Home Feed
Home
Search
Search
Add Review, Blurb, Quote
Add
Activity
Activity
Profile
Profile
Our Wives Under the Sea
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
106 posts | 92 read | 1 reading | 48 to read
Amazon Indiebound Barnes and Noble WorldCat Goodreads LibraryThing
Pick icon
100%
review
Allthebookclubs
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image
Pickpick

Book club pick.Told from the POV of Leah during her time aboard a submarine that loses coms and sinks to the bottom of the ocean and her wife,Miri as she recounts their courtship and Leah‘s behaviors now that she‘s returned from sea.Leah was only supposed to be gone a few weeks and it turned into 6 months.Kinda strange,I kept wanting more and couldn‘t put it down.And then it just..ended. Book #55 in 2024

Allthebookclubs Intimate? Yes.Emotional without being overly dramatic? Eh, yes. Boring with a dumb ending?Also, yes. 3w
7 likes1 comment
blurb
perfectlywinged
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image

Slow moving but compelling- I keep reading to see what happened to the wife on her deep sea dive

review
Tamra
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image
Mehso-so

A bizarre claustrophobia inducing story about being transformed by the sea and the unknown within it.

I can‘t decide whether I liked it or not. I kept listening to find out what happens to Leah, who is trapped in a sunken submersible, so it did capture my attention.

Ruthiella I‘m with you. I liked aspects of the book, but as a whole it didn‘t quite work for me. 8mo
Tamra @Ruthiella I wonder if it would be better as a standalone short story or novella with the submersible storyline alone? 8mo
58 likes2 comments
review
JillR
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image
Pickpick

“Romantic horror” I‘ve seen this described as. Told from the alternating perspectives of Leah, a marine biologist trapped in the depths on a submarine mission gone wrong, and her wife Miri who recounts the aftermath. Weird. Very readable despite the weirdness, yet also baffling and unnerving. Still gathering my thoughts but secretly I think what I really wanted but didn‘t know it was an under-the-sea submarine drama a la The Meg 😳

Tamra My audio hold just came in for this one. 😃 8mo
32 likes1 comment
review
MegCaldwell
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image
Pickpick

This book was beautiful and detailed but it was very sad.

review
AmandaBlaze
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image
Pickpick

For a small book, this one took a long time to read (2.5 days). I think the dreamlike prose added to that effect. It's true not much happens plotwise. However, in life, it's easy to get mired in grief over a loved one, so this made sense to me. It's a soft pick, but still a pick because the language was beautiful. 3.5 stars.
#RushAThon
@Andrew65 @DieAReader @GHABI4ROSES

DieAReader 🥳🥳🥳 11mo
36 likes1 comment
blurb
AmandaBlaze
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image

I have “I can't decide on a book-itis.“ Started reading this one today.

review
Sarahreadstoomuch
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image
Mehso-so

Um, for a short book - this took me forever to read. It‘s slow, haunting, atmospheric story with very little plot and very little revealed. It just is. Many seem to be disappointed/shocked at the ending. It made sense to me - I was more shocked that Leah actually did come back and all of it was real and not Miri‘s hallucination. Just not the book for me I guess.

review
quietlycuriouskate
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image
Mehso-so

Hmm. As an exploration of the grief of missing your beloved one even as they sit across the dinner table from you, this hits hard. And while I'm here for the oceanic weirdness, after nothing much doing for page after page, the ending felt rushed. And then, I enjoy a book with unanswered questions, but this had so many *unasked* questions that the main impression it's left me with is an unreachable gritty irritation.

currentlyreadinginCO Unreachable gritty irritation!!! Yes that should be on the cover lol 12mo
Sarahreadstoomuch Interesting…. I‘m reading this with a book group in a month or two. 12mo
40 likes2 comments
blurb
BBooks
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image

Influenced by booktube, glad it did not disappoint. Mesmerizing. 4 🌟

review
DMC_run8
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image
Pickpick

I read this last month but apparently forgot to post it. The ending left me absolutely speechless and I needed a few days to recover. This is a dual POV novel told from the perspective of two wives. One, a scientist, is sent on a 3 week mission in a submarine. The other, a writer, is home waiting for her return. Things go horribly wrong and it's 6 months before the scientist returns...and she is somehow very different. 5⭐️

7 likes1 stack add
review
DebinHawaii
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image
Pickpick

Beautiful writing, strange story & a short book, I liked the imagery & the creeping sense of dread as Mari‘s wife Leah returns from an exploration voyage that goes months longer than planned as the submarine sinks to the bottom of the ocean. The Leah that returns is different & Mari grieves for their relationship as Leah continues to change. An interesting combination of literary fiction & gothic horror.

review
BekaReid
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image
Pickpick

Haunting, imaginative, and beautifully written.

