synopsis from the publisher Set against the powerful lakeshore landscape of northern Minnesota, Safe from the Sea is a heartfelt novel in which a son returns home to reconnect with his estranged and dying father thirty-five years after the tragic wreck of a Great Lakes ore boat that the father only partially survived and that has divided them emotionally ever since. When his father for the first time finally tells the story of the horrific disaster he has carried with him so long, it leads the two men to reconsider each other.
Meanwhile, Noah’s own struggle to make a life with an absent father has found its real reward in his relationship with his sagacious wife, Natalie, whose complications with infertility issues have marked her husband’s life in ways he only fully realizes as the reconciliation with his father takes shape.
Peter Geye has delivered an archetypal story of a father and son, of the tug and pull of family bonds, of Norwegian immigrant culture, of dramatic shipwrecks and the business and adventure of Great Lakes shipping in a setting that simply casts a spell over the characters as well as the reader.
This is another fantastic novel published by Unbridled Books. I saw a mention of it on twitter and I am so glad I checked it out. I don't know why I had not heard of this book before, but am grateful it finally crossed my path.
Peter Geye writes beautifully in this story of an estranged father and son.
Noah, though he has such a tumultuous relationship with his dad, does not hesitate when Olaf calls Noah to say that he needs his help. Noah leaves his wife in Boston and heads to Northern Minnesota to stay with his dad in the cabin Noah remembers from his childhood. He discovers his father is ill, dying according to Olaf. The present story is mixed with the past story that Olaf tells Noah, of a disaster on an ore boat on Lake Superior thirtysome years ago, where Olaf was one of a few survivors. Noah knows of the story of course, but not everything that happened. This tragedy changed Noah's childhood but now he learns how it affected his father.
Geye created such amazing, three-dimensional characters that I really cared about. His physical descriptions of the surroundings made the story that much more alive.
I can't possibly do this novel justice with a review, so let me just say how highly I recommend this book.
my rating 5/5