Our Wives Under The Sea

Miri thinks she has got her wife back, when Leah finally returns after a deep-sea mission that ended in catastrophe. It soon becomes clear, though, that Leah is not the same. Whatever happened in that vessel, whatever it was they were supposed to be studying before they were stranded on the ocean floor, Leah has brought part of it back with her, onto dry land and into their home.

Moving through something that only resembles normal life, Miri comes to realize that the life that they had before might be gone. Though Leah is still there, Miri can feel the woman she loves slipping from her grasp.

Our Wives Under The Sea is the debut novel from Julia Armfield, the critically acclaimed author of salt slow. It’s a story of falling in love, loss, grief, and what life there is in the deep deep sea

I bought this book back in March and planned to read it shortly after the initial purchase. However, life happened and I didn’t pick it up until this month. I’m so angry that I could have loved this book months ago but I’m happy to have loved it this month. I really did enjoy this book.

This was such a short book which was told in dual narrative which alternated between Miri and Leah. Leah had participated in a deep sea mission in a submarine and had returned…changed. Miri, her wife, was struggling to come to terms with the changes that her wife was going through.

The element of mystery just grasped my attention and kept me turning the pages. I read this book during an afternoon because I just couldn’t put it down, it was also relatively short.

I felt so sorry for Miri. Leah had basically been missing and returned back to home, months later than expected. Leah didn’t talk about what happened but clearly something had happened. Miri struggled to make sense of the changes to her wife as she just didn’t know what was happening or what had happened.

I really enjoyed the combination of chapters set during the current time and chapters set in the past, as well as chapters set in the submarine. Ever so slowly, all was revealed and I really enjoyed that. I did not see the twist coming at all and was taken thoroughly by surprise. I gasped at multiple points during this book.

The chapters in the submarine just felt so claustrophobic! The whole book felt so chilling and ominous throughout. This is a book that I can see myself rereading during October when I convince myself that I want to be scared.

This is the second book that I have read in recent history that featured deep sea exploration and this was my favourite of the two. I am not into the idea of navigating the depths of the sea but there’s just something about books and the sea that intrigue me. I think it’s the mystery of the sea, we don’t know what is down there and that gives me chills!

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