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Our Wives Under the Sea
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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review
BookNAround
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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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. 10h
46 likes1 comment
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Lesliereadsalot
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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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.

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Cazxxx
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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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
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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

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Lindy
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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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

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Lindy
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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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.

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Lindy
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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My heart is a thin thing, these days—shred of paper blown between the spaces in my ribs.

35 likes1 stack add
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BookNAround
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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My local indie owner recommended this one. I‘m such an easy sell. 😂

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

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shanaqui
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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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
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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! 2mo
Mitch It‘s a good one @DGRachel 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 2mo
69 likes2 comments
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morgan_krahn
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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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! 2mo
erzascarletbookgasm 😋Yum! Enjoy! 82 here but not that bad tonight. 2mo
morgan_krahn @MicheleinPhilly same! I was more than ready for fall weather! Bring on that crisp air 🙂 2mo
morgan_krahn @erzascarletbookgasm at least the nights are nice! 2mo
45 likes4 comments
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Mitch
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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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! 😘 3mo
Mitch @DGRachel I have an hours quiet time today ( otherwise known as work avoidance!🤣) and really got sucked into the story. Love it 2mo
76 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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Mitch
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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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! 3mo
63 likes1 comment
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Liz_M
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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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! 3mo
See All 7 Comments
batsy Nicely done with the image effects 🙂 3mo
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. 3mo
BarbaraBB Well it looks just like the book feels! 3mo
jlhammar Cool photo! 3mo
28 likes7 comments
review
Larkken
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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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 😅

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MrsV
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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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! 3mo
Megabooks Same 3mo
24 likes2 comments
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Laughterhp
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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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.

