Sea Wife
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 Details

TitleSea Wife
Author
ReleaseApr 28th, 2020
PublisherKnopf Publishing Group
ISBN-139780525656494
Rating
GenreFiction

Sea Wife Review

  • Dorie - Cats&Books :)
    January 1, 1970
    ***PERFECT ESCAPE READ, TAKE A SEA VOYAGE***This novel had everything that I love about a book. It is transformative in its descriptions of life at sea with small children and the many challenges of modern marriage. The writing style is unique, the characters of Michael, Juliet and their seven year old daughter Sybil are very well developed. It does take a bit of patience in the beginning when the stage is being set for the rest of the novel, but it then moves along at a quick pace.Juliet has ***PERFECT ESCAPE READ, TAKE A SEA VOYAGE***This novel had everything that I love about a book. It is transformative in it’s descriptions of life at sea with small children and the many challenges of modern marriage. The writing style is unique, the characters of Michael, Juliet and their seven year old daughter Sybil are very well developed. It does take a bit of patience in the beginning when the stage is being set for the rest of the novel, but it then moves along at a quick pace.Juliet has been prone to bouts of depression and has felt as though she left her dreams of earning her doctorate degree behind as she can’t seem to concentrate on her dissertation. Michael has had a very good job but one that he dislikes going to day after day. He starts to go to a marina that is close by and talking to a 60 year old man about boats, sailing and life at sea. Michael’s father had taken him sailing on the Great Lakes when he was young and he had loved everything about it.Michael is finally getting desperate to get out of the rut he feels his job and marriage have become. The marriage is crumbling around both of their disappointments. He begins to tell Juliet his plan of buying a 44 ft sailboat and taking a year off of work, all of them, to sail to Panama and enjoy the freedom of no daily routine. He convinces her that the children will be better for it, that the sea will teach them more than they can learn in the classroom.As the story of their voyage takes off we will learn their feelings throughout because of the two points of view.Juliet’s story is told in her narration of the present and past. She describes what she is going through now after the sea voyage is over and in the past from her telling us about what happened those months away.Michael’s point of view is told through what begins as a captain’s log and ends up being a journal of his feelings about the sea, his marriage and some of his true feelings about Juliet. It is almost a confessional “Can you talk your love away? Because I love her and I think somewhere she still loves me. The truth is we can’t get the timing right.”The descriptions of life at sea were so well described I could picture the beautiful blue sky and endless ocean. Describing a storm at sea in which Juliet had to sail the boat I felt myself tense during the entire description. I kept wanting to be able to help her, in the end she found the help she needed.I’d like to just briefly quote the author from an interview on Libro.FM “I got interested in people who raise their kids on boats. Those people seemed both a little reckless, and very free”. There is so much more I could say about this book but I want you to discover the beauty of it for yourself. If you are looking for a great escape read and/or an adventure that you can get lost in, this is definitely the book for you. “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans” -- John LennonI received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through Edelweiss, I also want to thank the author for the privilege of reading this advanced copy.
    more
  • Wendy Cosin
    January 1, 1970
    Sea Wife is a really good story, well told. Michael and Juliet leave suburban life and go sailing for a year with their two young children. Told mostly by Juliet, the story shifts between daily life before the trip, on the boat, and after the journey. Juliet didnt finish her PhD dissertation about Anne Sexton. She sometimes has a serious problem with depression. Michaels sections are his Captains Log, which also reads like a diary/journal about his feelings. A few sections are in the 7-year old Sea Wife is a really good story, well told. Michael and Juliet leave suburban life and go sailing for a year with their two young children. Told mostly by Juliet, the story shifts between daily life before the trip, on the boat, and after the journey. Juliet didn’t finish her PhD dissertation about Anne Sexton. She sometimes has a serious problem with depression. Michael’s sections are his Captain’s Log, which also reads like a diary/journal about his feelings. A few sections are in the 7-year old girl’s voice; she is an interesting character. The sections work together well. It was good to get different points of view.Their marriage has issues. Juliet is liberal, Michael voted for Trump and inherited very self-reliant/anti-government views from his father. It took a long time in their relationship for these differences in opinion to matter, but once they did, Juliet has a hard time forgiving him. At one point I was concerned that too much of the book would become a dialectic discussion about politics. Their disagreements often stem from this issue, but it is only hammered on in one section. I like the way Juliet summed Michael up (p. 77). “He believed in self-reliance above all. But how does such a man accept his place in a family – a loud, disorderly, many-fated whirligig, a force by which each member is alternately nurtured and deformed?”Several boxes are checked on social issues. All of the characters are Caucasian, but race is minimally addressed in Michael’s journal where he opines on how he recognizes the rewards of his whiteness, but writes about his feelings about the constant reminder that he is an “exploiter/polluter/oppressor”. There is also a child abuse issue and its impact on Juliet’s life and her relationship with her mother. Grief was handled well.The story is compelling. I loved the descriptions of their sailing life. There is a scary storm early in the book, and tension is built because we know something bad will happen later. The writing is fine, mostly straightforward and not showy, but there are lyrical descriptions of the ocean, the skies, and the weather. I enjoyed Sea Wife very much. I can imagine that readers may become impatient with aspects of the book, especially the amount of writing about depression and political differences, but it worked for me.I received a free Uncorrected Bound Proof of the novel, which is scheduled to be published in May.Addendum. I just finished another book - St. Ivo - which also focused on a marriage with problems. I find it interesting to compare them. Because Sea Wife was told in first person,there isn’t a lot of dialogue; rather, the two characters described and analyze their relationship. This was more intellectual and distanced me more than in St. Ivo where the dialogue sounded very real, and pulled me in more.
