Sea Changes by Gail Graham was a good read for me. It’s hard to categorize this novel as any one theme as there were many: grief, healing, fantasy, mystery, and hope. It’s an emotional journey through one woman’s battle to survive the grief and loneliness she’s left with when her husband dies.
Sarah’s husband Charles dies unexpectedly and Sarah is devastated and lost. Charles was her everything; so much so that she put him before their children. Consequently her marriage was wonderful but her relationships with her children Felicity and Sean are just good, but not great. Sarah is really wandering aimlessly through her life, really just going through the motions. Her daughter Felicity especially feels that it’s time for Sarah to move on and start life again, maybe even marry; it has been two years after all.
Finally Sarah, exhausted with trying to pretend everything is ok, decides to take her own life. She heads down to the beach and swims out into the ocean. She’ll just swim until she’s tired and then let go. She wants it to appear an accident, not a suicide so her kids will be able to collect the insurance money. All of a sudden though there is this young girl, Bantryd and she wants Sarah to follow her. Bantryd leads Sarah to an underwater world and explains to her that she’s a vestigant-a person who can move from life on land to life in the water. Sarah is drawn to this world and especially to Xaxanader who appears to be the leader. However she is overwhelmed and scared and wants to go home so Xaxanader leads her back to the beach. He wants her to want to come to the underwater world willingly.
Sarah returns home and she’s sure it was all just a dream, but was it? It couldn’t have been, it just seemed so real. Finally she decides to try again. Either she’ll drown or she’ll find this underwater world again. On this second visit, Sarah is asked to bring back Bantryd who is trying to find her parents. This proves to cause all kinds of problems because Bantryd looks a lot like an hieress who has gone missing. Sarah ends up embroiled in a mess of trouble as everything seems to be pointing to her as the one who has kidnapped the heiress.
This novel takes place in Australia and it was interesting to read the differences in the cultures. I also really enjoyed the concept of parallel worlds. This one we live on land and maybe an underwater one at sea. It makes you stop and think that really anything is possible. I spent a lot of the book wondering if in the end Sarah would wake up and we would find it had all just been a dream but you’ll have to read for yourself to see if that actually happens. There could in fact be other worlds out there going on around us all the time.
I like Gail Graham’s writing style and her descriptions of the area leave you feeling as though you had been there. Her character development of Sarah is excellent. I felt for Sarah. I could feel her pain, grief, confusion and loneliness and then her hope for a new life with the discovery of this other world. I cared about her and I cared about what the outcome of her life would be at the end of this story. This story is for anyone who has ever lost someone and has felt that overwhelming grief and wondered if there really is any hope of life after the loss. Through her depression Sarah realized that there was still hope but what does she ultimately decide? Does she stay with her family and continue on and try to rebuild her life? Or does she leave and go back to this fantasy world in the sea that offers her comfort and friendship; the things she’s been yearning for? Read it and find out for yourself.
Sea Changes was released on May 1, 2009 and you can buy it here in the US and here in Canada. Make sure and visit Gail Grahams website here.
Sandy Nawrot says
I remember reading several reviews of this book a few months ago…it would be hard to put into a category! It is already on my list. Great review!
A book that invokes feelings is usually wonderful.
I love the sound of this! The underwater world has me intrigued, but I also love books that portray emotions so powerfully and realistically.
This one sounds different but in a very good way. Enjoyed your thoughts on this one; on my list it goes, thanks!
Hi, Dar! I just emailed you! You won THE 8TH CONFESSION from James Patterson so I need you to email me your address, etc. Congrats and thanks for being a loyal follower!
I was pretty sure I would want to read this after seeing your highlight from the other day, but now I am convinced. Thanks for the terrific review 🙂
I recently read and reviewed this one, too. I absolutely loved it.
Linda Jacobs says
Sounds like a good summer read for me!
Thanks for your comment on my craft blog, too! Yes, I was lucky!
Beth F says
I’ve had this on my radar for a while, your review has made want to track it down.
Red lady-Bonnie says
I like novels that don’t fit into a category as they tend to be their own unique style. Great review Dar!
Shelley/Book Fanatic says
This sounds intriguing! I’m adding it to my to-read list!
Sea Changes sounds like a good book, great review.
The parallel worlds concept sounds interesting.
This sounds really good and I love feeling like I’m in that actual setting when reading a book!! Great job on the review Dar.
Very interesting, not my usual kind of book, but you make it sound so good I might have to read it!…
I’ve never heard of this one. Sounds really good thanks to your review =) I’ll have to check it out.
Jenny Girl says
Great review Dar! Sounds like an interesting book. I haven’t read anything based in Austrailia
I’m trying to think of a book I’ve read that is set in Australia but I’m drawing a blank! It would be really interesting to see the differences in the cultures. Interesting about the underwater world!
This sounds like a very unique and interesting book. The underwater plot is something that I had not seen before. Great review! Thanks.
This one sounds fascinating. I’ll definitely add it to my list.
Nymeth, I really liked that this book combined something different like an underwater world with the emotions of the real world.
Yvonne, I'll pop over and take a look at your review. I'd love to see what you thought.
Bonnie, yes it was unique and you're right it's nice to read something different sometimes.
Jenny & Trish, I don't think I've read anything based in Australia either and it was cool to read the differences in their culture to ours.
Everyone else, thanks for popping by and leaving me a comment on my review. If you get a chance to read the book, please let me know. I'd love to know your thoughts on it.
I think the fantasy aspect of the book sounds interesting. Glad to hear you enjoyed it.
Diary of an Eccentric