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Sea Changes Paperback – May 2009


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£10.36 FREE Delivery in the UK. Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we dispatch the item. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.


Product details

  • Paperback: 401 pages
  • Publisher: Jade Phoenix Publishing (May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 069200100X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0692001004
  • Product Dimensions: 21.7 x 15.2 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,631,827 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Mrs. C. Colbert VINE VOICE on 8 July 2009
Format: Paperback
Sarah, a middle-aged American living in Australia, is recently widowed. Her daughter, Felicity, who "was born angry" wants her to 'move on' with her life, something which Sarah is finding difficult to do.
One day she swims out to sea, intending to commit suicide. There she meets a young girl, Bantryd, who takes her to the bottom of the ocean to a whole new world where Sarah finds friendship, peace and trust. Back home she wonders if she was dreaming or was it real. Bantryd bears an uncanny resemblance to a missing heiress and when Sarah becomes the chief suspect in her disappearance she begins to find resources within herself she didn't know she had.

This is one of the most unusual books I've ever read, it was part fantasy and part real, and I loved the idea of a world underneath the ocean! As Sarah struggles to cope with a life turned upside down she constantly thinks "What would Charles do?" (Charles being her late husband).

People who have lost loved ones will identify with Sarah, she was confused and sad and had no-one to talk to who really understood her. I think that's why she felt so secure in the undersea world, everyone trusted and believed in her.

Gail Graham's writing was simple, the type was double line spacing and the words were easy to read (always a bonus for me!). If you're looking for something a little bit different I would recommend this for a Summer Read.
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Format: Paperback
When Sarah Andrews's husband dies, she ceases experiencing life and merely endures it. Sarah feels that life is no longer worth enduring and decides to commit suicide by drowning. Sarah's unsuccessful drowning attempt opens up a new world but raises questions about whether her experiences are real or imagined. Sarah tries to make sense of her experiences, but ends up becoming a suspect in an alleged kidnapping, which forces her to become more fully involved in life.

On one level, this is the story of how Sarah manages to move on after the death of her husband. The situation she finds herself in requires her to make decisions and to experience life again. There are a number of twists and turns in Sarah's life, and some tough decisions to make.

It took me a while to become caught up in this novel. I enjoyed the writing, I liked the possibility of the underwater world of Xaxanader and Bantryd. Sarah is no hero, and she irritated me enormously for the first part of the book. And yet, I know many people like Sarah (both male and female) who are essentially paralysed when a much loved partner is lost. What saves Sarah (in one sense) and made the book work for me was the faith that Xaxanader and Bantryd showed in Sarah and how, ultimately she deserved that faith.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 13 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Well Written and Told 22 Jun. 2009
By Lonnie E. Holder - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It would be easy to classify this book as "chick lit." However, that kind of classification would be inappropriate and fails to provide any guidance as to the nature of this book and how well written it is. I found this book difficult to put down, and the last half of the book was really difficult to put down. Simply, this book is intriguing, interesting, and well written.

Sarah Andrews leads a depressed, boring life. Her husband passed away two months ago and she wanders around Bondi Junction in Australia, still in shock. Sarah has a daughter and a son, but the daughter is greedy and self-centered and her son works on an isolated oil platform; neither is there to comfort her. Sarah does not want her son to give up his career for her, and her daughter is a source of turmoil rather than solace. Sarah is seeing a psychologist, but while he is helping her in some ways, that help is also leading Sarah in a self-destructive direction.

Sarah eventually comes to believe that her life is over. She swims into the ocean, having carefully planned how she will become a missing person. To her surprise, she hears the voice of a young girl, who wants Sarah to follow her, deep into the ocean.

Sarah is intrigued that she is able to breathe. Sarah is even more intrigued to discover that there are people living under the ocean and they can read minds and emotions. Yet, after Sarah returns to the beach, we must wonder, was she drowning and dreamed the world of Bantryd, the girl who rescued her, and Xaxanader, the intriguing and handsome man she met there?

Author Graham leaves us to wonder a while longer as Sarah tries to make sense of her experience. Fortunately, our wondering does not last long, as Sarah decides to return to the undersea world, if she was indeed there. Sarah dives once again about where she did before, and she (and we) wonders whether she has made a mistake. Fortunately, because she might have drowned for real this time, she indeed meets Xaxanader and Bantryd again. Alternatively, at least she thinks she does.

This time Sarah learns more about how the people under the sea came to be and how they live. Sarah decides to return to the surface world, but Bantryd asks Sarah to take her to the surface world as well so that she might find her missing mother. Sarah agrees, but taking a naked girl completely unfamiliar with the customs of the surface world causes unexpected problems for Sarah, and for others, and Gail Graham's story becomes more complicated.