    more
  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    eBook Giveaway Win!
  • Mary McBride
    January 1, 1970
    4+A well written story of a young family that decides to buy a boat and spend a year at sea. Full of reflections on marriage, parenting and emotions from the past... As well as an intense survival at sea.Really enjoyed it.
  • Mickie
    January 1, 1970
    Never would have picked this up normally and so glad I did. A truly thrilling ride, expertly weaving thoughts of husband and wife to tell the story of a difficult love and marriage, in the most fantastic and unique setting. I am now a BIG Amity Gaige fan.
    more
  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    Sea Wife by Amity Gage is the story of a marriage, and a family, and an adventure. It is a story about depression, and the lasting repercussions of childhood trauma. It is also a story about the importance of communication. and being prepared, and the unforgiving wilderness of the sea. Told in alternating voices and overlapping timelines - Juliet provides her side of the story, and Michaels voice is mostly revealed in his ships log entries - we get each spouses point of view as well as crucial Sea Wife by Amity Gage is the story of a marriage, and a family, and an adventure. It is a story about depression, and the lasting repercussions of childhood trauma. It is also a story about the importance of communication. and being prepared, and the unforgiving wilderness of the sea. Told in alternating voices and overlapping timelines - Juliet provides her side of the story, and Michael’s voice is mostly revealed in his ship’s log entries - we get each spouse’s point of view as well as crucial pieces of information about what each thinks and believes and hopes for in a slow unfolding, not unlike a long, leisurely sail which eventually becomes more like a wild squall as the momentum builds. This is as much an adventure story as it is a cautionary tale, and it is written with lyrical prose and an urgency felt right from the very beginning.
    more
  • Audrey
    January 1, 1970
    Compelling and lyrical, watching this marriage ebb and flow and its continued gradual disintegration was kind of like watching a slow moving accident. I couldnt avert my eyes and I could do anything to prevent it. What happens during the course of marriage when you realize you and your partner have fundamental differences in moral principles? Juliet and Michael's literal sailing journey exposes the latent and numerous problems in their marriage and causes honesty to emerge. The shifting points Compelling and lyrical, watching this marriage ebb and flow and its continued gradual disintegration was kind of like watching a slow moving accident. I couldn’t avert my eyes and I could do anything to prevent it. What happens during the course of marriage when you realize you and your partner have fundamental differences in moral principles? Juliet and Michael's literal sailing journey exposes the latent and numerous problems in their marriage and causes honesty to emerge. The shifting points of view in narration and time just add more depth to the complexities of this relationship. I dare you to look away, I know I couldn’t. I received an arc from the but all opinions are my own.
    more
  • James Beggarly
    January 1, 1970
    Wonderful book about a couple with a rocky marriage taking a year out of their lifes to sail a boat around the Caribbean with their two small children. The story is told by the wife as she looks back on the trip and the aftermath and told by the husband in a sea log as the events are happening. Powerful dissection of a complicated marriage. Wonderful book about a couple with a rocky marriage taking a year out of their life’s to sail a boat around the Caribbean with their two small children. The story is told by the wife as she looks back on the trip and the aftermath and told by the husband in a sea log as the events are happening. Powerful dissection of a complicated marriage.
    more
  • Emily
    January 1, 1970
    I love a portrait of a complicated marriage and this one had the bonus of appealing to both my inner daydreamer (lets quit our jobs and travel around the world for a year!!) and my inner pragmatist (that is literally the worst idea). The multiple POVs and alternating timelines make this a pretty propulsive read. The mystery that comes in in the second half of the book and Julieta childhood trauma made the plot feel a little overstuffed. I found the political stuff a little heavy-handed. I think I love a portrait of a complicated marriage and this one had the bonus of appealing to both my inner daydreamer (let’s quit our jobs and travel around the world for a year!!) and my inner pragmatist (that is literally the worst idea). The multiple POVs and alternating timelines make this a pretty propulsive read. The mystery that comes in in the second half of the book and Juliet’a childhood trauma made the plot feel a little overstuffed. I found the political stuff a little heavy-handed. I think both Micheal and Juliet are complex enough characters, though, that it isn’t unbearable and it’s kind of interesting to explore a marriage where two people disagree over what feels like something fundamental to me.
