THE MOTION OF THE OCEAN by Janna Cawrse Esarey

THE MOTION OF THE OCEAN

1 Small Boat, 2 Average Lovers, and a Woman’s Search for the Meaning of Wife
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Travel and relationship memoir from Seattle Post-Intelligencer blogger Esarey.

After listening to Crosby, Stills & Nash’s “Southern Cross” as a teenager, Esarey fell in love with the sea—but not the “literal, wet…get-a-degree-in-marine-biology sea…the lyrical sea…the transformative sea,” she writes. “To the extent that women-girls have pickup lines, ‘I’m going to sail around the world someday’ became mine. Boys eat that shit up.” As did Graeme, the college sweetheart she eventually married and convinced to accompany her on her ambitious voyage. Onboard the Dragonfly a fight presented the perfect opportunity to explore the ten hard years that separated the couple’s first meeting and this voyage, their honeymoon cruise. As their story unfolds chronologically in a series of small events, the author reflects on their time apart and ultimate reunion. But she glosses over many details, including what Graeme did for a living, and her tendency to substitute “blah blah blah” over dialogue, while occasionally humorous, may cause readers to question the focus of her attention. “The Green Box of Love” makes regular reference to the metaphoric significance of a gift box she’s brought on the journey, but the author never reveals the container’s actual contents. Throughout, the big question looms—can this couple make it? Fortunately, two years of cruising around the world offered a wealth of intriguing experiences, and Esarey ably brings to life remote isles and customs—particularly those in the South Pacific—most readers will never see. Her ruminations on these experiences, however, are mostly banal. Describing a beauty pageant for transgendered women in Samoa, she writes, “clapping wildly for those ballsy women carved out more space in my brain for words like beautiful and woman and normal.”

An uneven journey across the chartered waters of a romantic relationship.

Pub Date: June 2nd, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4165-8908-2
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Touchstone/Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2009




SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

IndieTALES OF A SIMPLE SAILOR by Don Robison
by Don Robison