Have you ever just wanted to leave your worries and responsibilities behind and go somewhere new? Well, that's exactly what the characters in Amity
Gaige's new novel Sea Wife
do. The story focuses on a young family who escape the monotony of suburbia for a year-long sailing trip that changed their lives in every sense of the word.
Juliet, the mother in Sea Wife
, finds that the trip relieves her of the depression she had been experiencing. The children, Sybil and George, finally experience the joys of life as unencumbered children at sea. Despite being novice sailors, they learn to operate the boat together. Juliet and Michael's marriage even improves through the experience.
The story is told in Juliet's first person perspective paralleled with Michael's captain's log. Sea Wife
is a story that shows the transformation a family experiences and the portrayal of optimism, disillusionment, and survival.
Gaige is the author of three previous novels, including O My Darling
, The Folded World
, and Schroder.
I spoke with her to learn more about Sea Wife
and her career as an author.
Where did the inspiration for Sea Wife come from?
First of all, I wanted to describe the drama and beauty of the sea. I loved writing about waves, wind, and weather. I'm also interested stories about risk-taking and adventure. In 2014, I heard about a family who was rescued by the Coast Guard. They'd been sailing with their two small children when one got sick in the middle of the South Pacific. These various influences started to gel into Sea Wife,
which is a totally fictional account of a family with little sailing experience who decides to throw off the fetters of conventional life, move to Panama, and sail into the unknown.
Sea Wife is a novel about unprecedented turmoil, which I'm sure many can relate to during these times. What aspects of the novel were intended to connect deeply with readers and their own lives?
Sea Wife author Amity Gaige. (Courtesy Photo)
The whole thing! I relate to some of my protagonist Juliet's challenges. She struggles with depression, but also with the daily stressors of being a mother and a wife, often losing herself in the process. I consider both Juliet and Michael's problems to be quite commonplace. He wants to be a free, self-reliant person, and he's frustrated by the political direction he sees the country taking. They are both trying to escape from their problems. Sadly, you can't really escape your problems, even in paradise. Just as in our polarized country, Michael and Juliet need to learn to sail their boat together - or fail, at their own peril.
What lesson do you hope readers come away with after reading Sea Wife?
Don't let your personal grievances and wounds keep you from love and connection. Communicate, live, and love while you can.
Leaving reality behind and living on a sailboat full time sounds pretty appealing right now. Have you ever considered doing something like this in your own life?
Ha, no! I'm a scaredy-cat. I'm not handy or brave - two characteristics of a good sailor. But I absolutely do feel the desire to leave reality behind. I think Sea Wife
is a good quarantine read because it lets you 'escape' to a gorgeous tropical landscape, but as The New York Times
review put it, the novel finally makes you appreciate the "firm, familiar ground' under your feet."
What's next for you? Do you have any big dreams you'd like to fulfill in the near future?
As it has with everyone else, the pandemic has shuffled around all my priorities. My goals have gotten a lot smaller. I'd just really like my two kids to go back to school! I dream less of climbing mountains or sailing oceans and more about having a day to myself, to read, think, and begin to process the meaning of all that has happened.
is available at BookHampton
(41 Main Street, East Hampton).
To learn more about Sea Wife or to purchase a copy, visit www.bookhampton.com
. To learn more about Amity Gaige, visit www.amitygaige.com
Sydney Braat is a Hamptons-raised and NYC-living journalist. She enjoys splitting her time between the bustling city life and relaxing atmosphere of the Hamptons. When she's not writing, Sydney is traveling. She thrives off of new experiences, cultures, cuisine, and languages. Sydney writes about the arts, philanthropy, food & wine, and shopping.
East End Tick Control
The East End's only New York State licensed dedicated tick and mosquito control specialists!
Hamptons Carpet One Floor & Home
We pay less,and so do you.With over 1,000 stores in our buying group, we can get the lowest prices
from the best flooring manufacturers — and pass the savings on to you.Visit our other locations: Hamptons Carpet One Floor & Home, 675 North Sea Road,Southampton, NY 11968
Southampton Masonry-Visiting the Southampton or the Wainscott locations is an exciting experience.
Southampton Masonry has been serving Long Island's masonry and tile needs since 1975. Delivering quality products from Manhattan to Montauk for over three decades. The company's continued success is due primarily to their number one priority: customer satisfaction, with a promise of prompt and courteous service from the professional, knowledgeable staff.
Southampton Masonry has the largest inventory on the east end. As direct importers they can offer a large variety of the finest quality products at the most competitive pricing for both your interior and exterior projects.
Southrifty Drug 54 Jagger Lane, Southampton Village
Southrifty Drug is a small, neighborhood pharmacy with limited shelf space, and we have to be very selective about which over-the-counter items we carry. As a result you'll find a no nonsense concentration of very effective, high quality and useful products on our shelves. In this new section, we feature a number of these products that we feel are especially worthy of your consideration.
Burner Law Group, P.C.
Burner Law Group, P.C. are full service elder law attorneys concentrating in the areas of Estate Planning, Trust and Estate Administration and Litigation, Special Needs Planning, Guardianship and Elder Law. Offices in East Setauket‚ NY, Westhampton Beach, NY, and New York, NY.