Sea Wife by Amity Gaige

Sea Wife

Goodreads description:

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.

Helen says: 🤓🤓🤓 1/2

This book was heavy, but good. This story was a great description of the reality of marriage, family and our roles within them. The author had a great way of pointing out the obvious- no sugarcoating, and blunt. Sea Wife was compelling and then I would get sick of it and have to put it down for a few days. It probably read like that because you would get so tired of the monotony of being with four people on a boat! I suggest reading it though.

Holly says: 🤓🤓🤓1/2

I enjoyed this read. All the characters you didn’t love in the beginning became more tolerable and likeable as the story progressed. The characters are initially overindulgent and self-absorbed – along the same lines as the protagonist in Eat, Pray, Love – but you do eventually relate to some of their situations and emotions. A compelling story about a family’s life and relationships aboard a ship at sea – my guess is it may not make you want to leave your regular life behind for a similar adventure.

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