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The Sea Captain's Wife (2010)

por Beth Powning

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20530105,113 (4.02)46
As a new wife living on the Bay of Fundy in the 1860s, Azuba craves a life beyond the tea and sewing circles. When her husband, Nathaniel, allows her to join him abroad, she faces tests that only a woman with a tenacious spirit and boundless fortitude could conquer.
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Mostrando 1-5 de 30 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
I thought this story was amazing. The characters are so well described you become attached to them. You really live the experience of travelling the seas in the 1840’s. Difficult to read at times but what an adventure. Recommended. ( )
  janismack | Sep 13, 2019 |
I picked up this book at a library booksale because my previous reading by Powning proved her to be an excellent, expressive writer. This novel of a 19th century Canadian sea captain and his new wife did not disappoint. Powning can transport the reader to the horrifying experience of rounding Cape Horn under sail, a month in the doldrums, or being attacked by pirates, so well that you can well imagine what it was like. A completely enthralling novel. ( )
  VivienneR | Mar 13, 2018 |
Everything Beth Powning does is good, and this book is no exception. Beautiful, creative use of language, interesting docu-drama type story, with plenty of 'human interest'. The latter is what kept me reading. Powning obviously has a deep understanding of people and relationships. Her portrait of the relationship between the sea captain's wife and the priest is so spot on that I felt I was watching from deep inside the character's mind. ( )
  oldblack | Feb 2, 2015 |
All she ever wanted was life at sea with a sea-faring husband. When Azuba marries a ship’s captain, she thinks her dreams have come true, until her safety causes him to reconsider. Longing for the sea and her husband, she is dissatisfied with life on land. When, eventually, the captain agrees to take his wife and young daughter on his next voyage, some of the horrific circumstances they encounter during their many months at sea cause her regret. During her life, she has met sea-faring families of all types – captains who travel for years without seeing their families, families who travel together, captain’s wives who travel and leave their children behind. Azuba loves the sea and wants her family together. It all comes down to that.

Beth Powning’s characters felt real to their times. Her research was seamless in the story, not shoehorned in. I thoroughly enjoyed her writing and her story. ( )
  countrylife | Apr 22, 2014 |
This was a terrific book. Azuba grew up in Whelan's Cove, on the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick. She dreamed of marrying a sea captain and going to sea with him like she saw other women doing. When she does marry a sea captain, Nathaniel Bradstock, she is sure the dream is going to come true but instead her husband sails off without her and she stays in the house her father built for her in Whelan's Cove. She has their first child, Carrie, while Nathaniel is at sea. When he comes back he is loving towards Carrie and Carrie loves him back. But he still won't allow Azuba and Carrie to accompany him. On his next journey Azuba miscarries the child conceived while he was at home. The new minister comes to visit her and they form a deep friendship. He likes to walk on the shore and pick up specimens and Azuba and Carrie often accompany him or welcome him at their home so he can show them his finds. One time, Azuba and the minister decide to hike to a nearby rock formation which can only be reached when the tide is out. They fall asleep and the tide comes in stranding them overnight on the rock. Everyone in Whelan's Cove learns of this. When Nathaniel comes home he is told of Azuba's disgrace and he decides that they must accompany him on his next trip.

Their journeys are fraught with danger. Going around Cape Horn in a sailing vessel is a tricky business and the ship must do it twice. Winds are unpredictable and sailors as well. Some times Azuba regrets her wish to join her husband on his journeys. She also knows that it distracts Nathaniel from his ship duties to have to worry about her and Carrie. But they do grow closer as a couple and the bond between father and daughter becomes deep.

The author must have done a lot of research to write this book. There are details about clothing, shipboard life, places, even children's toys that are woven seamlessly into the book but you know she must have had to read extensively to find them.

I just had one small disappointment with the book. (There's a spoiler following so don't read this if you intend to read the book.) Nathaniel's mother is referred to often in the first half of the book. She is portrayed as domineering and unloving. She decides many of the journeys taken by the ships in the family company and even provisions them. However, when Nathaniel is injured and has to return to New Brunswick, leaving the sailing life behind, there is no reference to his mother. I found that odd and I felt it left a loose end. Otherwise it was a wonderfully written and plotted book in my estimation. ( )
  gypsysmom | Jan 21, 2012 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 30 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
New Brunswick's Beth Powning lets her imagination run away from her in The Sea Captain's Wife. This turns out to be just fine, as we lucky readers get to go along for the voyage.
adicionada por starfishian | editarthestar.com, Donna Bailey Nurse (Mar 7, 2010)
 
Infused with rich period detail, right down to the bone buttons that adorn their hand-sewn clothes, the Age of Sail is alive and of real local import in Powning's looking glass.
 
For travellers, virtual and actual, The Sea Captain's Wife offers a fine and variegated journey: back in time (to the 1860s) and around the world on a merchant sailing ship.

The book is clearly thoroughly researched, yet never reads as written research but as lives fully and panoramically lived. It reads as real. I am a witness to its truth and sweep. I read, and was there.
 
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The nearest dream recedes, unrealized,
The heaven we chase
Like the June bee...

Emily Dickinson, Poem 30
Did sea define the land or land the sea?
Each drew new meaning from the waves' collision.
Sea broke on land to full identity.

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wind and stars
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Whelan's Cove is a place of departures.
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She watched the pulsing coals, thinking of how only yesterday she’d caught herself watching the birds, envying them their freedom to fly away home, and then remembered how she had stood on the beach in Whelan’s Cove, outlining her lips with a feather, still envying the birds, thinking of freedom as sailing away to sea.
Love, like hope, changed. It was buried in small moments and came most strongly when least expected. Freedom, Azuba saw, came at the same time, and so was not a matter of choice, but of grace. One could not find it, but rather was swept by it, as when she stepped from her corset and sighed, soothing with her fingers the welts on her skin. It was a kind of relief, a brief tumble into unbounded clarity.
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As a new wife living on the Bay of Fundy in the 1860s, Azuba craves a life beyond the tea and sewing circles. When her husband, Nathaniel, allows her to join him abroad, she faces tests that only a woman with a tenacious spirit and boundless fortitude could conquer.

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