Danger suddenly fills Sarah's staid, boring life and there is a risk that she might end up in jail. The events that follow after Sarah believes she has returned from her second trip to the underwater world again made me wonder whether Sarah had a grip on reality. Did Bantryd really exist or was it possible that she was actually a missing heir?

Sarah becomes a different person as circumstances force her to think of someone other than herself. The question is, is that different person someone who presents a danger to others, and possibly even to herself? Regardless of whether Sarah is sane, she seems to find a purpose in her life, even as her Daughter and her psychologist think she may have committed a terrible crime.

I found the end of this book delightful, intriguing and fun. Gail Graham's prose kept me interesting to the very last word. Indeed, I was sad the book was finished and wished there was more to read.

Looking back, it was more than just the story that I found interesting. Graham wrote the story in a way that lent the story an almost surreal feeling. It was as though Sarah's grief and shock were palpable, and I walked through the same fog that Sarah walked through. As Sarah began to overcome her grief and the fog began to clear, Graham's writing seemed to come into focus and the fog lifted. The experience of reading such adroitly executed prose in addition to the interesting and well-plotted story made this much more than reading a book; it became an event.

Each book is its own experience. Some books rely on a strong story. Others rely on atmosphere and description. Every time I pick up a book, I always hope that the book will be exciting and satisfying. This book was all that and more. I will remember this book for a long time.

Enjoy!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A Genre-Buster 7 May 2009
By Jennifer Donovan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Sea Changes by Gail Graham is one of those books that is not adequately represented by a short description. After reading the blurb, you might be thinking -- what??? An impossible alternate world?

Yes, the plot of this book deals with mermaid-type people who live under water, and Sarah's ability to survive with them down there because she's a "vestigant" able to breathe both air and water. She loses track of time while under the sea, and when she brings one of the water-people back with her, she ends up involved in a murder investigation.

Though it sounds that way, this really isn't classic fantasy. Yes, there are obviously elements and plot lines right out of the fantasy genre, but at the heart this is a story about a mother and a daughter, a woman looking for a second chance (and as an interesting setting, an American woman who has lived in Australia for many years).

Sarah ends up having to choose -- her real life, versus the fantasy life under the sea which makes her feel safe and secure. But as the book progresses, the reader wonders "Is it real?" When Sarah is linked to a missing heiress, her recent peculiar behavior testifies against her innocence, and once again the reader asks "Is everything as it seems? Can it be as it seems?"

Fantasy, Who Done It, Relationships, Exotic Setting -- Sea Changes is a great genre-buster. If you like any of these genres, I'd recommend you giving this novel a try.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
What a Read! 6 May 2009
By Chris W. Falkinder - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I really couldn't put this book down until I hit the last page.
I was in there right from that first page. Its a pretty incredible story but in a weird sort of way you are running with it, streaming reality.
You start off feeling sorry for Sarah Andrews. As the incredible experince unfolds, you end up finding that you are telling yourself that you would make the same decisions as she is making. This process draws you into Sarah's world and you absolutely have to know what happens next. After all, now its your world too.
What I really love about an excellent book or play is when it stays with you well after you have put it down or left the theatre.
"Sea Changes" has that "magic spell" which keeps alternate endings and plot possibilities playing in your headspace.
This is definitely a break from restricted genre writing.
Well done Gail Graham .........Anything is possible
Best Book I've Read All Year 12 Jun. 2009
By Mr. Levski - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Ever since the late wife died, I've had a hard time reading fiction where the main character is a widow or widower. Thought the authors try hard, most of them don't do a good job of capturing what it's like to lose a spouse. Oh sure, most of them do a good job describing the sense of loss and grief that accompanies the death of a spouse, but when it comes to the internal emptiness that comes with it, most of them fall short.

So when I learned that Gail Graham's latest novel, Sea Changes, was about a widow living in Australia who is struggling to move on with her life two years after her husband's death, I was tempted to pass on the book without even reading it. The last thing I wanted was wade through page after page of self-pity.

Thankfully, I decided to give the book a chance.

Sea Changes is about American expatriate Sarah Andrews. She lives alone in a small house. She's mostly estranged from her two children. Despite living in Australia for thirty-some-odd years she still hasn't adjusted to life in Sydney. She stays in Australia only because her daughter lives there. Sarah's only real human contact comes from weekly therapy sessions with a psychologist named Kahn. Despite seeing him for nearly two years, he's been of little help. Most of her therapy sessions involve her talking and Kahn saying very little and abruptly ending the sessions on time.

Thinking that life holds little purpose for her, Sarah decides to swim far enough out to sea that she'll be too tired to return and drown. But as her strength fails her, a girl names Bantryd appears and takes her to an underwater world. Later Sarah wakes up on the beach and wonders if everything she has just experienced was a dream. The incident prompts a change in Sarah. She begins to see more of a purpose in the world. She also is determined to find out if the underwater world she visited was real or simply her imagination.

