I love to read. There was a time I would read anything I could get my hands on. My mom would tell you that she spent the better part of my 19th summer worried about me because I chose to read The Autobiography of Henry VIII for fun. It was longer than War and Peace, Crime and Punishment, and my mom would swear it was longer than the Bible. I don’t really know, but I’ve read those three from cover to cover as well.
The last few years I’ve been devoted to chick lit. It’s entertaining and light, but not anything that will give the medulla oblongata any sort of meaningful workout.
Enter Sea Change by Jeremy Page. I read it. It’s not chick lit. It’s not funny. It’s not light. But, it was intriguing and haunting and terrifying at times. Page reminds you constantly that “life has an elegance about it sometimes, of moments playing out you never thought would.” It’s those moments that he writes about: the string of moments in your life that seem surreal and distant, the moments that make you, the moments that ultimately break you.
Guy has lost his daughter in a freak tragedy which subsequently causes his divorce from his wife Judy. Unable to deal with the loss, Guy lives on a barge in the North Sea where he spends his days passing time and his nights creating the life he lost in a journal. It’s a fascinating concept. He just writes the life he imagines he would have had. He is paralyzed by his grief and his past, and you honestly feel like you will drown in a sea of grief with him. Just as the writing becomes unbearable, Page throws you a life preserver- a love interest, a storm, something to bring you back to the light, and then he you are forced to dive into the grief again.
Sea Change is not uplifting, but it’s not hopeless. It’s not entertaining, but it’s mesmerizing. Just as grief is surprising with its many ironies, so is this novel. Page has been able to freeze pivotal moments in the grieving process and drive readers to compassion.
So, if you’re looking for light-hearted holiday entertainment, this isn’t your book. But, if you’re ready for an honest and introspective story about a man who loves and loses his family, this one’s for you.
If you want to read more about Jeremy Page and Sea Change, go here. There are discussions, reviews, and summaries for you.
“I was compensated for this BlogHer Book Club review but all opinions expressed are my own.”