mainly on the hardship the children go through.
The novel was inspired by Anita Desai’s own childhood experience. In 1983, she received the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize for the novel the Village by the Sea.