A New York Times Notable Book of the Year
“Brilliantly breathes life not only into the perils of living at sea, but also into the hidden dangers of domesticity, parenthood, and marriage. What a smart, swift, and thrilling novel.” —Lauren Groff, author of Florida
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 at sea. The vast horizons and isolated islands offer Juliet and Michael reprieve – until they are tested by the unforeseen.
A transporting novel about marriage, family and love in a time of unprecedented turmoil, Sea Wife is unforgettable in its power and astonishingly perceptive in its portrayal of optimism, disillusionment, and survival.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
In Amity Gaige’s brilliant novel, Michael and Juliet—a Connecticut couple with young kids—launch to sea for a year in the hope of repairing their stormy marriage. Though we learn right away that the husband dies mid-trip, the couple’s clashing narratives keep the suspense high. Michael, a conservative hoping to escape the chains of government, leaves behind an intimate sailboat log, while Juliet—a liberal who put aside her PhD for the family she now yearns to escape—shares her memories post-disaster. Gaige masterfully uses the sea as a capricious, inescapable setting where Michael and Juliet must reconnect with their strengths as a couple in order to survive. Sea Wife asks us to consider what freedom really means, exploring themes of love, hope, regret, and what we ask of relationships once they go adrift.
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.
Enjoy the whiplash
Enjoy getting whiplash between past & present husband/wife narrating the story in a blend. I had to write a review when I saw a random "w/in" as apart of the story. The author does a good job conveying the relationship, it feels alive/visceral. I cruised with my husband & thought this might be something to connect with but it's tough to get into the authentic environment. The author nails some of the feelings that go along with cruising but if you don't know much about it, a lot of the events she mentions may go unnoticed. I'd love to see greater detail about the feeling of having your anchor sink in snug to the sand & that first freeing jump into gin clear waters, how your first shark sighting sends chills up your spine. It's a little confusing how it's written.
I can’t even finish this book...and I paid for it. Sooooo boring...no character development and a story line that lulls you to sleep.