When I read a book I love, I tell everyone about it and I expect that everyone will love it because well, duh, it’s awesome. And when there’s a book I don’t like? Generally it falls into one of two categories. It’s either something that I recognize as something that just isn’t for me or – rarely – I label it as drivel. Sea Change by Jeremy Page falls into the “just not for me” category.
The book is based on the life of Guy who has a wife and younger daughter Freya. He is currently living on an old boat in the North Sea and has been for the past five years. The narrative of the book, however, starts with a family outing when Freya was four years old, a gorgeously written chapter that shows such insight into the family and their interactions with each other. I could feel the tension rising as the chapter continued and read on with great expectation.
The remainder of the book proved to be a disappointment to me, however. And I do recognize that this is a me issue – that the style just isn’t for me. The narrative meanders between Guy’s current life on his boat where he keeps a journal detailing the life and history of his family, but hte life and history as Guy wishes it had been. It’s work to figure out what in his journals actually happened and what Guy imagines has happened. I know it’s lazy, but I don’t want to work when I read fiction.
Books that appeal to me are plot driven, though not the ones that follow a formula. They have richly developed characters with depth that isn’t always immediately apparent. And while I love descriptions that really put me in the place of the book and take me away from my everyday, I lose interest after a few pages when they’re too dense with detail. That was some of the issue with Sea Change for me – so much of it was internal and reminiscing rather than developing a story for me. For you? Maybe a great book, but unfortunately with Sea Change it was a good thing I had a long lead time to read it because it was a slow go.
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In the interest of full disclosure, I received a copy of “Sea Change” by Jeremy Page as part of the BlogHer Book Club review program. I was compensated as part of this campaign, but all opinions remain my own. Obviously.
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