Sorry if this post seems rather scatterbrained. I have two excuses. First, I just got finished working a 12 hour day and my brain is fried. Second, I loved this book something fierce.
Sea Creatures is a character driven novel that follows thirty-something Georgia, her husband Graham, and son Frankie, as they move back to her hometown of MIami, Florida. All of the things have gone wrong in their life. They’re both out of jobs and their son has turned mute for seemingly no reason. Miami promises a fresh start even if they are living on a dilapidated houseboat. The year is 1992 and Hurricane Andrew is brewing in the Atlantic ominously foreshadowing even more terribly dramatic and sad traumas this small family will have to face.
I know – world’s worst synopsis ever. Reread first paragraph and forgive me. But honestly, you don’t need to know much more than Susanna is one of my new favoritest authors ever. I can’t believe I haven’t read her first novel, Stiltsville, yet. I could go on and on about how wonderful and well-developed her characters are, how her writing will squeeze your heart until you feel sure you’re going to die, and how alive and vibrant Miami shines guided by Daniel’s talent.
I was sucked in from the first page and didn’t let go until the last word. Sitting here writing this review, my heart continues to break for these characters. Daniel’s writing feels almost like coming home amid one of the worst familial disasters ever. All the sadface aside, you’ll also see an intricate and layered parental story that’s sure to genuinely impress any reader with or without children. She’s not painting the prettiest of pictures but she’s definitely highlighting some harsh truths that ultimately make the reader feel better for being human.
Her turns of phrase and sentence putting together mojo are SUPERB.
All of that gushing and I haven’t even mentioned my two favorite bits: Charlie the hermit and Stiltsville. Both are perfect and need no further commentary.
I would have given this book the coveted 5 star rating, but something about the ending just felt a little bit too destructive all at once. I get that the hurricane is also a metaphor for shit hitting the fan, but I think that Daniel could have worked the ‘less is more strategy’ just a smidge more and BOOM – 5 stars. Still a damn good read. Can’t wait for my book buying ban to end so I can go and purchase my very own finished copy!!
Big hugs and sloppy kisses to TLC Book Tours and the publisher for having me on tour and providing me the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review. Go check out the other tour stops here!
About the Author:
Susanna Daniel was born and raised in Miami, Florida. Her first novel, Stiltsville, was awarded the PEN/Bingham Prize for outstanding debut fiction. She currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with her husband and two sons.