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Sea Change

3.4  ·  Rating Details ·  189 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
After his daughter dies, Guy is alone, searching for answers. He sets out to sea on an old Dutch barge, and every night writes the imagined diary of the man he should be and the family he should have. As he travels, his stories begin to unfold in unexpected ways.
Audio CD, 8 pages
Published December 1st 2010 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published 2009)
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(showing 1-30)
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I adored the exquisite lyrical prose and sensuous atmospherics of this tale of a man’s struggle to surpass the grief of the loss of his four-year old daughter. The metaphors for his emotional life which he experiences so easily in this liminal zone he inhabits between river and sea, sky and water, are so lovely (and came through well in audiobook form). But for me the grasp on existence he achieves through living alone on a barge in an estuary in East Anglia just kind of hangs ethereal in my min ...more
Aug 26, 2016 Gloria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
We have a winner.

I have gone through the first half of this year having found only one book to which I could give my picky 5-star rating (and that not even being a novel, but Nathaniel Hawthorne's ridiculously beautiful love letters).

Jeremy Page just changed that.
And has quite possibly gained a new, somewhat obsessed, fan.

Why this book?
Why, as readers, are we impacted by any book or character?
I think, usually, because we see shades of ourselves in them.

In this case, I saw myself in Guy.
Guy is a
Ron Charles
Nov 26, 2013 Ron Charles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nicole Kidman's "Rabbit Hole" opens Friday on a tide of advance praise and mutterings about Oscar nominations. It's an adaptation of David Lindsay-Abaire's Pulitzer Prize-winning play about a couple whose 4-year-old son is accidentally killed. Acclaimed movies about horse-racing or India or Julia Child usually stir up interest in related books, but Jeremy Page's thoughtful novel about a father who loses his 4-year-old daughter is unlikely to get that boost from Hollywood. There is a limit, after ...more
Naomi Dathan
Jan 11, 2012 Naomi Dathan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I felt very noble when I decided to read Sea Change by Jeremy Page. It was clear even from the summary, that this was a reflective, intelligent book. There are times when I enjoy reading books like that. This isn't really one of them. These days, I want to be entertained. However, I decided to give it a fair shot.

The book is extraordinary. I don't think I have it in me to explain how Mr. Page can illuminate both the beauty and pain of a single moment. I was captivated from the beginning, held in
Aug 21, 2015 Ms.pegasus rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A freak tragedy unfolds in slow motion in the opening chapter of this book. A young couple and their four year old daughter Freya enjoy an outing in an East Anglia meadow on a spring day of rare perfection. The mother, Judy, is immersed in a book of poetry. The father, Guy, and Freya are immersed in the shared wonder of nature's microcosmic worlds. That perfection is shattered in a few moments when a dangerous stallion breaks loose from a distant pen. He seems to appear out of nowhere. Even as t ...more
Feb 18, 2011 sara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To put it as simply as possible, Sea Change is a beautiful book. Readers first meet main character Guy in the middle of an idyllic day spent with his wife and their young daughter. Father and daughter stop to examine their reflections in a drop of dew while mother reads poetry while sitting on a broken tree branch. Things quickly take a surreal turn, however, and the simple pleasures of the day turn to horror. Every moment of the quietly harrowing first chapter is written with absolute masterly ...more
Kathleen Hagen
Sea Change, by Jeremy Page, narrated by John Lee, produced by Blackstone Audio, downloaded from

This is the story of a young father coming to terms with his own grief about the sudden and inexplicable death of his little daughter. He buys a boat and lives on the sea. For five years he writes in his diary every night, concocting the life that he thinks would have proceeded if his daughter had lived. He would still be with his wife, they would have taken the long promised trip across A
I got pulled into this book by its beautiful, descriptive language. The land, the water, the boat were characters that participated in the plot in very real ways. And the world "real" means a lot here, because the main character, Guy, is at best half real. He lives on an old barge, trolling around the North Sea's coast, lost in more ways than one. Five years prior a terrible fluke accident had occurred and his young daughter was killed. His marriage did not survive long after her death. At least ...more
Nov 19, 2011 Karyl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautifully written novel centering around a young father's grief at losing his daughter in a freak accident. To deal with his pain, Guy takes to his boat and writes a diary of sorts, except instead of recounting his daily life, he writes what might have been, had his daughter Freya not been killed. It's difficult for the reader, not to mention Guy himself, to realize what is real and what exists onl in Guy's imagination. He's truly trying to search for Freya, and it's not until he bat ...more
Aug 01, 2013 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I 'enjoyed' this book...I quote it because 'enjoy' is maybe not something you can do with a book about such great loss. But this author writes beautifully and I was drawn into the story almost immediately.

