A gorgeous debut, laced through with magic, following four generations of women as they seek to chart their own futures
Evangeline Hussey has made a home for herself on Nantucket, though she knows she is still an outsider to the island’s small, close-knit community, one that by 1849 has started to feel the decline of a once-thriving whaling industry. Her husband, Hosea, and the life they built together, was once all she needed—but now Hosea is gone, lost at sea. Evangeline is only able to hold on to his inn, and her place on the island, by employing a curious gift to glimpse and re-form the recent memories of those who would cast her out.
One night, an idealistic sailor appears on her doorstep asking her to call him Ishmael. He seeks only a warm bed and a bowl of chowder, and yet suddenly, unsettlingly, her careful illusion begins to fracture. He soon sails away with Ahab to hunt an infamous white whale, and Evangeline is left to forge a new life from the pieces that remain.
Her choices ripple through generations, across continents and into the depths of the sea, in a narrative that follows Evangeline and her descendants from mid-nineteenth century Nantucket to Boston, Brazil, Florence and Idaho. Moving, beautifully written and elegantly conceived, Wild and Distant Seas takes Moby-Dick as its starting point, but Tara Karr Roberts brings four remarkable women to life in a spellbinding epic all her own.
"With language richer than the matriarch’s famed chowder and nautical descriptions so vivid you can taste the salt spray, Roberts offers a new and refreshingly feminine perspective on one of American literature’s most masculine classics." — Oprah Daily