Graham does a great job of capturing the feelings that come years after losing a spouse. However, she's smart enough not to make widowhood the focus of her story. Instead the story is really about the journey that comes when life suddenly changes. It's about rebirth and learning that even when we're left alone in the world, there are people and places waiting to be discovered if only we take a step out of our day-to-day routines.

In fact, the most satisfying part of the book was seeing how Sarah finally became her own woman and changed from a woman who saw no purpose in life to one where she wasn't going to let anyone tell her what to do. And the best part? The book had the one of the best ending to a novel that come across in years. It doesn't matter if you've never lost a spouse or never read a fantasy novel in your entire life. Graham has written a beautiful novel that will stay with me for years.

5 stars (out of five) for the unforgettable book Sea Changes.
READ THIS ONE. YOU ARE IN FOR A UNIQE READING EXPIERENCE. 11 Jun. 2009
By D. Blankenship - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
What an odd and fascinating work! I have to be honest here and tell you that I am not at all sure how to classify this rather unique read. First things first though. The plot of this work has pretty well been gone over quite well by several other reviewers here so I will not dwell on this aspect of the work and possibly bore you with what could only be repetition. As we can see by at least one review here, this is the kind of work that is just made for "spoilers" and I try to avoid those in my reviews like the plague. I become furious when I read a review full of them and I will be darn if I will be guilty of that particular transgression.

In a few words, this is the story of a woman who has lost her husband; ergo she has lost her direction completely and is having a very difficult time coping, as many of us would. Most of us have choices as does Sarah, our main character. Sarah chooses suicide via drowning herself in the sea. Well, things don't work out so well with the killing herself thing, and she is drawn into a world, a fantasy type world, if you will, and meets a group of sea people...yes, folks, sea people, that live under the sea. Sarah it seems has the ability to breathe both air and water. Is it real? Is this a series of hallucinations just before death? Is it a dream sequence? Is it wishful thinking on Sarah' part? There is much to consider here and we have only started the read. No spoilers here!

Through circumstances the reader will encounter, Sarah is returned to land along with a young girl. As the story progresses we find our heroine involved, supposedly, in a kidnapping and murder. Sarah is in a complete mess. How to escape, how to continue with her life, how to cope with her loss, how to love and live again...relationships, both good and bad, and situations that Sarah can control and situations she cannot. These are some of the questions and I must say, quirky and quickly turns this novel into something quite different than I have ever read.

Now this is most certainly part chic lit as one reviewer here has described it. What might you ask is a rather elderly man doing reading chic lit? Well, it is because I enjoy good writing no matter the genre. And folks, I am her to tell you that this author can indeed write! To begin with, this entire novel is set in the present tense. This is a difficult trick to pull off. If you don't believe me, try it some times and be effective while you are doing it. It is quite easy for an author to blunder in this mode and make a mucky mess of the whole thing. Not so here! Once you get use to the author's method, which does not take many pages, it is absolutely delightful reading. I have never seen this style pulled off so well.

Then we have the question; is this fantasy or is it not. Well, yes and no. There is an element of fantasy present but it certainly is not present in the traditional sense. One of the charms of this book is to figure out just where reality overtakes fantasy and vice-a-verse; again, if indeed there is any fantasy involved at all... no spoilers here. Despite the difficulties the author has thrown in front of herself, she has actually pulled it off and done so in style.

A mystery cum who done it? Well yes, but there again the author has mixed her genre and given us such a swirling blend so skillfully that it is quite difficult to tack down.

So what we have is a mixture of chic lit (I actually hate that term, but can think of no better one to use right now), mystery, strange geographical settings, human endurance, love, the known verses the unknown and which is desirable, more than just a touch of romance, relationships (or lack of them as the case may be) and above all a very complicated and complex tale of choices.

Absolutely wonderful and flawless, in my opinion, character development along with a very, very unique writing style make this book stand out far in front of so many of the current reads I have had. I will be honest in the fact that I was absolutely hooked after the second page...had great difficulty in putting it down even to eat.

For a taste of something different and for something you are bound to enjoy, you will have great difficulty in topping this one.

I must in all good conscience warn the reader that this novel contains many complicated twists and turns and it must be read closely. This is not a novel that can be read propped on the steering wheel of your car while driving to work. One blink and a missed sentence or paragraph and you will find yourself flipping back through the pages trying to figure out how you got to where you are at. Trust me though; it is well worth the effort. It would be great to set down with the author of this work, have a pot of coffee, and just flit through her mind...what a unique thought process this woman has been blessed with!

I highly recommend this one.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks
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