I struggled through the beginning third mainly because I was annoyed with the diary aspect...writing about a 'what if life' didn't really interest me. However, as the story progressed, I realized how important that aspect was and just how unique that story-telling tool was.
Dec 09, 2012 Al rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent well-written story of a man dealing with loss. It's set against a backdrop of the North Sea, on a Dutch barge, and a road-trip across the USA. It's a story of the vulnerability and tensions of relationships, beautifully written. Page's descriptions of place are also described very well - the scenes on the North Sea are very vivid, and as a boater, you can well imagine being there.
Chris McClinch
An intersting novel revolving around writing and escape as methods of dealing with a tragedy. I Found the novel to be involving and a quick read, but I still found myself wanting more from it when I finished. I'm not sure that the third part of the novel worked for me, although the middle part was quite strong. This isn't one that I'd strongly recommend, although it does have a certain charm.
Sarah B.
The description of the book (as well as some glowing reviews) led me to believe that I would love it. Unfortunately, I found it impossible to even like it after the first chapter.

The first chapter was gripping, tragic, and utterly compelling. I congratulated myself on finding such a great book and settled in for the rest. Unfortunately, after re-establishing Guy, the main character, after the events of chapter one, the novel begins to switch back and forth between what is happening in the story
Donald Blum
This sad story is a character study of a man suffering depression over the loss of his 5-year-old daughter in a tragic accident and the way he has dealt with it for the five years since. To maintain his sanity, he has kept a false diary of daily life with his wife and daughter as if the daughter had never died and his wife had never left him soon after. His life is a disaster since then so the fake diary entries he writes every night are all he has to not want to end his own life.

The ending of
Julie Presley
Nov 14, 2012 Julie Presley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was so brilliantly beautiful. From the very first paragraph, my mouth was gaping open. I had to keep checking to make sure it was written by a man, because... who knew men could be so detailed! Jeremy Page totally floored me with his use of description, he more than adequately painted the scenes that ebbed and flowed through this book.

The story is about a man on the other side of a tragic event that ripped his family apart, and how he copes with the losses. I was awestruck by the creat
Nov 04, 2015 Kjsbreda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A man, Guy, loses his 4 year-old daughter in a vicious animal attack. A few months later, his marriage fails. He buys an old barge and lives on it, all the while exploring the North Sea and various river estuaries. Each night in the ship's log, he records a fictional life in which his child lives and his marriage endures. This is the best book, albeit a very sad one, that I have read all year.

The narrative is composed of four things: Guy's lucid, almost microscopically-detailed observations of
Oct 02, 2015 Dawn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author tells an original tale of one father’s grieving process following the sudden death of his small daughter, without being overly sentimental. The main character’s use of a diary to create an imaginary, alternate family history was intriguing and added depth to the characters and themes. However, I listened to the audiobook version and initially found it hard to follow the switch between the main character in the present and the events that he described in the diary. Additionally, while ...more
Jun 16, 2016 Ruth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I almost gave up in the first chapter. It was very disturbing and violent; a family in a field getting attacked by a wild horse. But I kept reading and it turned out to be a swell book.

After the crazy beginning, the book centers around the emotional and intellectual fall out of that experience, from the point of view of the father, named Guy. He lives on a boat and then takes it for a voyage into the North Sea.