20 likes1 stack add
review
CorgiBooks
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image
Pickpick

As a big fan of existential horror, I really loved the way the book is soaked with a quiet, indulging dread. It's a book where it doesn't really feel like anything is happening, there are no huge narrative spins or action scenes, but there is a tender falling apart that permeates the narrative, a breakdown in self that you can identify so early on but have to sit and watch helplessly, much like the narrator. There is no other way for this to end.

review
eol
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image
Pickpick

It sucks you in, like an ocean, though you never really know why. Flowing, wavy narration. This book felt similar to The Secret History, but not because it's also classified as literary; maybe because of its gothicness, or its narration—it produced a similar sensation of flow.

4.5/5

review
currentlyreadinginCO
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image
Mehso-so

"I think … that the thing about losing someone isn't the loss, but the absence of afterwards. Do you know what I mean? The endlessness of that."

I wanted goth/gay 20,000 leagues under the sea and I got this nightmare in which I contemplated my own mortality and the loss of everyone I love … but it created a dark, ethereal dream state, it made me think deeply and emotionally, and I won't forget it... ⭐⭐⭐⭐?

tonymp So, it‘s depressing because you haven‘t lost everyone you love and need something more upbeat? 1y
currentlyreadinginCO Ya know, I have read a lot of horror lately and the scary elements of this story hit way too close to home ... perhaps this will be the last deeply uncomfortable thing I read for awhile, I do need something more upbeat. @tonymp 1y
tonymp @thereadingreference I kind of get it because all I've been reading lately is horror. When I take a break from horror, it's a thriller. I kind of don't because I can't stop reading horror. It's become a compulsion. My StoryGraph pie chart is so dark I have to change the theme background to see the pie chart. 1y
56 likes1 stack add3 comments
blurb
RaeLovesToRead
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image

A few more books to add to my collection 😇
Found out the Forbidden Planet do exclusives too 😅

TrishB Lovely ♥️ 1y
TrishB Did you see Maggie O‘Farrell is doing a talk in Nottingham (in a church) details via Waterstones. 1y
RaeLovesToRead @TrishB Ooh... thanks for the heads up! 1y
See All 7 Comments
batsy The top two are so eye-catching! Love the pink. 1y
RaeLovesToRead @batsy I hope they are good books... I (once again) mainly got them because I saw the edges and got SUPER EXCITED!!! 1y
batsy @RaeLovesToRead I realise the top one is Our Wives and I really liked it, but yes, it's kind of a Marmite book 😁 Hope you like it! 1y
Branwen Oooooh those top two! 😍💕 1y
63 likes7 comments
review
ChaoticMissAdventures
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image
Pickpick

What an interesting little book. I enjoyed this literary story with a bit of a sci-fi bend.
I do wish we had more of Miri and Leah in the before times, I had a hard time seeing them as a loving couple.
The writing was strong and the story was wholely original.

Beatlefan129 Gorgeous photo 🍷 1y
Soubhiville Reading this at the beach is really perfect. 1y
ChaoticMissAdventures @Soubhiville highly recommend! I kept looking for our and thinking about how deep and mysterious it all is! 1y
batsy I enjoyed it too! The photo is perfect ❤️ 1y
37 likes1 stack add4 comments
review
The_Book_Ninja
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image
Mehso-so

Beautifully written tale of a woman whose marine biologist wife comes back from a deep-dive mission, altered. It‘s like a 12A, Cronenbergian body-horror. Often heartbreaking to read, and is clearly a metaphor for loss of loved ones through illness: Pretty much like The Fly but gentler. I think younger adults would enjoy this but it wasn‘t for me. ‘Scuse the puns but one of the charterers is a bit wet and the book meanders to an unsatisfying ending

review
YvonneMarie
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image
Pickpick

Phenomenal Writing! Loved the details. A Beautifully creepy love story. So very interesting. I couldn‘t get enough

blurb
Kappadeemom
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image

This is a weird little book. Finishing it up today

37 likes2 stack adds
blurb
Kappadeemom
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image

Outside reading for a few hours before the cold hits. Chance the cat has to check it out 😻😻

review
MysticFaerie
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image
Pickpick

4⭐️/5⭐️

review
BookNAround
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image
Mehso-so

There is a sort of dreamy horror to this tale of two wives trying to come to terms with the aftermath of one‘s extended period trapped in a submarine. This is extremely character driven with a slow moving plot and rising menace. Dark and oddly insubstantial, I so very much wanted to like this more than I did. Full review at http://booknaround.blogspot.com/2022/10/review-our-wives-under-sea-by-julia.html...