    more
  • Megan Tristao
    January 1, 1970
    First, let me acknowledge that I probably enjoyed this book more than the average reader because I'm currently living that gap-year life. So many parts of the book, especially parts from the husband's log book, spoke right to me. "Yes, that's EXACTLY how we felt when we told people about our trip!" "Yes, that's a GREAT description of the street carts in Cartagena!" So, I had a personal connection to this book that likely heightened my appreciation of it. That being said, here's my review:A First, let me acknowledge that I probably enjoyed this book more than the average reader because I'm currently living that gap-year life. So many parts of the book, especially parts from the husband's log book, spoke right to me. "Yes, that's EXACTLY how we felt when we told people about our trip!" "Yes, that's a GREAT description of the street carts in Cartagena!" So, I had a personal connection to this book that likely heightened my appreciation of it. That being said, here's my review:A middle-class American family with two young children decides to give up their routine and live on a sailboat for a year. What could go wrong? Part wanderlust, part marriage therapy and part family drama (with a dash of murder mystery thrown in), this book is perfect for anyone who needs to be transported this year.I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Janet
    January 1, 1970
    When it is snowy and cold outside (and my car is buried under 2ft of ❄ ), superspeed readers like me can read 250+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book and many more today. LOLI requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.From the highly acclaimed When it is snowy and cold outside (and my car is buried under 2ft of ❄️ ), superspeed readers like me can read 250+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. LOLI requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.From the highly acclaimed author of Schroder, a smart, sophisticated literary page-turner about a young family who escapes suburbia for a year-long sailing trip that upends all of their livesJuliet is failing to juggle motherhood and her anaemic 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 wholly original take on one of our oldest stories--survival at sea--it also asks a pertinent question for our polarized political moment: How does a crew with deep philosophical differences and outmoded gender roles bring a ship safely to shore?This novel could have been a great summery-beach read as a book that is about a family escaping reality for a year of travel. Instead, it is a very "deep" literary lecture about gender, bleak times and depression. I had hope that there would SOME "joy" in this novel but it was so deep and depressing that I chose to not finish it beyond skipping through chapters to the bitter end I know that the description said that the book was literary and deep but it was soul-sucking to me: it may be your cup of tea, but to me, it was just too lecture-ish.
    more
  • Marcia T
    January 1, 1970
    Amity Gaige, author of Schroeder, O My Darling, and The Folded World, captured my attention from page 1 in this novel about a family who trades their suburban security for a year-long sail in the Caribbean. Juliet is a poet who has become mired in the dailiness of parenting two children and struggles to finish her PhD; Michael is successful in business but longs for adventure on a grand scale, fueled by memories of sailing with his dad. The sailboat is Michaels dream. Juliet thinks its a stunt Amity Gaige, author of Schroeder, O My Darling, and The Folded World, captured my attention from page 1 in this novel about a family who trades their suburban security for a year-long sail in the Caribbean. Juliet is a poet who has become mired in the dailiness of parenting two children and struggles to finish her PhD; Michael is successful in business but longs for adventure on a grand scale, fueled by memories of sailing with his dad. The sailboat is Michael’s dream. Juliet thinks it’s a stunt to avoid addressing the problems in their marriage. And she’s scared. Michael is not an experienced sailor, their kids are only seven and two – what would be left of their life after a year at sea?The novel is narrated in first person by Juliet, alternating with Michael’s journal-like ship’s log. Juliet’s perceptions are informed by her love of poetry and Gaige has given her a voice that is striking, vivid, sensual, witty. The gathering of mothers outside the day care are “mordantly funny women stinking of peanut butter.” In close POV, she positions the ordinary against the extraordinary: during the first storm, Juliet's young son, Georgie, “…discovered the soda crackers were marching toward him. He stared in awe as they jumped, one by one, over the edge of the table and into his lap…Then, like astronauts training for liftoff, we were rolled backward, until we were pressed against the bulkhead, looking up at the galley, and beyond that, through the portlights, the stormy sky.”A central question is what happens when life is under pressure in small spaces: the boat, a tiny bar, a locked car, a closet. The tension of survival at sea and survival of a relationship pull against each other, moving the story forward. The setting itself, the sailboat and the ocean, are as realized as the human characters, and Michael suspects that “…sinking our boat would make the sea feel better. That swallowing our tiny vessel would satisfy her for just a second,” even as Juliet learns to trust. The novel is both adventure story and literary gorgeousness, emotionally rich and well salted with humor. If you are finding these days of ‘stay at home’ to be challenging to your sanity, Sea Wife will carry you away to a brilliantly realized world of sea and sky.
