Sea Wife: A Novel

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Michael Partlow has a dream: to live on a boat with his wife, Juliet, and young children, Sybil and George, for at least a year, sailing around the Caribbean if not around the world. Juliet is reluctant, but their marriage is already in trouble; a drastic change might be exactly what they need. Michael finds the perfect sailboat, coming up with the funds thanks to a loan from his new friend Harry, and names the boat Juliet. For a while, life is good: the family is a cohesive, supportive unit, which it hasn’t been for a while, and, thrilling Michael, Juliet’s sailing skills improve. Their marriage strengthens. Their children thrive. They’re self-sufficient and removed from the usual cares of the world. But when stormy weather, boat repairs, and illness shatter the dream, they’re far away from everything but one another—and, this time, more is required to save them.

We know from the start that tragedy will strike the Partlows as the story is told in retrospect, with Juliet reading and reflecting on a journal Michael wrote at sea. When two detectives arrive at Juliet’s house to question her about the disappearance of Harry, Juliet wonders how well she really knew her husband, and how much she owes him. Gaige’s novel captures the tensions that arise in the Partlows’ life of seafaring—both the freedom and the claustrophobia, the beauty and the harrowing dangers. For readers stuck at home, Sea Wife provides a raw, intimate glimpse of hopeful survival.

Reviewed By:

Author Amity Gaige
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 288 pages
Publisher Knopf
Publish Date 2020-04-28
ISBN 9780525656494 Buy this Book
Issue May 2020
Category Popular Fiction


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