Ruthiella Me too. I wanted way more weird horror than was present. 2y
57 likes1 comment
review
Lesliereadsalot
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image
Pickpick

What an interesting and beautifully written book! Two married women tell their story from their own point of view. Leah is in a submarine under the water and Miri is waiting for her to come home. Mitch, who posts here all the time, recommended it and I agree.

review
Cazxxx
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image
Mehso-so

🎧 This was a quick listen but didn‘t really work for me. I didn‘t hate it or love it, just meh 🎧

review
Lindy
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image
Pickpick

In the pull quote on the cover, Sarah Waters calls this lesbian novel “Deeply romantic and fabulously strange.” I wholeheartedly agree with the second part of that statement. Miri‘s wife seems to be a different person when she returns from an underwater research trip. Armfield‘s precise word choices add to the unsettling atmosphere and build a strong sense of who these women are… and what has been lost & found between them. #LGBTQ

blurb
Lindy
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image

Friday Reads October 7 + making angelica candy & other herbal delights + printmaking with veggies
I chat about the books I read this week & other stuff:
https://youtu.be/w7ax7gZw5S8

quote
Lindy
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image

When I was younger, I think some glib or cavalier part of me always believed that there was no such thing as heartache—that it was simply a case of things getting in past the rib cage and finding there was no way out. I know now, of course, that this was a stupid thing to think, insofar as most things we believe will turn out to be ridiculous in the end.

quote
Lindy
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image

My heart is a thin thing, these days—shred of paper blown between the spaces in my ribs.

35 likes1 stack add
blurb
BookNAround
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image

My local indie owner recommended this one. I‘m such an easy sell. 😂

Mel Just started it yesterday- really like it so far! 2y
57 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
shanaqui
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image
Mehso-so

This one didn't work for me, but I suspect a good amount of that is very personal. Body horror and hypochondria and... just a lot of focus on the body and the body going wrong. Gaah.

This was my #DoubleSpin, woo. I've also made a non-pretty #BookSpinBingo card so I at least have something to post.

blurb
shanaqui
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image

Now I'm back from my holiday jaunt, here's this month's #BookSpin list. I feel a little like I'm cheating, as I got 80% of the way through Our Wives Under The Sea last month, and now it's the #DoubleSpin.

Last month I got my #BookSpin, #DoubleSpin, and one line on my #BookSpinBingo, but felt too exhausted and meh to go as far as creating a nice pretty card to post. Maybe this month...

review
Mitch
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image
Pickpick

This is weird and wonderful, surreal and grounded. It‘s full of menace at the edges and an unnerving relationship with time and place. It‘s got the sense of the ordinary - with the supernatural / science fiction knocking on the walls to get it. It‘s beautifully written and it‘s haunting nature will ensure the story stays with me. Loved it @DGRachel

squirrelbrain Great review! 2y
Mitch It‘s a good one @DGRachel 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 2y
69 likes2 comments
blurb
morgan_krahn
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image

Slow chilly morning at work calls for a new book and a butterscotch hot chocolate ☕️ 📖. Current outside temp 52* F. How is it by you?!

MicheleinPhilly 54 and I am LOVING IT! 2y
erzascarletbookgasm 😋Yum! Enjoy! 82 here but not that bad tonight. 2y
morgan_krahn @MicheleinPhilly same! I was more than ready for fall weather! Bring on that crisp air 🙂 2y
morgan_krahn @erzascarletbookgasm at least the nights are nice! 2y
47 likes4 comments
blurb
Mitch
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image

Reading plans changed - I‘m diving straight into the today. And thank you so much @DGRachel for speeding up my reading time as I don‘t have to find the perfect bookmark. I have it already! 😘

DGRachel I hope you enjoy it. My local indie recommended it as I knew I needed books outside of my comfort zone! 😘 2y
Mitch @DGRachel I have an hours quiet time today ( otherwise known as work avoidance!🤣) and really got sucked into the story. Love it 2y
76 likes2 stack adds2 comments
blurb
Mitch
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image

Thank you very much sweet friend - you pick the most awesome books. I love them both. The tagged sounds soo good and Sarah Waters has blurbed the cover and I love her! And you find the best treasures - I‘ve not seen Persephone Station but super intrigued with the Mandalorian comp. You‘re a super star. Thank you. @DGRachel

DGRachel Happy Belated Birthday! 2y
63 likes1 comment
review
Liz_M
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image
Pickpick

Leah‘s 3-week submarine expedition lasts 6 months. Long enough for Miri to have given her up for dead. Leah returns a different person, deteriorating mentally and physically. Miri‘s story about holding onto their love is interspersed with Leah‘s journal, written while lost under the sea. The hints of horror in the journal are too slight and vague and don‘t connect to the condition Miri witnesses. It's as if the _author_ didn't know what happened.

squirrelbrain Great review - and ❤️❤️❤️ your photo! 2y
See All 7 Comments
batsy Nicely done with the image effects 🙂 2y
Liz_M @batsy, @BarbaraBB, @squirrelbrain Thank you! I actually only added the raindrop overlay; the blue light is what is done for red-eye flights, apparently. 2y
BarbaraBB Well it looks just like the book feels! 2y
jlhammar Cool photo! 2y
29 likes7 comments
review
Larkken
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image
Pickpick

17 books for August and 2 bingos for #bookspinbingo! Oddly, the books I liked best this month are all in the top bingo row 🤔
Also complete: #doublespin and May‘s #bookspin -eternally playing catch-up, that‘s me! … or prioritizing holds for spooky season 😅

review
MrsV
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image
Mehso-so

I liked this one more than I didn‘t, but not as much as I thought I would.

