Safe From the Sea

Safe from the SeaSafe from the Sea by Peter Geye

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Lots of “R” words come to mind with this book: relationships, reminiscences, reunions, reconciliation, and redemption. This is the story of a shipwreck that scarred the lives of the survivors and their families. I liked the setting and the author does a good job of evoking a Minnesota winter on the north shore. A good book, but I wanted to like it more. Perhaps, like the Norwegians he is writing about, emotions are treated a little too cerebrally, the drama too carefully contained. There is a lot below the surface here though, and it is ultimately a very satisfying and uplifting read.

Book description: Set against the powerful lakeshore landscape of northern Minnesota, Safe from the Sea is a heartfelt novel in which a son returns home to reconnect with his estranged and dying father thirty-five years after the tragic wreck of a Great Lakes ore boat that the father only partially survived and that has divided them emotionally ever since. When his father for the first time finally tells the story of the horrific disaster he has carried with him so long, it leads the two men to reconsider each other. Meanwhile, Noah’s own struggle to make a life with an absent father has found its real reward in his relationship with his sagacious wife, Natalie, whose complications with infertility issues have marked her husband’s life in ways he only fully realizes as the reconciliation with his father takes shape. Peter Geye has delivered an archetypal story of a father and son, of the tug and pull of family bonds, of Norwegian immigrant culture, of dramatic shipwrecks and the business and adventure of Great Lakes shipping in a setting that simply casts a spell over the characters as well as the reader.

Audiobook narrated by David Aaron Baker.

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