Sea Wife by Amity Gaige


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What Our Bookseller Says:

“Juliet and Michael’s voyage reads with a straight quickness, nothing like the meandering sailboat on which they live with their two children.

This story is about sailing, about a journey, about the sea and its temper, about a thrilling attempt to understand the unraveling of a marriage and the consequences of finding yourself in a relationship with someone whose morals are fundamentally different than your own. The trip itself forces honesty upon the couple, neither of them able to (literally) escape the other’s presence.

Gaige shows multiple points of view, the distance between truth and understanding winnowing and widening like the sea. Reading the slow sinking of this marriage is like watching a shipwreck, the hull of the thing weathering storm after storm until it disappears from the horizon, the ship itself still whole and not-whole, depending on how you look at it.”

<3 Miranda


What the Publisher Says:

From the highly acclaimed author of Schroder, a smart, sophisticated page literary page-turner about a young family who escape suburbia for a yearlong sailing trip that upends all of their lives.

Juliet is failing to juggle motherhood and her stalled-out dissertation on confessional poetry when her husband, Michael, informs her that he wants to leave his job and buy a sailboat. With their two kids—Sybil, age seven, and George, age two—Juliet and Michael set off for Panama, where their forty-four foot sailboat awaits them.

The initial result is transformative; the marriage is given a gust of energy, Juliet emerges from her depression, and the children quickly embrace the joys of being feral children at sea. Despite the stresses of being novice sailors, the family learns to crew the boat together on the ever-changing sea. The vast horizons and isolated islands offer Juliet and Michael reprieve – until they are tested by the unforeseen.

Sea Wife is told in gripping dual perspectives: Juliet’s first person narration, after the journey, as she struggles to come to terms with the life-changing events that unfolded at sea, and Michael’s captain’s log, which provides a riveting, slow-motion account of these same inexorable events, a dialogue that reveals the fault lines created by personal history and political divisions.

Sea Wife is a transporting novel about marriage, family and love in a time of unprecedented turmoil. It is unforgettable in its power and astonishingly perceptive in its portrayal of optimism, disillusionment, and survival.

Sea Wife by Amity Gaige
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