BarbaraBB I felt so too! 2y
Megabooks Same 2y
24 likes2 comments
review
Laughterhp
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image
Bailedbailed

Had such a hard time getting into this one. Struggled to pick it up and when I did, I had no idea what was going on. I also had no interest in the “mystery”. My hold was running out and I had wanted to read literally anything else.

review
ImperfectCJ
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image
Pickpick

I read recently that fiction is (or can be) a way for an author to work through in metaphor things that are difficult to work through in real life. This novel feels like an exploration of the surrealness and isolation of grief. The deep sea trip feels to me both literal and a metaphor for the vast unknowability of life, how we can really only access a fragment of any experience and any conclusions we draw are likely to be limited, if not flawed.

Megabooks Fantastic interpretation! 2y
BarbaraBB What @Megabooks says! Please check out our #CampLitsy discussion on the book for many insightful things said about this book. 2y
jlhammar Great review! 2y
54 likes1 stack add3 comments
blurb
BarbaraBB
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image

The final question, let‘s discuss this weird genre bending book and the many questions it leaves us behind with.

Tomorrow we‘ll choose our August winner and afterwards the all over #CampLitsy winner!

See All 31 Comments
Bookwormjillk Like Either/Or I surprised myself by liking this one even though nothing ever seemed to get resolved. 2y
TrishB I enjoyed it enough to finish. I find the romance label not very apt- it may be a love story but it‘s not romantic, IMO. I thought the ending was very satisfying. 2y
MicheleinPhilly I would classify it as psychological drama. I don‘t think a thriller or horror label is apt and certainly not romance. I found the ending incredibly sad but appropriate. 2y
Ruthiella Overall it didn‘t work for me because I wanted/expected weird horror and didn‘t get enough of it. It is, in part, a love story but not a “romance “. I agree with @TrishB and @MicheleinPhilly that the ending was very strong. It made me tear up. 2y
Addison_Reads I agree with both @TrishB and @MicheleinPhilly because I too felt this wasn't romance and it wasn't horror. The love story in this book I found very compelling and exploring those boundaries of caring for someone you love after a tragedy were handled very well. I also feel it is best labeled as a psychological drama with elements of other genres weaved in. 2y
Addison_Reads I found myself enjoying this far more than I expected and the ending and unanswered questions only made me like the book more. 2y
squirrelbrain I also agree with @TrishB and @MicheleinPhilly - it‘s certainly not romance. I also agree with @Ruthiella that it isn‘t horror either. I‘m not sure we could call it suspense, because we didn‘t find anything out and, to me, a lot of suspense is in the reveal. I think the book suffered from too many genres, all done with a light touch and none done quite well enough. I didn‘t like the ending, mainly because of the unanswered questions @Addison_Reads 2y
Deblovestoread I went into expecting horror (which I don‘t read) figuring I‘d stop if it got to be too much. It certainly wasn‘t that. I agree psychological drama probably works best. The ending was touching but I wanted a few more answers. 2y
Liz_M What @Ruthiella said. The main focus on the book was between the relationship between Miri and Leah, with secondary stories the relationships between the Leah and her co-workers. I don't think changing Leah's occupation (to say a combat veteran with ptsd) would change the story much. 2y
KarenUK I loved this book… in a way, because it so hard to categorize. Partly a story of love, a bit of body horror, and definitely unsettling. 2y
BarbaraBB I enjoyed the book more the further I read. The first half was so vague and I had no idea what to expect. The horror didn‘t do much for me but I was engaged in Miri‘a and Leah‘s changing relationship. I like @MicheleinPhilly classification as “psychological drama”. 2y
BarbaraBB @Bookwormjillk @TrishB like both of you I enjoyed it more than expected - especially the ending. 2y
Leniverse New Weird adjacent, perhaps. A bit of Cosmic Horror, some Psychological Drama that doesn't quite reach Psychological Horror. But the horror elements etc, including the body horror, are there as a means of exploring grief. (It would never occur to me to classify it as romance. Who does that? Is it marketed as a romance? 🤣) 2y
Soubhiville I agree @MicheleinPhilly I‘d call it Psychological Drama fits. I didn‘t feel any romance here either. It also had the kind of bizarre tension buildup that gothic stories often have, an unresolved dissatisfaction for me. I didn‘t enjoy this at all. 2y
Megabooks @Kdgordon88 I also went in expecting (and wanting) horror, but I like the psychological drama label @MicheleinPhilly and @TrishB 2y
Megabooks @Liz_M interesting point. I think there‘s definitely trauma at the root of the story like there would be with a combat veteran. 2y
jlhammar It really is a strange/unique mix, but I think psychological drama works well. Good call @MicheleinPhilly ! Overall, I was a little surprised how much I liked it. I wasn't sure it would be for me given the way it was marketed, but I enjoyed the writing and found it quite moving. Also loved how Leah had a lifelong love/obsession and feeling of belonging in water so the end felt like both she and Miri were returning home (though in different ways). 2y
Hooked_on_books It‘s funny that some of you are saying it‘s definitely not horror, since I definitely saw horror elements! 😂 That creeping dread the author engenders is total horror for me. But I do like the psychological drama label. I quite liked it. I wanted more from the end but at the same time thought it was brilliant that there wasn‘t more. And @jlhammar I love your idea that they were both returning home. I didn‘t see it but I think you nailed it. 2y
BarbaraBB That is an insightful thought @jlhammar of both of them returning home. The mother storyline makes more sense too then. 2y
Christine I don‘t know what genre it is (esp. after reading these comments 🤣), but I thought the writing was lovely and really enjoyed it. 2y
Kitta I haven‘t read any horror so I didn‘t know what to expect going in but it still seems like a kind of psychological horror/drama to me but I‘m not super familiar with that genre. I noticed Goodreads has it listed as Gothic which I didn‘t read this as, but I can see the label. No way is this a romance, but where did it say that it was? Like @Leniverse I‘m confused about that one. 2y
Kitta @Liz_M I‘m not sure it would be the same for me if she was a combat veteran because like Leah I love the deep ocean and the mysteries down there. But I see your point, a similar novel could be written like that. I actually thought both Leah and Miri probably had PTSD from the experience and were dealing with the trauma in different ways. 2y
jlhammar @BarbaraBB A big thank you for hosting this month! I've loved our discussions (was sad to have missed last week, but enjoyed reading what everyone had to say). And thanks again to @Megabooks and @squirrelbrain - #CampLitsy has been a blast and greatly enriched my summer reading! 2y
batsy I loved it despite the lack of resolution & the open-endedness. I think one aspect that was scary is that it felt very much like life; the experience of seeing someone you love transform either through degenerative brain disease or mental illness. You don't get clear answers. Something else was going on with Leah, but the grief & confusion that Miri experienced was relatable. I will say that I wanted it to get more weird/creepy, but the ending 💔 2y
squirrelbrain You‘re welcome! @jlhammar We really appreciate all of your contributions. 2y
Megabooks You‘re welcome @jlhammar ! So glad you joined us at camp this summer! (edited) 2y
Sparklemn I didn't finish this one but I wanted to chime in to thank all of the #camplitsy hosts. I really enjoyed it! 2y
BarbaraBB @jlhammar @Sparklemn Thank you both! We are really happy you joined us and made #CampLitsy such a fun and insightful event! 2y
31 likes31 comments
blurb
BarbaraBB
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image

