ContemporaryOur Wives Under The Sea by Julia Armfield

Our Wives Under The Sea by Julia Armfield

What. The. Heck.

I veered violently from loving this to throwing it down not wanting to see the ending. This is astoundingly unique, hugely atmospheric and incrementally creepy, building the unease. From the very first page it was as if a fog had descended around me, the watery tension was so palpable. You know somethings coming but I didn’t guess what. 

A tragic, lyrical love story, Leah is a marine researcher who leaves wife Miri behind, thought lost on a daring expedition to the greatest depths of the ocean. Splitting the narrative, we follow Leah and her crew trapped whilst seeing the impact and grief Miri suffers. When Leah returns, months after being presumed dead, she is irrevocably changed.

Intimate, claustrophobic, gothic and unsettling, I was totally enthralled by the writing. The relationship between the couple is so detailed, down to such a nuanced point that the characters felt very real to me. I loved the portrayal of the water, the fears and the elements of myth, folklore and religion deftly weaved into the prose.

Though this will not be a book for everyone and isn’t my usual genre to read, away from the horror/supernatural I feel like the overarching story of dealing with massive change in a partner is hugely applicable, relating to all manner of illnesses and challenges. The confusion and loss Miri experiences, her desperation to help was so moving.

I have a passionate, infinite love of the ocean but this made me think completely differently about the raw power of the water, the wildlife and eco system underneath. This was beautifully written and the cover is one of the best of the year without question.

~ Chaya

Photo: taken by Kira at the fabulous @portybooks ~ it’s the perfect shot so we had to share (permission expressly given to use).

Ad:PR Copy with no contractual obligation to review ~ thank you @picadorbooks for sending this over!

Order your copy here.

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