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Sea Change: A Novel Hardcover – Bargain Price, December 2, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
Hope arrives unexpectedly, as it usually does, in the form of another vessel and its occupants, an opportunity for Guy to reach beyond the stasis of his emotions and embrace another reality than his current fractured existence. Between the three elements of the novel, the accident, the drifting present and the nightly diaries, Page creates a seamless narrative where truth changes shape and intention, where Guy discovers a link between his most cherished child and the world around him. Anything is possible in the netherworld Guy inhabits, even the lessening of pain and the joy of reunion. That Page plumbs such emotional depth without a touch of the maudlin makes this story a moving and thought-provoking experience. Luan Gaines/2010.
The ending of the book is totally enigmatic except for the fact that he apparently works out his depression over his daughter's death, but may have developed depression over some other lost love or possible life possibility. His fantasy world begins to come together with his real life and a new world emerges with the meeting of a woman a decade older and her daughter a decade younger. What becomes of his real life is, as I said, enigmatic. Is there some meaning to the new direction in his later writings? Was he killed by wild animals, which would relate to his daughter's fate? Did he assume a new identity and form a new life? Did he commit suicide? I hope someone will answer these questions and a light bulb will turn on in my head because I'm definitely missing cohesion in the story line after reading this dreary tale that so intriguingly seemed to otherwise be building to something special.
Things begin in a surreal fashion. Guy and Judy are enjoying a carefree day in a secluded field with their preschool-age daughter, Freya. Page opens with the beautiful image of the young girl capturing a small bead of rainwater from a leaf. The peaceful moment is broken when out of nowhere, a wild stallion appears. He charges the unsuspecting couple killing Freya.
The setting shifts to five years after the accident. Divorced from Judy, Guy is living alone on a houseboat incessantly writing in a diary about what the couple's life would have been like if Freya had lived. He vividly imagines an alternative existence for the three of them. With maps filling the cabin, he envisions a family road trip across the southern United States. While fashioning this parallel world, ugly truths begin to emerge from his inner consciousness as he struggles to maintain a sense of what is real and what is not.
Stopping at a coastal pub where he once shared a poignant moment with Judy, Guy encounters Marta and her daughter, Rhona. Marta is a recent widow trying to come to terms with her husband's passing. Rhona, a wild child now in her twenties, expresses her grief through sexual provocation and suicide attempts. Despite the drama they bring to his solitary existence, Guy begins to feel an intimate connection to them. His feelings for Rhona are complicated. At times, he feels nothing but lust, or he looks at her like the daughter he once had who never had the chance to grow up.Read more ›
The book is extraordinary. I don't think I have it in me to explain how Mr. Page can illuminate both the beauty and pain of a single moment. I was captivated from the beginning, held in suspense by his deceptively leisurely narration.
In 2010, shortly after the book was released, Washington Post staff writer Ron Charles wrote, "As introspective and painful as "Sea Change" is, it remains engaging and even surprising all the way to the end. Page knows enough about real grief to be aware follows no regular stages."
I take issue only with one thing that Mr. Charles said. "This is a difficult book to recommend - a voyage into dark waters all of us want to avoid - but if something about the description resonates with you, seek it out; it won't lead you astray."
It's true that the subject matter is painful, but the story is so beautiful, the main character's grief so authentic, I can't help but recommend it. It's not light reading, and I hate endings that leave major questions unanswered, but the story will stay with me. In my estimation, that earns it highest praise.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
We have a winner.
I have gone through the first half of this year having found only one book to which I could give my picky 5-star rating (and that not even being a... Read more
This is a terrific book. Yes, there were times I found Page's descriptions of the sea dull, even repetitive. Read morePublished on May 23, 2011 by algo41