The Sea Captains Wife, by Beth Powning, is recommended to anyone who would enjoy an adventure story of late 19th century life on the high seas. The book is told from a woman's perspective, by young Azuba, who marries a well respected and experienced sea captain. Though she is gifted a lovely home facing the sea built by her beloved father, Azuba is not content with the notion of a lifetime watching the Bay of Fundy for her Nathaniel's return. Refusing to acquiesce to a long distance marriage, she begs her husband to take her and their young daughter aboard The Traveller, the merchant vessel that is Nathaniel's true life and home. Only after an incident which taints Azuba's reputation at home does Nathaniel allow her to join him. An atmosphere of contempt haunts the beginning of their world travels. The novel captures the evolution of a marriage through harrowing circumstances, the prescribed roles of women in 19 century America, and gives vivid account of the ever present risk and peril suffered by the crews of merchant vessels of the era. Powning writes here with great beauty, suspense and emotional insight. — Nancy Scheemaker
A gripping novel of love and adventure on the high seas that introduces an unforgettable young heroine.
Growing up on the Bay of Fundy in the 1860s, Azuba Galloway is determined to escape the confines of her town and live at sea. When she captures the heart of Captain Nathaniel Bradstock, she is sure her dreams are about to be realized, only to have pregnancy intervene. But when Azuba becomes embroiled in a scandal, Nathaniel must bring his young family abroad to save his reputation. Azuba gets her wish, but at what price?
Alone in a male world, and juggling the splendor of foreign ports with the terror of the open seas, Azuba must fight to keep her family together. Blending the high-tension drama of missed chances and unexpected twists of the sort that made A Reliable Wife a bestseller with the pluck and spirit of a heroine in the vein of Laura Ingalls Wilder, The Sea Captain's Wife will captivate readers and critics alike.
About the Author
Beth Powning's debut novel The Hatbox Letters was a national bestseller in Canada and longlisted for IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Her fiction has been published in a range of literary digests, and she is the author as well of the critically acclaimed nonfiction titles Home: Chronicle of a North Country Life and Shadow Child: an Apprenticeship in Love and Loss. She lives on a 300-acre farm near Sussex, New Brunswick on the Bay of Fundy with her husband, the sculptor Peter Powning.