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ImperfectCJ
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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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! 3mo
BarbaraBB What @Megabooks says! Please check out our #CampLitsy discussion on the book for many insightful things said about this book. 3mo
jlhammar Great review! 3mo
54 likes1 stack add3 comments
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BarbaraBB
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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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. 3mo
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. 3mo
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. 3mo
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. 3mo
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. 3mo
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. 3mo
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 3mo
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. 3mo
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. 3mo
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. 3mo
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”. 3mo
BarbaraBB @Bookwormjillk @TrishB like both of you I enjoyed it more than expected - especially the ending. 3mo
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? 🤣) 3mo
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. 3mo
Megabooks @Kdgordon88 I also went in expecting (and wanting) horror, but I like the psychological drama label @MicheleinPhilly and @TrishB 3mo
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. 3mo
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). 3mo
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. 3mo
BarbaraBB That is an insightful thought @jlhammar of both of them returning home. The mother storyline makes more sense too then. 3mo
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. 3mo
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. 3mo
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. 3mo
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! 3mo
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 💔 3mo
squirrelbrain You‘re welcome! @jlhammar We really appreciate all of your contributions. 3mo
Megabooks You‘re welcome @jlhammar ! So glad you joined us at camp this summer! (edited) 3mo
Sparklemn I didn't finish this one but I wanted to chime in to thank all of the #camplitsy hosts. I really enjoyed it! 3mo
BarbaraBB @jlhammar @Sparklemn Thank you both! We are really happy you joined us and made #CampLitsy such a fun and insightful event! 3mo
31 likes31 comments
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BarbaraBB
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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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? 3mo
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? 3mo
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. 3mo
Addison_Reads I think returning at the end was her way of facing everything in order to be able to move forward. 3mo
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. 😆 3mo
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. 3mo
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! 3mo
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. 3mo
BarbaraBB I am ashamed to say I don‘t remember Leah‘s father @Kitta ☺️. I guess neither do you @Liz_M ?! 3mo
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. 3mo
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. 3mo
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. 3mo
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. 3mo
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! 🤔 3mo
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! 3mo
BarbaraBB @Kitta I‘m starting to remember that conversation now! 3mo
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. 3mo
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? 3mo
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 3mo
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… 😁 3mo
TrishB Wow 😯 that is mind blowing! 3mo
batsy Yeah @ImperfectCJ I never thought of that! That's intriguing considering Miri's parallels or anxiety rather about inheriting what her mother had. 3mo
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. 🤔 3mo
Soubhiville @ImperfectCJ @BarbaraBB That‘s certainly plausible. 3mo
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? 3mo
Ruthiella @ImperfectCJ Love that idea! It‘s a way to totally rethink the whole novel. 3mo
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. 3mo
Christine That‘s a super interesting theory that I‘m so glad you shared, @ImperfectCJ ! 🤔 3mo
26 likes31 comments
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BarbaraBB
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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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. 3mo
TrishB @Bookwormjillk agree- we are supposed to fill in the gaps. 3mo
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. 3mo
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. 3mo
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) 3mo
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 3mo
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. 😂 3mo
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. 3mo
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. 3mo
Deblovestoread Surveillance never occurred to me. I assumed some never seen before deep sea creature. The author certainly left it wide open for interpretation. 3mo
Laughterhp Ah! I‘m totally slacking this month! I‘m only 70 pages into this book! 😬 Struggling to find time to pick it up. 3mo
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. 3mo
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) 3mo
BarbaraBB @Liz_M I think I was so focused on that aspect that I didn‘t even needed the author 🤣 3mo
BarbaraBB @Kitta You‘re a deep sea diver, it shows 🦑 3mo
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. 3mo
Suet624 I‘m sorry, Barbara. This was a book I could never get my hands on so I‘ll have nothing to contribute. 😩 3mo
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 3mo
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. 3mo
squirrelbrain Ooh, you spotted so much! @Leniverse 3mo
squirrelbrain Interesting! @Soubhiville Maybe Jinka had transformed and Leah therefore knew what was coming in terms of her own transformation. 3mo
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? 3mo
Megabooks @Leniverse omg, that is such a good catch!! Wow!! 3mo
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 3mo
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) 3mo
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. 3mo
BarbaraBB @Soubhiville That is such a scary thought. I didn‘t think of that but it sounds plausible too 😱 3mo
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! 3mo
Megabooks That is indeed suspicious! Why six months? Spaces is so tight on submarines! 3mo
Ruthiella @Soubhiville Excellent theory…totally could have been Jinka! @Megabooks I think I know the book you mean! 3mo
Deblovestoread @Soubhiville I didn‘t even think of Jinka! 3mo
Deblovestoread @Megabooks Hope your dad wasn‘t hurt! 3mo
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. 3mo
BarbaraBB That makes sense @Hooked_on_books ! 3mo
Megabooks @Kdgordon88 he wasn‘t, fortunately! 3mo
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. 3mo
Kitta Haha thanks @BarbaraBB I do love diving and deep sea creatures. 🦑 🐙 🐠 🐟 🐡 🦈 🐋 🪸 🐚 🌊 😍 3mo
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 😅 3mo
Ruthiella @batsy Have you ever seen The Abyss? I think that movie might also have been influencing me. 🤔 3mo
batsy @Ruthiella No, it's something I've always meant to watch though. I really should. 3mo
26 likes43 comments
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Laughterhp
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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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! 3mo
Andrew65 Great to have you with us, good luck 😊 3mo
42 likes2 comments
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ImperfectCJ
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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Somebody's glad I finally have a few minutes to sit and read.

RaeLovesToRead Kitty looks so cosy!!! 🥰🥰🥰 3mo
MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm So fluffy! ❤️😱❤️ 3mo
See All 6 Comments
Soubhiville Aw, good snuggles. 🐈❤️ 3mo
ImperfectCJ @Soubhiville Indeed. Snuggles are why he much prefers print or ebooks to audiobooks. 3mo
ImperfectCJ @RaeLovesToRead It's one of his top skills. :-) 3mo
58 likes6 comments
review
cariashley
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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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! 3mo
cariashley @Liz_M thank you! Can‘t beat that pool blue 😎 3mo
squirrelbrain Great review! Looking forward to your thoughts at the weekend. 3mo
40 likes3 comments
review
Kitta
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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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 🤍 4mo
Kitta @BarbaraBB Thanks! I‘m excited for the discussion. I wonder if everyone else liked it as much as I did? 3mo
BarbaraBB I think a lot of people did - in the end. But I‘m curious about the discussion! 3mo
13 likes3 comments
review
Megabooks
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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Pickpick

I was really unsure how I felt about this novel until our #CampLitsy discussions. It was a great book/wrong time situation for me, but talking about it brought out what I enjoyed and some great questions.

