Sea Wife by Amity Gaige (2020) is a transporting read, following a young family who are sailing off on an adventure from Panama. In a time when all of our travel is curtailed, it was delightful to read about warm breezes, clear blue water and colorful foreign marketplaces. The story is told in two voices. Juliet, the wife, is the main narrator. Michael, the husband, is heard via his captain’s log. For me, however, the two voices were so similar in tone, I did not find this technique super helpful. But I read on and was soon entranced with the story. The couple, at the husband’s suggestion, leaves suburbia behind with two young children, ages 7 and 2, in tow. Troubles follow. Financial troubles, boat troubles, weather troubles and marital troubles too. There is a mystery as to what happens that keeps the reader acutely interested until the very end.
The NYT has recently started a book club called “Group Chat.” Readers can follow along from anywhere. Group Chat chose this book and their discussion questions can be found here. The novel reminded me of the real-life story of a family rescued at sea a few years back and the intense public interest in the family’s decision to take young children to sea. Families do indeed choose this wandering lifestyle. I read, with a touch of envy, the Zartman family blog about their cruising lifestyle and I am sure you will too.