Moored in a coastal fishing town so far north that the highways only run south, the unnamed narrator of The Seas is a misfit. She's often the subject of cruel local gossip. Her father, a sailor, walked into the ocean eleven years earlier and never returned, leaving his wife and daughter to keep a forlorn vigil. Surrounded by water and beckoned by the sea, she clings to what her father once told her: that she is a mermaid.
True to myth, she finds herself in hard love with a land-bound man, an Iraq War veteran thirteen years her senior.The mesmerizing, fevered coming-of-age tale that follows will land her in jail. Her otherworldly escape will become the stuff of legend.
With the inventive brilliance and psychological insight that have earned her international acclaim, Samantha Hunt pulls readers into an undertow of impossible love and intoxication, blurring the lines between reality and fairy tale, hope and delusion, sanity and madness.
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Hunt's spare narrative is as mysterious and lyrical as a mermaid's song. The strands of her story are touched with magic, strange in the best possible way and very pleasurable to read.--Andrea Barrett
Urgently real and magically unreal . . . A breathy, wonderful holler of a novel, deeply lodged in the ocean's merciless blue . . . [Hunt] sinks an anchor into the soul of its lost young protagonist.
Hunt blends myth and reality -- if her father is from the sea, our narrator wonders, then isn't such magic in her blood as well? -- and ends up with something truly stunning.--BuzzFeed
In this dazzling, wrenching novel, Hunt challenges traditional mermaid mythology and constructs an unforgettable story about young womanhood in the process.--Bustle
One of the most distinctive and unforgettable voices I have read in years. This book will linger in your head for a good long time.--Dave Eggers
This modern feminist fairytale reels you in with its strangeness and beauty and gives voice to the dark realities of alcoholism, mental illness and the everyday messiness of [email protected]
It's hard to imagine that a book so brief could tackle the Iraq war, grief over the loss of a parent, the longing for freedom, an enthrallment with the ocean, loneliness, sexual awakening, faith, and etymology, all in less than 200 pages, but Samantha Hunt has done it, and done it well.--Chicago Review of Books
The Seas is creepy and poetic, subversive and strangely funny, [and] a phenomenal piece of literature.--Michelle Tea