He meets up with other boats, and the crews, so there is a plot. Guy has a routine o
Aug 26, 2011 Patricia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a "mind dump" book. Every thought, no matter how fleeting, that goes through Guy's mind is minutely examined and described. When the book is over the reader knows this man intimately. I listened to Sea Change on my mp3 - and loved every second of it. Jeremy Page's powers to evoke a mood are very strong. The tone of the narrative tinkles, surges, roars, sighs, laughs, etc. etc. by turns, and, somehow, the lyrics evoke Guy's immediate environment (raging sea, deep, quiet forests of Georgia ...more
I wanted to like this book -- a literary novel set at sea. But after reading only the first two chapters I don't think I can go on. Page writes beautifully, lyrically, with an insight to human thought and emotion but I can't believe the situations he puts his narrator in.

Although stallions can be formidable animals I had trouble believing in this evil horse out to kill the protagonist and his family. I kept reading because I thought the metaphor was more important, the symbolism of a man trying
For me, this book was boring. However, I feel so much more intellectual after reading it because this author is so poignant and VERY descriptive in his writing. I could have really liked this book IF WE COULD HAVE WENT WITH OUT THE DESCRIPTIVE just went on and on about mundane descriptions of whatever. During most of the reading I'm thinking, "do I really need to know about this, or are you just trying to take up space to make this book longer THAN IT NEEDS TO BE???"

I'll end here,
Apr 10, 2011 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A masterfully blended narrative of the past, present and imagined future of one man who lost everything. Guy has been living on a barge for five years, unable to let go of the life he had with his family before a terrible tragedy tore it apart. He keeps a diary of his life with Judy, his ex-wife and Freya, his daughter; a diary of how their lives could have been. Page's writing is so good you find yourself invested in his "what if," only belatedly remembering that Guy's counter-narrative is not ...more
Carla Patterson
Apr 03, 2015 Carla Patterson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-challenge
I was looking for something to listen to one night and came across this book by Jeremy Page. His book, Salt, got rave reviews but I couldn't find that anywhere. Thought I'd give this a try instead.

The writing is deeply evocative and intelligent and the story (actually, more like stories plural) being told is fascinating and fresh. The lush detail of each place, character, and event speaks volumes in a relatively spare style. I got hooked within the first few minutes and had a hard time putting i
What happened to Guy? That was my problem. I don't like endings that leave me up in the air. I so loved when his exwife was in the story. I always hope characters get reunited. He finally found his way in life and now he's gone. Good imagry but with Guy gone I feel a little lost. Good story and quite the surprise ending to me. A little too much information which I skipped through to make the book go faster.
I love this book. It didn't matter if the author was telling the story or the main character was creating his alternate life in his diary, I was emotionally involved and believing every bit of it. One of those books that when you finish you can't imagine picking up and starting another book, not yet. Really a stunning feat of writing.
Irene Dreger
Jun 18, 2014 Irene Dreger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first chapter of this book is indicative of the powerful descriptive ability of Jeremy Page.
The remainder of the book has many similar brilliant pieces describing in great detail events and situations in such a manner that I was totally drawn in, captivated and felt I totally understood his points.
Lovely, lovely book.
Aug 30, 2014 Suzanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very different kind of story of a father's emotions over the most horrible of losses, that of his child. In an effort to deal with this devastation, Guy embarks on a solitary journey at sea.
The reader is fluctuated between fantasy and reality, as Guy relives the past and creates a life that might have been.
Feb 09, 2013 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A gorgeously written book about loss and life after loss, executed in an atypical way. It's very descriptive and character-centric. The care that went into writing this book makes me so happy as a reader and writer. Highly recommended if you love slow-paced, lyrical books.
Apr 07, 2013 Sherry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Now that I am through with this book I can't believe I almost gave up on it. It is a little slow going at first, and the jumps from present to past to future can be confusing, but the perseverence is well worth the effort. This is a beautifully written book with much sadness, but hope, too.
Jul 27, 2012 Eldra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The narrative structure is very innovative. The main character is trying to cope with a traumatic loss by trying to create a diary that records his life without the loss. I have never read anything quite like this. The prose is beautiful and the ideas reverberate with candid truth.
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What Happened To Guy? 1 6 Dec 27, 2011 07:09AM  
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“It's a wonderful thing to write. You can reclaim the things you lost.” 7 likes
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