Our second question is about what seems to be a sideline in the story: the relationship between Miri and her mother. #camplitsy

See All 31 Comments
Ruthiella I didn‘t quite get the reason for it myself so will be interested in hearing what others interpret. Maybe it was to understand why Miri was so passive? 2y
squirrelbrain No, I agree @Ruthiella - I‘m not sure why this additional story line was there. Miri worried that it was a hereditary illness so maybe there was a connection between her worries and Leah‘s sickness but I couldn‘t quite connect the dots and didn‘t understand the significance of returning to the house at the end. Maybe where she lost both her mother and Leah? 2y
Addison_Reads I think Miri's loss of her mother to a disease that took her away slowly is used to parallel the loss Miri is feeling with Leah. The woman she loves is physically there, but almost a shell of the person she fell in love with. I think the two relationships are used to further explore grief and loss on two different levels. 2y
Addison_Reads I think returning at the end was her way of facing everything in order to be able to move forward. 2y
Liz_M I don't remember anything about Miri's mum, so I'm going to have to say it played no part in the book. 😆 2y
Kitta Well Miri has to care for them both and their illnesses change her relationships with them. For her mum it made them closer but with Leah it seems to push them apart. I thought there was an interesting comparison drawn to Leah‘s fathers death and the death of Miri‘s mother. 2y
Kitta For the ending, I thought Leah was turning into the sea and becoming one with the thing she loved. Some others suggested she became a sea creature but when her eye explodes into water, I saw it more as her disintegrating and dissolving than turning into something else. I think they both accept she‘s dying and Miri allows the sea to take her. Although I was horrified Miri never calls a doctor or takes her to the hospital! 2y
BarbaraBB I think it was there for the same reason @Addison_Reads, to show how she slowly lost another person with that person still being there. I don‘t know why we needed the storyline however, without it I would have understood too that Miri was grieving for a loved one still alive. 2y
BarbaraBB I am ashamed to say I don‘t remember Leah‘s father @Kitta ☺️. I guess neither do you @Liz_M ?! 2y
Leniverse I think the storyline with Mira's mother helps explain Mira's behaviour. She's a hypochondriac and very anxious. She feels guilty about not being there that much for her mother, but leaving her to the hospice/hospital, so she barely leaves Leah's side and doesn't insist on calling a doctor. And in the end she brings Leah to the ocean she loved at the property Mira's mother loved. 2y
Soubhiville I agree with @Addison_Reads and @BarbaraBB , to show how Miri has experienced slow loss and dealt with it before versus how she coped with Leah‘s bizarre decline. And her passive helplessness in both situations. 2y
Megabooks @Addison_Reads 💯💯 agree with your interpretation! I also agree with @kitta that it was a major change in both cases. Caring for my dad after his stroke has definitely changed our relationship in a lot of ways. 2y
jlhammar Yes, agree with what you all have mentioned - the parallel, the explanation for behavior and decisions. We all cope with this kind of tough stuff in life so differently. Getting the bits about her mother helped me to understand Mira better and why she may have dealt with the Leah situation the way she did. For me, it also made the ending all the more heartbreaking. That's a lot for a person to go through and to lose. 2y
Christine Such a great conversation! Agree that all the stuff with Miri‘s mom provides some context for how she reacts re: Leah. Am I making this up, or was there a brief section that mentioned Miri‘s mom (back in the day) deliberately not being expressive with her face to slow the signs of aging? Wonder how that could have affected Miri‘s development/choices! 🤔 2y
Kitta @BarbaraBB Leah‘s father dies earlier in her life and when Miri is dealing with her moms decline she asks Leah how she dealt with her fathers death, then admits it‘s different because her mom hasn‘t actually died yet. It made me this of losing someone slowly like she does with Leah later in the novel. The father isn‘t mentioned much! 2y
BarbaraBB @Kitta I‘m starting to remember that conversation now! 2y
batsy Yes to what @Addison_Reads said; I think it was to draw parallels between the type of slow deterioration that Miri experienced seeing in both her mother and later on, her wife. The worry about inheriting her mother's disease perhaps also contributed to Miri's anxiety about not trusting her own eyes and perception, hence her sort of passivity in her response to what was happening to Leah. 2y
ImperfectCJ Not really a response to the question, but here's a thought I had: what if Leah never actually came home? What if the whole crew was lost and this is how Miri is dealing with her grief, like the wives on the fake husbands in space forum? Didn't she say delusions were part of her mother's illness and it was an illness that's hereditary? I mean, until Jenka's sister, no one saw Leah after she got back, right? 2y
BarbaraBB @ImperfectCJ That is a mindblowing thought but it could be possible. I was wondering about the meaning of the forum. And the title of the book suggests it too now that I come to think of it. Wow! I have to tag some people 💛 @Megabooks @squirrelbrain @batsy @Kitta @Christine @jlhammar @Addison_Reads @Soubhiville @Leniverse @Liz_M @Ruthiella @merelybookish @MicheleinPhilly @TrishB 2y
squirrelbrain Wow! You‘re right @BarbaraBB, it all seems to fit. What a clever thought @ImperfectCJ ! 👏 You may have just answered *all* of our questions… 😁 2y
TrishB Wow 😯 that is mind blowing! 2y
batsy Yeah @ImperfectCJ I never thought of that! That's intriguing considering Miri's parallels or anxiety rather about inheriting what her mother had. 2y
Leniverse @ImperfectCJ Yes! That would explain why Jenka's sister takes everything in stride too. Mira just has some of Leah's clothes in the bath, and the sister recognises it as an extreme grief management thing and just goes with it. Or... Since Leah is dissolving, did the Centre releases her dead body? 😬 But... What about the couples therapist? She saw Leah for a couple of sessions. 🤔 2y
Soubhiville @ImperfectCJ @BarbaraBB That‘s certainly plausible. 2y
Kitta Interesting theory, but I think @Leniverse is right about the couples therapist having seen Leah and Miri‘s friends seem to know she‘s home. Or maybe those were both delusions on the part of Miri? I was also confused by the title saying “Our wives” instead of “my wife” since Jelka‘s sister is the one suffering and we don‘t hear about any partner of Jelka‘s. Plus Matteo isn‘t a woman. 🤔 Maybe Miri is also under a sea of grief? 2y
Ruthiella @ImperfectCJ Love that idea! It‘s a way to totally rethink the whole novel. 2y
ImperfectCJ @Kitta @Leniverse Good point about the couples therapist. It's Kafkaesque, the way the Centre acts, and I'm not sure if it's the Centre acting in a way that makes one think one (or Miri, in this case) is unhinged, or if Miri actually is experiencing delusions and the Centre is part of that. Having observed stress-related psychosis a few times in the past, Miri's reactions seem to fit the hypothesis, but I could also be doubting her unfairly. 2y
Christine That‘s a super interesting theory that I‘m so glad you shared, @ImperfectCJ ! 🤔 2y
26 likes31 comments
blurb
BarbaraBB
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image

We‘ll discuss the second part of our last book today. Let‘s start with thinking a bit more about what happened under the sea. #CampLitsy

