SEA CREATURES by Susanna Daniel
Available now from Harper Audio.
From the Publisher:
When Georgia Quillian returns to her hometown of Miami, her husband, Graham, and their young son in tow, she is hoping for a fresh start. The family has fled Illinois trailing scandal and disappointment, the fallout from Graham’s severe sleep disorder and Georgia’s failed business. To make matters worse, their charming three-year-old son, Frankie, has for months refused to speak a word.
Although Georgia is still grieving her mother’s death from five years earlier, her father and stepmother offer warm welcome—and a slip for the dilapidated houseboat Georgia and Graham have chosen to call home. On a lark, Georgia takes a job as an errand runner for a reclusive artist who lives in the middle of the bay, and she soon finds that time spent with the intense hermit might help Frankie find the courage to speak, and might also help her reconcile the woman she was with the woman she has become.
But when Graham leaves to work on a research vessel in Hurricane Alley, and the truth behind Frankie’s mutism is revealed, the family’s challenges return, more complicated than before. As a hurricane bears down on South Florida later that summer, Georgia must face the fact that her choices have put her only child in grave danger.
Sea Creatures is a mesmerizing exploration of the high stakes of marriage and parenthood, the story of a woman forced to choose between her husband, her child, and the possibility of new love.
“I listened to the audio version of Sea Creatures, which was narrated by the excellent Karen White. (White is a friend of EDIWTB – read her Q&A here.) Karen’s voice matched the tone of the book perfectly – urgent, yet emotionally restrained at the same time (like Georgia). This was a great audiobook. It moved along swiftly and effectively conveyed the growing tension throughout the book. White also did a nice job with some of the smaller characters, creating convincing accents for each and giving them an impact that outmatched the number of pages that they inhabited.”
From the Literate Housewife review:
“The audiobook was well produced and White’s steady command of the story kept calling me back from the edge when my blood pressure started to rise.”
My recording experience:
Although I have to give a warning that this book is not for the anxiety-prone mom, as some of us just can’t handle even reading about bad things happening to children, to me Daniel‘s writing trumps the subject matter. The plot is not at all exploitative, and I found the emotional journey that Georgia takes to be ultimately uplifting. Wrenching and agonizing at moments, yes, as life unfortunately can be. But hopeful, in the end, as mother and child move through their fears and personal tragedies to forge a new path. Highly recommend this one for all listeners who appreciate evocative language and a moving story.
Listen to a sample here:
- Sea Creatures By Susanna Daniel (mauriceonbooks.wordpress.com)