Monday, December 6, 2010

Review and Winners : Sea Change

Author: Jeremy Page
Publisher/Format: Viking/Penguin, Hardcover, 288 pages
Characters: Guy, Judy, Freya, Marta, Ro
Subject: dealing with grief, solitude at sea
Setting: Somewhere in the North Sea
Genre: narrative fiction
Source: review copy from the publisher

Another stunning novel from the author of SALT, one that provokes a string of adjectives to describe the experience it brings to the reader: haunting, eerie, poignant, memorable, distressing.

As the story opens, Guy watches as his four year old daughter is killed and right there, I was seriously tempted to abandon further reading. I don't like to read about violence to children, but this one is written in such a dreamlike way that I was drawn in trying to figure out what was really happening.

After that 1st short chapter, we are suddenly catapulted to a scene that is five years later, and Guy is alone on a barge floating in tidal coastal waters near the North Sea.  He spends his time writing a diary of what he thought his life with his family would have been.  This surreal narration is interspersed with his introspection as his navigates the waters and spends his lonely hours filling time with music, reading, and the essentials of daily life.

He meets fellow marine nomads, an older woman and her barely adult daughter.  As he shares a few days with them, he begins to recover from his previous loss, and we get fleshed out details of what else happened to him at the beginning of the story.

This story is not a swash-buckling adventure story, nor is the narrative fast paced. It floats along at about the same pace as his daily life on the barge. Simply put, in spite of his dreams to the contrary, life goes on, inexorably drawing him to the sea. The story culminates in a splendid maritime storm scene that even non-sailors can appreciate, with a trance like and somewhat bizarre ending that will satisfy some readers and leave others scratching their heads.

It is a splendid piece of writing.  Page's prose is exquisitely evocative and lyrical, producing images that allow readers who have never been to sea, or to the North Sea area of the world, to experience the sights, sounds, smells, swells and sensations of a "sea change."

Many thanks to Langan Kingsley of Viking/Penguin press for providing the review copy and extras for the giveaway.

Now here are the two lucky winners who will have a chance to read this delightful book being published this week!! I have sent them emails and when they get their mailing addresses back to me, their books will be on the way.  Congratulations to



  1. Thanks so much Tina - already sent you my mailing info. Congrats to Debbie!

  2. Thank you, I look forward to reading it, congrats to Kaye,too.


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