See All 43 Comments
Bookwormjillk Honestly I have no idea. Either some weird creature with a big eye or maybe the creepy center‘s psychological experiment camera. It was frustrating that we never found out, but that was probably the author‘s point. 2y
TrishB @Bookwormjillk agree- we are supposed to fill in the gaps. 2y
MicheleinPhilly @Bookwormjillk @TrishB At first I did think it was some type of creature, but I do think it was some type of surveillance camera placed by the Centre. They were shady AF and obviously engineered the entire expedition. 2y
TrishB @MicheleinPhilly I think they now - because of the rest of the book! Author never had to explain because that wasn‘t really her focus I think. 2y
Ruthiella I like to think there was some undiscovered creature down there. Maybe other human/fish hybrids from previous experiments or maybe some sentient being as old as the earth … But for sure the author left it open to reader interpretation. (edited) 2y
Kitta I thought it was supposed to be a giant squid eye, they live down there. Most are found dead washed up on shores. It didn‘t occur to me it could be a surveillance camera! Interesting theory! @Bookwormjillk @MicheleinPhilly 2y
Addison_Reads I think it was always the Centre and the mind games/experiments they were playing out under false pretenses. It might not have helped my thinking that I was also watching Squid Games while reading this book. 😂 2y
squirrelbrain I too thought that she‘d seen something to do with the Centre @Bookwormjillk @MicheleinPhilly and it was all some kind of experiment, as you say @Addison_Reads but we are led to believe it was something horrific and I can‘t think what she could have *seen* that was that bad. 2y
Addison_Reads @squirrelbrain Learning that I was being watched and experimented on would terrify me far more than a giant sea creature. But I do love that the author left this open for the reader to interrupt while planting those "creepy" moments that make everyone think something slightly different because we all have different phobias and fears. 2y
Deblovestoread Surveillance never occurred to me. I assumed some never seen before deep sea creature. The author certainly left it wide open for interpretation. 2y
Laughterhp Ah! I‘m totally slacking this month! I‘m only 70 pages into this book! 😬 Struggling to find time to pick it up. 2y
Liz_M For me, whatever is supposed to have happened was too undefined. I wanted more dread and fear, but the author was not focused on that aspect at all -- there wasn't enough hints for me to have a theory, so I was was left just not believing in/invested in Leah's story. 2y
BarbaraBB @Addison_Reads I think that was what she did, confronting us with our various fears, open to fill in the ending. Like you, @Bookwormjillk @MicheleinPhilly and @squirrelbrain I thought she saw a camera, with someone from the Center watching the experience. It might even have been Jinka, the co-worker that left halfway through 😱 (edited) 2y
BarbaraBB @Liz_M I think I was so focused on that aspect that I didn‘t even needed the author 🤣 2y
BarbaraBB @Kitta You‘re a deep sea diver, it shows 🦑 2y
Leniverse The guy in the jeans that was referred to as "The Boss" at the going away party had a ring with an eye symbol on it. And there was an eye symbol on the dashboard of the sub. Communication cut out before the other instruments, they had full life support and food for six months. Yes, the Centre def orchestrated the whole thing, but for what purpose I can't guess. 2y
Suet624 I‘m sorry, Barbara. This was a book I could never get my hands on so I‘ll have nothing to contribute. 😩 2y
Soubhiville @Liz_M I agree it was too ambiguous for me too. BUT that said, I guessed it was either a deep sea creature or maybe that Jinka also had gone through a bizarre transformation, just earlier, and maybe she was transformed and still hanging around outside the sub. @Bookwormjillk @TrishB @MicheleinPhilly @Ruthiella @Kitta @Addison_Reads @squirrelbrain @Kdgordon88 @BarbaraBB 2y
