Meg's Reviews > Safe from the Sea

Safe from the Sea by Peter Geye
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Jan 25, 11

bookshelves: indie-lit-awards, literary-fiction, read-in-2011, favorites
Read from January 17 to 19, 2011

Moody. Atmospheric. Unforgettable. In this stunning debut from author Peter Geye, a father and son are reconciled -- and laid open, bare, along the frozen shores of Lake Superior in Minnesota.

Peter Geye’s Safe From The Sea offers just what its lovely, cold cover suggests: a turbulent tale of a father’s love; a depiction of the emotional and physical landscapes that divide us from one another, then reunite us once more. Though emotionally difficult, it’s a book I savored and found over all too quickly.

From the moment I was introduced to Noah, I felt a strong affinity for him. It was obvious the years had taken their toll -- just as they had on his father, a man I was determined to dislike but ultimately could not. Olaf -- reticent; headstrong; self-sufficient -- isn’t accustomed to asking anyone for anything. But in reaching his hand out to Noah, and doing it on his own terms, I felt I could accept and love him. Just like his children do.

In telling the story of the Torr family, Geye chooses each word carefully. Never once did the pacing falter; never once was I weighed down with detail, with too much superfluous information. We’re told what it is we need to know. Often, this irks me — I mean, how soft was a pillow? How bright was the light? How warm was a kiss, or comforting an embrace? But you know, in reading Safe From The Sea, it never occurred to me to think about what was missing. All I could do was feel grateful for all I was given.

It’s been a long time since I found a book that so moved me -- a book I couldn’t help talking about with friends and coworkers. I didn’t expect to fall so in love with a novel set in a freezing landscape about a disjointed family -- but that’s precisely what happened. I loved that it was so different from anything else I’ve read in recent months. I loved that I fell in love with the characters . . . even the difficult ones.

For readers interested in family sagas, maritime histories (boats! high seas!) or profound looks at fatherhood and love, look no further than Safe From The Sea. My heart won’t be the same again.

For my full review, visit write meg!
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Reading Progress

01/17/2011 page 45
18.0%
01/18/2011 page 98
38.0% "At a pretty emotional part... have a feeling this book is going to make me sob."
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