    more
  • Leslie Lacin
    January 1, 1970
    Amity Gaiges Sea Wife is a sensitive and beautifully complex portrayal of a marriage, a family, and the personal histories that define their lives together. The couple, Michael and Juliette Partlow and their two young children, seven-year old Sybil and two-and-a- half year old George, set sail on a 44-foot yacht out of Panama with the initial intent to sail along the coasts of Central and South America. The story is told from Juliettes and Michaels perspectives in a back and forth series of Amity Gaige’s Sea Wife is a sensitive and beautifully complex portrayal of a marriage, a family, and the personal histories that define their lives together. The couple, Michael and Juliette Partlow and their two young children, seven-year old Sybil and two-and-a- half year old George, set sail on a 44-foot yacht out of Panama with the initial intent to sail along the coasts of Central and South America. The story is told from Juliette’s and Michael’s perspectives in a back and forth series of journal entries, memories and conversations; the etiology of their relationship, the unfolding of their adventure made more expansive with the details and emotions offered in a dual narrative. Michael hopes for open water, Juliette clings to the illusion of safety within sight of land. The adults approach life at sea from different angles but both believe the voyage has the potential to change their marriage. Life for the family does change but not in the ways the reader expects. They find paradise; the children delight in the rhythm of island hopping, the adults reevaluate their lives in simpler terms. Tragedy looms though because paradise never lasts. The actual scope and circumstance of the family’s many tragedies are alarming but Michael’s romantic notion of liberty and Juliette’s determination to take on risk entice the reader into thinking this story is easy to decipher. It isn’t and the surprises keep the reader engaged and connected. We recognize ourselves in these characters. They are our children, our spouses, our parents. We are in familiar territory in their disagreements and petty feelings, their ability to love fully, inexplicably and to explore the demons they are most afraid to confront. Sea Wife is a perfect book to read now while we are locked up together amidst the untidy details of domestic life, watchful, wary of an uncertain horizon. Amity Gaige helps us understand the way small spaces in unknown territory alter relationships, the way shared adventure disturbs the surface to explore that which has been hidden or disguised. We realize we have all sheltered in place more than once in our lives and the best way out of any situation is straight through. Sea Wife is a beautiful novel; it offers solace and perhaps, a modicum of hope.
    more
  • Dee
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to Knopf Books for this book, which I won in a Goodreads Giveaway. This is my honest review. If you have dreams of sailing around the world, this book will cure you. This book sounded like a home run. Couple decides to set sail for a year with their kids amidst their strained marriage. We know at the outset that the husband did not return. It sounded dark and exciting. What it was instead was a plodding exploration into depression and libertarianism. I didn't like either Juliet or Thanks to Knopf Books for this book, which I won in a Goodreads Giveaway. This is my honest review. If you have dreams of sailing around the world, this book will cure you. This book sounded like a home run. Couple decides to set sail for a year with their kids amidst their strained marriage. We know at the outset that the husband did not return. It sounded dark and exciting. What it was instead was a plodding exploration into depression and libertarianism. I didn't like either Juliet or Michael, although Sybil was charming and disarming. Scenes of literal paradise should've rescued the story, but they were too few and far between. There's also a lot of sailing terminology as well as foreign words in Guna, a local language to the Guna Yala archipelago, neither of which are fully explained so the reader has to guess. The story is told in Juliet's first-person, present-day account and in Michael's ship's logs, which are like long-winded journals. Seriously, how did he find so much time to write with a ship to sail? Less information in more of an actual log might've been more interesting and intriguing. At times the journal-logs are written in the present tense, which wasn't realistic at all - you wouldn't write that way in real life. There's also a bit of a side plot with tension and mystery, never fully clear, that resolves strangely in what can only be called an appendix of writings. It felt as though the author wanted to write about the 2016 election, but didn't want to take it head on, so she developed this story to explain the dangerous viewpoint of not wanting to rely at all on the government. You don't really even get into that into maybe a third of the way into the book, when Michael starts talking about his views, and at that just barely. Overall, not a satisfying reading experience.
    more
  • Neelam Babul
    January 1, 1970
    Sea Wife by Amity Gage is the story of a marriage, and a family, and an adventure. It is a story about depression and the lasting repercussions of childhood trauma on a person. It is a story of starting over a new chapter in life after recovering from a tragic loss. It is also a story about the importance of communication between married couples and being prepared for the worst as well as the unforgiving wilderness of the sea. Sea Wife is narrated in alternating voices and overlapping timelines. Sea Wife by Amity Gage is the story of a marriage, and a family, and an adventure. It is a story about depression and the lasting repercussions of childhood trauma on a person. It is a story of starting over a new chapter in life after recovering from a tragic loss. It is also a story about the importance of communication between married couples and being prepared for the worst as well as the unforgiving wilderness of the sea. Sea Wife is narrated in alternating voices and overlapping timelines. Juliet provides her side of the story and Michael’s voice is mostly revealed in his ship’s log entries. We get each spouse’s point of view as well as crucial pieces of information about what each thinks and believes and hopes for in a slow unfolding. Michael has always loved the sea and desired to own a boat for himself. When a chance arises for him to own his boat, he leaves everything to start a new life on his boat. Juliet and his two children accompany him on his boat for a period of one year. Juliet is sceptical about this at first and is also battling depression as well as accepting that she may never complete her dissertation but decides to go along with Michael, hoping the change will bring them together and help her with her depression. Sea Wife is an adventurous story of survival, self-discovery and love. It is undoubtedly one of the best books I have read this year.