squirrelbrain @liz_m I think you‘ve hit the nail on the head. The total lack of even the smallest hint meant that it was left too wide open. 2y
squirrelbrain Ooh, you spotted so much! @Leniverse 2y
squirrelbrain Interesting! @Soubhiville Maybe Jinka had transformed and Leah therefore knew what was coming in terms of her own transformation. 2y
Chelsea.Poole Good points from everyone — I wasn‘t convinced one way or another, that there was a creature down there or that The Centre was watching. Also could she just have gone off the deep end after being stuck down there for so long?? I mean I‘d be beside myself on day one 😬 or a combination of horrors? 2y
Megabooks @Leniverse omg, that is such a good catch!! Wow!! 2y
Megabooks I too agree that it was The Centre. I already thought they were up to no good, but now I wonder were they really under the sea because how could they have the supplies for so much extra time. I can‘t remember if that was addressed well. If they weren‘t under the sea, it reminds me of another recent book, but I won‘t say which because it‘s a MAJOR spoiler. @squirrelbrain @BarbaraBB @Bookwormjillk @MicheleinPhilly @TrishB @Ruthiella @Kitta 2y
Megabooks @Addison_Reads @Kdgordon88 ⬆️ sorry I‘m late to the party y‘all! Everything is breaking in our home and I spent all morning at a furniture store an hour away. Got home with the recliner and one of our club chairs broke while dad was sitting in it! Crazy times here. Guess we‘re heading back to the furniture store soon. 🙄 (edited) 2y
jlhammar I love all of these theories! I really liked that she left it open and that they are all plausible. The not really knowing made it creepier in a way. 2y
BarbaraBB @Soubhiville That is such a scary thought. I didn‘t think of that but it sounds plausible too 😱 2y
BarbaraBB @Megabooks I am extremely curious now to what book you are referring! Also, they had supplies for six months aboard, which is suspicious in hindsight - as if the Center knew they‘d be gone such a long time! 2y
Megabooks That is indeed suspicious! Why six months? Spaces is so tight on submarines! 2y
Ruthiella @Soubhiville Excellent theory…totally could have been Jinka! @Megabooks I think I know the book you mean! 2y
Deblovestoread @Soubhiville I didn‘t even think of Jinka! 2y
Deblovestoread @Megabooks Hope your dad wasn‘t hurt! 2y
Hooked_on_books I figured it was a creature like whatever she then turned into. @Soubhiville That‘s brilliant—Jinka never occurred to me! And @squirrelbrain that could be why Leah seemed relatively unperturbed by what was happening to her, if she already saw Jinka. Maybe she even wanted to change. 2y
BarbaraBB That makes sense @Hooked_on_books ! 2y
Megabooks @Kdgordon88 he wasn‘t, fortunately! 2y
Kitta I read it as the eye was too big to be Jinka‘s although that certainly would be scary and I was expecting Leah to see her body out of the window. @Soubhiville although I hadn‘t considered that she‘d undergone a transformation tbh. I just assumed she‘d be crushed and died. 2y
Kitta Haha thanks @BarbaraBB I do love diving and deep sea creatures. 🦑 🐙 🐠 🐟 🐡 🦈 🐋 🪸 🐚 🌊 😍 2y
batsy I'm with @Ruthiella I prefer to think there was a creature. I also think Jinka underwent a transformation of sorts and that's why Leah perhaps saw what was coming in terms of her own life. The Centre maybe knows that something is up deep down, but uses its scientists as guinea pigs to find out what's happening. I'm not sure if that makes total sense but I just really want that eye to belong to an actual creature. It's the X-Files lover in me 😅 2y
Ruthiella @batsy Have you ever seen The Abyss? I think that movie might also have been influencing me. 🤔 2y
batsy @Ruthiella No, it's something I've always meant to watch though. I really should. 2y
26 likes43 comments
blurb
Laughterhp
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image

