Review: Safe from the Sea

Safe from the SeaSafe from the Sea
By Peter Geye
Unbridled Books
September 2010
256pp

The Short of It:

A quiet, simple story about a father and a son. Told in simple, but beautiful prose, Safe from the Sea reminds you what it feels like to read a really good book.

The Rest of It:

Noah returns home to take care of his dying father, Olaf. The two have not been close for several years, so Noah is surprised at his father’s request. Although the decision to return home is not an easy one and is not a decision his wife Natalie is happy about, he decides to make the trip back to the lakeshore landscape of northern Minnesota. There, the two grapple with their past and what brought them to this place in their lives.

Peter Geye’s writing is simple and clean. There are no extraneous details to be found. Every word is thoughtfully chosen and blends seamlessly into the story as a whole. The characters are genuine and weathered to a degree, which makes them all the more endearing to the reader.

Most of the novel takes place in a cabin on the lake. Surrounded by the chill of winter, you can smell the fire in the wood stove, feel the crispness of the snow beneath their feet. This is one of those novels where the setting certainly adds to the story, but Geye manages to allow it to exist within the background, quietly. It doesn’t compete with the rest of the story, and I found that the same can be said for any of the components within this novel. They all mesh beautifully with one another.

2010 Indie Lit Awards Lit Fic Finalist

I really enjoyed Safe from the Sea. I found it to be deeply moving and well told.

Source: Purchased

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24 thoughts on “Review: Safe from the Sea”

  1. I’ve not read a bad review of this book yet. Some have even annointed it one of their best of whichever year they read it in. I love that simple and powerful sentence at the beginning of your review…”reminds you what it feels like to read a really good book”.

  2. I believe that I read a review of this on Mary’s blog- Bookfan and she loved it too. I marked it then as a book to read in 2011 and now I’ll have to move it up to the top of the list!!

  3. I think I need to read this one! Off to my library online to see if any copies are available. I really love your review of it–oh,and just wanted to say that your comments on my blog make me smile! :)
    Have a great Wednesday….

  4. You’ve definitely made me want to pick this one up sooner than later! I love the idea of the setting being so important and yet done in such a subtle way.

  5. Peter Geye’s prose sounds refreshing. So many books seem to have almost too many words! I have the impression that this book is a calm, relaxing and wonderful experience which really interests me. I’m also intrigued that it’s about a father and son since so many of the books I read are about women and their relationships or male/female relationships.

    Thank you fora terrific review, Ti! I’m putting this one on my TBR list!
    ~ Amy

    1. And the balance between the interior and exterior scenes.. just enough to paint the picture and and leave a bit of salt in the air. You will love this one.

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