'Taut as a thriller' Claire Messud
'A gripping tale of survival at sea - but that's just the beginning' Jennifer Egan
'A smart, swift and thrilling novel' Lauren Groff
From the highly acclaimed author of Schroder, a smart, sophisticated literary page turner about a young family who escape suburbia for a year-long sailing trip that upends all of their lives
Juliet is failing to juggle motherhood and her anemic dissertation when her husband, Michael, informs her that he wants to leave his job and buy a sailboat. The couple are novice sailors, but Michael persuades Juliet to say yes. 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 - a boat that Michael has christened the Juliet.
The initial result is transformative: their marriage is given a gust of energy, and even the children are affected by the beauty and wonderful vertigo of travel. The sea challenges them all - and most of all, Juliet, who suffers from postpartum depression.
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 dire, life-changing events that unfolded at sea; and Michael's captain's log - that provides a riveting, slow-motion account of those same inexorable events.
Exuberant, harrowing, witty, and exquisitely written, Sea Wife is impossible to put down.
A marriage implodes and a husband dies due to the strain of a year sailing around the Caribbean, in Gaige's splendid, wrenching novel (after Schroder). Michael Partlow, an unfulfilled businessman lured by visions of heroic self-sufficiency and idealized memories of his late father, proposes that he and his wife, Juliet a stalled-out poetry PhD candidate and stay-at home mother buy a boat, leave Connecticut, and spend a year sailing with their two young children. Despite Juliet's misgivings and worries, she agrees and the family enters a new wandering lifestyle with moments of joy amid frightening storms, privations, and mounting financial costs. Eventually, the cramped life onboard drives Juliet and Michael into arguments fueled by Juliet's depression and Michael's support of President Trump, and Michael ends up dead from dengue fever. Five months after the end of the voyage, Juliet is mired in a deep depression and gains insight into her marriage by reading Michael's journal, and the story takes a frantic turn when police arrive with questions about a missing person Michael owed money to. Gaige balances the piecemeal explanations of Michael's involvement with a profound depiction of the weight of depression and the pains of a complicated relationship. Every element of this impressive novel clicks into a dazzling, heartbreaking whole. Agent: Kim Witherspoon, InkWell Management.