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Safe from the Sea

by Peter Geye

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2013699,322 (4.21)63
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.… (more)

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» See also 63 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
In Safe from the Sea we meet an old mariner, Olaf Torr. He is slowly dying, and his estranged son, Noah, has come to help him in his final weeks. Olaf was one of only three survivors of the sinking of a Lake Superior oreboat. One of the best parts of the novel is the mesmerizing story of the sinking of Olaf’s ship, the Ragnarok. Their father survived, but much of him was left behind when the ship went down.

Olaf and Noah grapple with their past and what brought them to this place in their lives. Most of the novel takes place in a cabin on the lake. You can feel the chill of winter and the smell of the fire in the wood stove, This is one of those novels where the setting is another character in the story,

Safe From the Sea is understated, but strong on dialogue. It left me thinking about it long after I had put it down. It's beautifully written with intriguing characters and an amazing look into life on one of the Great Lakes ships.

WTR 1351 ( )
  Olivermagnus | Jul 2, 2020 |
father son rxn. Good to read in northern minnesota ( )
  lindaspangler | Oct 14, 2016 |
Eventually I'll put together a full review. But for now, I'm just going to say...this book made me cry. Twice. I never cry when I read a book. That may just be all I need to say. ( )
  mamashepp | Mar 29, 2016 |
Eventually I'll put together a full review. But for now, I'm just going to say...this book made me cry. Twice. I never cry when I read a book. That may just be all I need to say. ( )
  mamashepp | Mar 29, 2016 |
this book took me by surprise - based on the description, i would not have imagined loving it as much as i did - the writing was so mature and elegant that i didn't realize that this was his first novel - the characters were multidimensional, the descriptions were so clear that i could feel and smell the old farmhouse - the relationship between father and son and between son and his wife were so realistic, and, most surprising for me, the story of the shipwreck kept me fully engaged. a triumphant first work. ( )
  njinthesun | Apr 15, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
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For Dana, of course. And for F.A., C.D., E.M.
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The officer stood the midnight watch, his hand easy on the wooden wheel.
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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.

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Set against the powerful lakeshore landscape of Northern Minnesota. 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 onlt 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. (9781609530082)
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