Luckily there aren‘t a ton of books I need to finish by the end of the month, but there are 3!

2 are library books with holds rapidly expiring! And the other my #LMPBC read for August!

#20in4 #Readathon

emz711 Oh yeah!! Cinnamon and gunpowder! 2y
Andrew65 Great to have you with us, good luck 😊 2y
42 likes2 comments
blurb
ImperfectCJ
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image

Somebody's glad I finally have a few minutes to sit and read.

RaeLovesToRead Kitty looks so cosy!!! 🥰🥰🥰 2y
MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm So fluffy! ❤️😱❤️ 2y
See All 6 Comments
Soubhiville Aw, good snuggles. 🐈❤️ 2y
ImperfectCJ @Soubhiville Indeed. Snuggles are why he much prefers print or ebooks to audiobooks. 2y
ImperfectCJ @RaeLovesToRead It's one of his top skills. :-) 2y
58 likes6 comments
review
cariashley
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image
Pickpick

I loved the dreamlike, eerie style of this book, and the writing was gorgeous. I wanted more out of the climax though, and the end of the Leah narrative was a bit disappointing. This felt like stripped down Jeff VanderMeer to me, though not in a bad way. Like in a VanderMeer book, I wanted clearer answers at the end. Still a pick, and glad I picked this up for #camplitsy!

Liz_M Beautiful picture! 2y
cariashley @Liz_M thank you! Can‘t beat that pool blue 😎 2y
squirrelbrain Great review! Looking forward to your thoughts at the weekend. 2y
41 likes3 comments
review
Kitta
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
post image
Pickpick

Oof this book. More of a feeling in words than a story, it‘s about a woman who‘s wife goes into a submarine for a deep sea mission and the submarine fails and she stays trapped underwater. Switching between the wives points of view Miri - discussing the aftermath of her wife‘s return and Leah - describing the time underwater.

I loved this #camplitsy pick but I don‘t know if others will! Sunny day today so I‘m off to kayak now!

BarbaraBB Great review. Happy to have you participating in the discussion 🤍 2y
Kitta @BarbaraBB Thanks! I‘m excited for the discussion. I wonder if everyone else liked it as much as I did? 2y
BarbaraBB I think a lot of people did - in the end. But I‘m curious about the discussion! 2y
14 likes3 comments