    more
  • Carol (Reading Ladies)
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsThanks #netgalley #knophpublishinggroup for granting my request for a free eARC of #seawife by Amity Gaige. All opinions are my own. Juliet and Michael are disillusioned with work, life, and marriage for individual reasons, and even though they are novice sailors, they set out for a yearlong sailing venture with their two young children. Things are fine at first until the unexpected happens. The story is told in flashbacks, reflections, and journal entries from Michael's and Juliet's 3.5 starsThanks #netgalley #knophpublishinggroup for granting my request for a free eARC of #seawife by Amity Gaige. All opinions are my own. Juliet and Michael are disillusioned with work, life, and marriage for individual reasons, and even though they are novice sailors, they set out for a yearlong sailing venture with their two young children. Things are fine at first until the unexpected happens. The story is told in flashbacks, reflections, and journal entries from Michael's and Juliet's perspectives. We learn about their different political views, their strengths and weaknesses, and their disillusion with marriage, career, and life as they gain a clearer perspective of each other. The fear we feel on their behalf as inexperienced sailors permeates the reading experience.Thoughtful themes include compatibility in marriage and parenting, loss and grief, extreme adventure, life-changing events, depression, childhood traumas, finding your voice, and envisioning a different future.Even though the story is engaging and is unputdownable at times, I wish the transition between time periods and perspectives had been clearer. If you enjoy stream of consciousness writing, you will enjoy this aspect. I found myself feeling lost on several occasions and needed to reread to figure out which perspective I was reading and where we were in time. This affected my final star rating.There's a lot going on in this story from sailing jargon (sailing enthusiasts will love it!) to politics (a bit heavy handed at points) to complicated marriages to personal fulfillment to depression, grief, and childhood trauma. There's also a great deal of tension and a tone of sadness, desperation, and grief throughout the story. It reminded me a bit in tone and structure of Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. The giant teardrop on the cover of Sea Wife conveys the tone well.I like the title because Juliet is more than a wife and more than her husband's plans for their life. At sea, she finds her voice, survives difficult circumstances, and plants seeds for envisioning a fulfilling future.Readers who appreciate sailing (sailing jargon and ocean setting), complicated stories of marriage and family, extreme adventure, and descriptive writing might love this story.*might contain spoilers* Trigger Warnings/Content Considerations: death of a spouse, depression, discussion of childhood sexual abuse, grief and loss, incompatibility in marriage.For more reviews visit my blog at www.readingladies.com
    more
  • Diane
    January 1, 1970
    The Sea Wife was an interesting read about a strained marriage and a man with a dream. A dream to give up his unsatisfying job, buy a boat and have his family sail the Caribbean with him for a yearMichael Partlow is the unhappy husband, his wife Juliet is a stay-at-home mom with two young children, Sybil 7, and Georgie 2. For nearly a decade Juliet has been working on her PhD; she is also a woman who suffers from depression stemming from abuse as a child. Despite Juliet's concerns, she decides The Sea Wife was an interesting read about a strained marriage and a man with a dream. A dream to give up his unsatisfying job, buy a boat and have his family sail the Caribbean with him for a yearMichael Partlow is the unhappy husband, his wife Juliet is a stay-at-home mom with two young children, Sybil 7, and Georgie 2. For nearly a decade Juliet has been working on her PhD; she is also a woman who suffers from depression stemming from abuse as a child. Despite Juliet's concerns, she decides to go along with Michael's plans.What could possibly go wrong?Based in part on true events, the story alternates between Michael and Juliet's experiences along their sailing journey. Michael's thoughts tare shared through journaling and Juliet's as she looks back once she has returned home. The story, sad at times, also has a good amount of joy and splendor as well. I enjoyed setting and the writing style which was a bit different, I would like to try other books by this author as well.
    more
  • Rachelle
    January 1, 1970
    Sea Wife... an adventurous and thrilling tale of a life sailing at sea - the struggles, joy, lessons learned, and confidence gained living in close quarters, exploring new lands. The imagery was vivid an exceptionally detailed. I felt as if I were on the yacht with the family. Story alternates between wife's present day thoughts and conversations and her husband's captain's log from their months at sea. The ending disappointed me- poems at the end confused me and left unanswered questions.
    more
  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    Okay did I just not get it? I kept expecting something more. I dont understand the end. I need someone to read this and explain it to me. I was pretty captivated and thought the writing was great until toward the end. I think I might have just missed something. Okay did I just not get it? I kept expecting something more. I don’t understand the end. I need someone to read this and explain it to me. I was pretty captivated and thought the writing was great until toward the end. I think I might have just missed something.
