Monday, November 4, 2013

Julie's Review: Sea Creatures

Summary: In Sea Creatures, a riveting domestic drama by Susanna Daniel, a mother must make the unthinkable choice between her husband and her son. When Georgia Qullian returns to her hometown of Miami, her toddler and husband in tow, she is hoping for a fresh start. They have left Illinois trailing scandal and disappointment in their wake, fallout from her husband's severe sleep disorder. For months, their three-year-old son has refused to speak a word. On a whim, Georgia takes a job as an errand runner for a reclusive artist and is surprised at how her life changes dramatically. But soon the family's challenges return, more complicated than before. Late that summer, as a hurricane bears down on South Florida, Georgia must face the fact that her decisions have put her only child in grave danger. Sea Creatures is a mesmerizing exploration of the high stakes of marriage and parenthood.

Review: Sea Creatures has a definite sense of foreboding in it from the minute you start the novel. It is atmospheric in the description of both Stiltsville and of life in Miami. You can feel the heat and humidity radiating through the novel as you read. It is not a novel that lends itself to being devoured in a sitting but rather something you want to keep coming back to because of the characters.

Since Georgia tells this story in retrospect I wonder how much of it has been colored with hindsight? It does seem to me that Georgia is honest in her retelling of that time in her family's life. I liked Georgia, I felt for Georgia. Marriage and parenting isn't easy, it's damn hard work and I felt that her story reflected that. The decisions we make as a parent/mother will always have some kind of affect on our child(ren). One doesn't know if a different decision would have changed the course of her life, Frankie's life and ultimately Graham's.

I'm usually not thrilled with ambiguity especially when it comes to certain things that I want definite knowledge about but it works within this novel. It works because you know that in the end Georgia does her best to protect Frankie.  Does she always succeed? No, but there are some things that you can't always protect your children from.

I like how for a time, Georgia and Frankie pull Charlie out of his shell. How they do save his life in many different ways. He also in many ways saves both of them. It is through Frankie's relationship with Charlie that he learns to trust and grow. Charlie instilled a love of art in Frankie and we see that as he gets older.

For those readers who like a realistic view of marriage and of parenthood, then Sea Creatures is one to check out. For those of you who like bows and ribbons on your stories, this may not be for you.
Final Take: 4.25/5



Alice November 8, 2013 at 1:03 PM  

Adding this one to my wish list. Sounds like my kind of novel.

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