Juliet is failing to juggle motherhood and her anemic dissertation when her husband, Michael, informs her that he wants to leave his job and buy a sailboat. The couple are novice sailors, but Michael persuades Juliet to say yes. With their two kids - Sybil, age seven, and George, age two, Juliet and Michael set off for Panama, where their 44-foot sailboat awaits them - a boat that Michael has christened the Juliet.
The initial result is transformative: Their marriage is given a gust of energy, and even the children are affected by the beauty and wonderful vertigo of travel. The sea challenges them all - and most of all, Juliet, who suffers from postpartum depression.
Sea Wife is told in gripping dual perspectives: Juliet's first-person narration, after the journey, as she struggles to come to terms with the dire, life-changing events that unfolded at sea; and Michael's captain's log - that provides a riveting, slow-motion account of those same inexorable events.
Exuberant, harrowing, witty, and exquisitely written, Sea Wife is impossible to put down. A wholly original take on one of our oldest stories - survival at sea - it also asks a pertinent question for our polarized political moment: How does a crew with deep philosophical differences and outmoded gender roles bring a ship safely to shore?