    more
  • Dkbbookgirl
    January 1, 1970
    Life for a family of 4 on a sail boat
  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    Sea Wife by Amity Gaige is a glimpse into a real, flawed, complicated human relationship and marriage. The novel narrates between Juliet and Michael, Juliet through narrative looking back on a voyage and journey, and Michael through the Captains Log. This book is not an easy read in the fact that it feels so real and hits home in all of the normal things that affect wives, husbands, moms, parents, friends, and foes. There is almost a poetic prose in the way there is waxing and waning in the Sea Wife by Amity Gaige is a glimpse into a real, flawed, complicated human relationship and marriage. The novel narrates between Juliet and Michael, Juliet through narrative looking back on a voyage and journey, and Michael through the Captain’s Log. This book is not an easy read in the fact that it feels so real and hits home in all of the normal things that affect wives, husbands, moms, parents, friends, and foes. There is almost a poetic prose in the way there is waxing and waning in the course of Juliet and Michael’s marriage and the waves of the ocean that they travel through during their time on the sea. Their destination is revealed on multiple levels.I enjoyed the multiple layers and complexity of the characters and their relationships. I enjoyed the “realness” of the story. I thought it was interesting and appropriately paced, and thoroughly enjoyed this novel.4/5 starsThank you EW and Knopf Books/Random House for this ARC and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion.I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon and B&N accounts upon publication.
    more
  • Ashley
    January 1, 1970
    I have a lot of questions - mainly revolving around minimizing to sail full time. I mean, why not.
  • Callum McLaughlin
    January 1, 1970
    This was one of my most anticipated releases of the year, and its very possible that such high expectations contributed to my unfortunate disappointment. We follow a family embarking on a year at sea. The contrast between their isolation from society and their claustrophobic family dynamic exposes underlying issues between the parents. Namely, fundamentally different political beliefs, the lasting impact of childhood trauma, and resentment concerning gender roles.I love this narrative setup and This was one of my most anticipated releases of the year, and it’s very possible that such high expectations contributed to my unfortunate disappointment. We follow a family embarking on a year at sea. The contrast between their isolation from society and their claustrophobic family dynamic exposes underlying issues between the parents. Namely, fundamentally different political beliefs, the lasting impact of childhood trauma, and resentment concerning gender roles.I love this narrative setup and the vast thematic potential it presents. Sadly, much of the novel is spent meandering around these topics with little sense of drive or direction. The plot itself is presented to us via both parents’ perspectives; the journal Michael kept during their journey, and Juliet’s first-person narration in the present day. Because of this framing device, there’s little tension regarding how everything will turn out, as it’s all pretty clear from the off. But with commentary on the book’s many themes also largely surface level, I was often left to wonder what point the author was even trying to make.Indeed, I think one of the book’s greatest issues is that it doesn’t know what kind of novel it wants to be. Its marketing sets it up as a thrilling page-turner, but I found this to be far from true, with much of the book given over to rather pedestrian descriptions of the practicalities of life at sea. It tries to offer meaningful social commentary on the impact that politics can have on relationships, but never seems to stick any kind of landing on this front. It tries to examine the difficulty of overcoming supressed childhood trauma, but again, it introduces the idea too late and fails to dive very deep. At one point, it takes a rather bizarre shift towards murder-mystery, though this thread wraps up just as quickly (and anti-climactically) as it appears. And to top it off, the final chapter is a somewhat experimental multi-media affair that felt like a bizarrely dry and unsatisfying note to end on.Overcoming frustrations with the plot may have been easier had the characters really shone (I do think it also wants to be a character study, after all), but they often suffered from the common issue of not sounding like real people (especially the 7-year-old daughter). This, coupled with a lack of a satisfying end for most of their arcs, stopped me from ever feeling invested in them or their problems.On a more positive note, I will say the author’s prose is very readable, she paints vivid pictures of life at sea, and though she failed to explore them with the kind of depth and impact I hoped for, the themes she touches on are very interesting and topical. However, I can’t deny feeling distinctly underwhelmed overall, left to ponder what could have been.Thank you to the publisher for a free advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Madeline
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed the style of the writing and so much of the story. But...too much writing about this womans depression and overthinking on her past. Everybody, or at least a lot of people go through rough times that they could mope about forever, but there comes a time you get yourself fixed one way or another and get on with your life. In her case, she had so much to be happy about in her life. I felt that her darkness and depression took away from the fascinating and engrossing story of the way they I enjoyed the style of the writing and so much of the story. But...too much writing about this woman’s depression and overthinking on her past. Everybody, or at least a lot of people go through rough times that they could mope about forever, but there comes a time you get yourself fixed one way or another and get on with your life. In her case, she had so much to be happy about in her life. I felt that her darkness and depression took away from the fascinating and engrossing story of the way they all related on the boat and their wonderful experiences together. I did not find the book soul-sucking, like some did. Those pages of her overthinking everything and dwelling on her misery were just a bit boring for me and I tended to skim those sections to get to the rest of the book, which was quite well written. I have trouble commiserating with people who dwell on the past overmuch. I begin to think, “Enough already! Get on with the rest of your fabulous life.” I get annoyed, after awhile, and can’t dredge up enough sympathy for the character which I guess I am expected to do. I realize clinical depression is an illness, but for a book like this, it took too much away from the story and adventurous experiences. Sometimes there was too much esoteric vocabulary about the boat and sailing. I had to stop and look up words on almost every page to identify what the author was referring to. I think she should have included a vocabulary list at the beginning of each chapter if she wanted the sailing descriptions so technical. That was also a little annoying. The author has an intellectual mind and her vocabulary level is higher than the average writer usually uses. I found myself seeing some words for the very first time and needed to look up those words as well. I don’t mind this and like learning new words, but perhaps some readers may not like so much of it.I would recommend this book to higher level readers if they are interested in this kind of story. I think less intellectual readers might struggle or be bored with the higher level thinking and vocabulary. Also, it was sometimes confusing as to who was doing the speaking as the speakers are not immediately identified and I had to reread the paragraphs over sometimes to identify who the narrator was. All in all an interesting read but definitely had a few problems for me.
    more
  • Maddy
    January 1, 1970
    Sea Wife is a portrait of a marriage in deadlock, intricately structured and gorgeously written. It alternates between two timelines and two main points of view: Juliet, home in Connecticut in the story's present, and Michael, writing in his ship's log on their yearlong sailing voyage months before. Both voices are compelling--Juliet's, as she works through childhood trauma, postpartum depression, and a fear of disaster; and Michael's, as he acts out an obsessive and ever-deepening commitment to Sea Wife is a portrait of a marriage in deadlock, intricately structured and gorgeously written. It alternates between two timelines and two main points of view: Juliet, home in Connecticut in the story's present, and Michael, writing in his ship's log on their yearlong sailing voyage months before. Both voices are compelling--Juliet's, as she works through childhood trauma, postpartum depression, and a fear of disaster; and Michael's, as he acts out an obsessive and ever-deepening commitment to a neoliberal conception of freedom. The couple clashes politically and struggles to communicate, even as they're forced to work together to literally keep their family afloat. Just as in Schroder, Gaige's unique, breezy-dark sense of humor provides moments of delight and relief that buoy the reader up in spite of the book's tough themes. A handful of sections are told from the point of view of Sybil, the couple's seven-year-old daughter, and these are unreservedly fun. So often kids' voices in fiction can come off as sentimental--but Gaige captures the magic and and weirdness of Sybil's imagination in a way only a writer who really understands kids could do. These characters and their experiences are backed up by what must have been a staggering amount of research. In Sea Wife, the ocean is not merely a backdrop to the family's dynamic, but the central force that directs the ways in which they relate to one another and the choices they're able to make. Troubles with the boat--bad weather, a dead transmission--drive the plot, and force the family into increasingly suspenseful situations, situations that are fully believable, while not getting too bogged down in extraneous sailing details. This research is what allows Gaige to build up such a gripping, page-turner level of suspense as the book goes on. Sea Wife is so very worth reading.
    more
  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    This book is a reflection on the challenges of marriage, parenthood and mental health told by a couple who are in the extreme situation of living on a 44 ft sailboat in the Caribbean. Juliet and Michael Partlow were a typical American family living in Connecticut with their two young children, when Michael convinces his family that they should take a year off and sail around the Caribbean. And while their time at sea is initially filled with wonder and joy at the paradise they get to live in, This book is a reflection on the challenges of marriage, parenthood and mental health told by a couple who are in the extreme situation of living on a 44 ft sailboat in the Caribbean. Juliet and Michael Partlow were a typical American family living in Connecticut with their two young children, when Michael convinces his family that they should take a year off and sail around the Caribbean. And while their time at sea is initially filled with wonder and joy at the paradise they get to live in, things turn tragic quickly.Sea Wife is narrated primarily by Juliet with additions from Michael’s Captain’s logbook/diary. My favorite sections were when 7 year old Sybil interjects. Sybil has such a creative mind and I wanted more of the story to be told from her perspective.The most impressive part of this book is how Amity Gaige tackles so many issues in a relatively short book (288 pages). She touches on what happens when you realize your partner doesn’t hold the same values and beliefs as you, the struggles of stay-at-home motherhood, depression, traditional gender roles in current times, and childhood traumas. I went back and forth throughout the book as to whether I wanted Juliet and Michael to stay together and whether they truly loved each other. And I get the feeling that the characters were struggling with that too.I think parts of the story could have been streamlined and a glossary of sailing terms in the back would have been useful. But overall I really enjoyed this book and its making me wonder if my marriage could survive a year at sea. Thank you to NetGalley and Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.Sea Wife will be out on April 28, 2020.3.5 rounded up to 4 stars
    more
  • Moonkiszt
    January 1, 1970
    A greater landlubber cannot be found, I think, than me. So this book was a surprise as its purpose and direction unfolded.I love oceans, water and all that goes with it. It's just boats, sails, jibs and starboards and ports are all in a basket in my brain, unsorted and unlabeled. As I began the tale of Juliet and Michael and their two munchkins, I went forward with a troubled heart and a substantial body of ignorance on the primary topics. Would that topple me from the pages of this tale?This A greater landlubber cannot be found, I think, than me. So this book was a surprise as its purpose and direction unfolded.I love oceans, water and all that goes with it. It's just boats, sails, jibs and starboards and ports are all in a basket in my brain, unsorted and unlabeled. As I began the tale of Juliet and Michael and their two munchkins, I went forward with a troubled heart and a substantial body of ignorance on the primary topics. Would that topple me from the pages of this tale?This generous author lends enough handrails to unsailorly readers like me to help one stay braced at the launch and action of this family, with its hint of dangerous relationships and risky challenges and a love between all of them that helps them meet every difficult circumstance with hope and support. I found a great deal of satisfaction in the redeemability granted to many characters that had erred early in their lives. I did have moments of trepidation - I've had a close family member die of drowning, and tend to shy away from stories of such events. It was a relief to me as the story became involved in storms and raging waters that this was not something I needed to worry about.The point of view switches primarily between the husband and wife, and a few times I had to go back and pick up the thread because it wasn't completely clear who was who. Once I hit the middle of the book, though, I didn't put the book down, as my full attention was riveted, and I was glued to each page, including the poetry at the end.3.5 stars rounded to 4, washed up in seafoam, seaweed and sand dollars. (I'm thinking Neskowin Beach, Oregon coast. . . .)A sincere thank you to Amity Gaige, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group and NetGalley for an ARC to read and review.
    more
  • Margo Littell
    January 1, 1970
    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, 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 has struck the Partlows, and 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. ***Review originally written for the City Book Review. I received a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.***
    more
  • Trisha
    January 1, 1970
    Sea Wife is a compelling portrait of a modern marriage on the rocks and coming to terms with trauma and grief. While I found it well written, thoughtful and atmospheric, it was nothing like I expected and I walked away less enthused than I had hoped.I had heard this book described as a page turning thriller of a family at sea on a journey that upends their lives. I was expecting an adventure, for them to get lost at sea and have to battle for survival but I got literary fiction. Well done Sea Wife is a compelling portrait of a modern marriage on the rocks and coming to terms with trauma and grief. While I found it well written, thoughtful and atmospheric, it was nothing like I expected and I walked away less enthused than I had hoped.I had heard this book described as a page turning thriller of a family at sea on a journey that upends their lives. I was expecting an adventure, for them to get lost at sea and have to battle for survival but I got literary fiction. Well done literary fiction, but not what I was counting on. As a result, most of the book felt like a quiet setup for action I was waiting for that never came. There were exciting moments and the novel moves quickly due to the dual POVs and timelines, elements that I appreciated and enjoyed, but I would never call this a thriller or page turner. It is much more introspective and a quiet reflection on love, marriage, trauma, political divisions and dreams. It took an almost analytical and intellectual approach to these topics that were at times beautiful and insightful (many highlighted sentences) but at others felt heavy handed, particularly when it got political. I'd be interested in reading more from the author. She has a gift for capturing characters and settings in a way that shines. I'm curious if I would have enjoyed the book more if it were marketed differently, though I may have been less compelled to pick it up.Recommend for: Fans of stories about challenging marriages, told here in a unique setting and an interesting style and formatMay not be for you if: You're looking for an adventure thriller
    more
  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    Juliet is depressed and boy does she hate that word. A lover of poetry, Juliet is a mother of two, deserter of her PhD and wife of Michael. She became progressively blue after the births of both of her children, now 7 and 2. Experiencing his own mid-life crisis, Michaels long buried dreams of freedom on a sailboat are coming to fruition. All he has to do is convince Juliet, who has never sailed a day in her life. With their marriage on the rocks, both husband and wife admit a fork in the road is Juliet is depressed and boy does she hate that word. A lover of poetry, Juliet is a mother of two, deserter of her PhD and wife of Michael. She became progressively blue after the births of both of her children, now 7 and 2. Experiencing his own mid-life crisis, Michael’s long buried dreams of freedom on a sailboat are coming to fruition. All he has to do is convince Juliet, who has never sailed a day in her life. With their marriage on the rocks, both husband and wife admit a fork in the road is imminent. Cajoling her with visions of blue skies and sunsets, the novice sailors set off on their adventure in Panama aboard the newly christened “Juliet.” Each chapter filled with divorce docking, sleeplessness, bickering and the well known saying that voyaging is merely fixing your boat in exotic locations, suddenly those sunsets feel few and far between. Told in fascinating detail, Juliet explores what led her to this point with humor and honesty while Michael’s version is expressed through his daily log book turned diary. Mildly seasick from the swells of their marriage, relationship to their mothers and messy past - I devoured each and every page of Sea Wife, not wanting to miss a beat. Cannot believe with such detail that author Amity Gaige is not a sailor herself! I also am positive my husbands sailing dreams are now permanently crushed because I am quite sure that I would never, ever be brave/crazy enough to undertake this challenge!
    more
Write a review