Miri‘s wife Leah went on a submarine expedition that was caught under the sea for six months. Leah miraculously survived but has been exhibiting strange symptoms, and the organization that sent her is stonewalling Miri‘s attempts to get help.

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Beautiful photo!! 4mo
BarbaraBB I am glad it ended up being a pick for you too! And that picture is 👌🏽 4mo
Cinfhen Wow!! Your flowers to cover matches have been ON. POINT 🎯 The book was definitely strange & unsettling but not my favorite from #CampLitsy 4mo
92 likes4 comments
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Kitta
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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Just started this! A bit late for the #camplitsy discussion but I‘ll catch up today!

So far it reminds me too much of my divorce from my wife 😬 but we‘ll see how it goes.

review
Soubhiville
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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Mehso-so

I only finished this for #CampLitsy, and unfortunately my favorite part about it has been our discussions. I‘m not going to say more because I want to save it for the second-half discussion on Saturday.

Megabooks I wasn‘t a fan until Saturday‘s discussion, but I think it was more of a wrong time thing for me. 4mo
74 likes1 comment
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TheKidUpstairs
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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I read this one for #CampLitsy while I was away last week in the middle of nowhere. Over all I quite liked it (I'll save my review to avoid spoilers for those who are better at following schedules than I am! ?)

But sometimes little things jump out and get under my skin. As a resident of Durham Region, "... not far from the Durham Region of Southern Ontario" while technically true, is a really odd way to describe the location of Lake Simcoe.

rabbitprincess Yeah, that is a weird way to describe it… I would be more inclined to describe it as X amount of drive time north of Toronto. 4mo
Kitta I actually read this while at Lake Simcoe and yes that‘s a weird description! 3mo
TheKidUpstairs @rabbitprincess @Kitta I'm glad I'm not the only one who found it odd! It feels like she just looked at a map and picked something at random, but had no real knowledge (or research) of the area. 3mo
52 likes3 comments
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Bookwormjillk
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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Pickpick

I‘m not even sure what this book was about. I enjoyed it though and look forward to discussing it next week. #CampLitsy #AwesomeAugust book 5/6

Andrew65 Great 👏👏👏 4mo
52 likes1 comment
review
Hooked_on_books
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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Pickpick

Marine biologist Leah goes on a deep sea dive that does not go as planned. Armfield tells the story of the dive alongside both the aftermath and wife Miri‘s story while waiting to learn what has happened. I thought this was fascinating and so well written—the suspense builds beautifully and the whole book feels sinister in the best way. Part of me wants more of an explanation, but I think the way it ends is done so well.

Ruthiella I didn‘t love this but the ending really was moving. 4mo
squirrelbrain I wanted more of an explanation too, but then I always do! 4mo
batsy I agree with it being fascinating and beautifully-written, and also wanting more of an explanation (and hoping it would get weirder, in that sense 😆) 4mo
BarbaraBB I wanted answers too but now that I‘m left with questions I keep thinking about the book! 4mo
57 likes4 comments
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MrsV
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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Hoping to finish this either tonight or tomorrow. #camplitsy.

review
MicheleinPhilly
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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Pickpick

OK then. Strange but beautiful.

I‘m looking forward to next week‘s discussion. #camplitsy

BarbaraBB So many questions!! (edited) 4mo
JGadz11 Great cover! 4mo
55 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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BarbaraBB
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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#CampLitsy

At the time of her disappearance, Leah worked for the Centre. What kind of an institute do you think that is?

Next week will hopefully bring at least some answers or at least our thoughts on what has happened! Have a good week, our last in Camp!

See All 25 Comments
TrishB A very shady institute!! 4mo
Megabooks I definitely don‘t believe anything The Centre is telling Miri. I think they‘ve purposefully made it hard for her to get accurate information on Leah‘s problems. It almost seems like they‘re studying the submarine people and their families as lab rats. Like the experiments weren‘t just on the boat but after too. 🤔 4mo
squirrelbrain This is one of the more intriguing parts of the book - I agree @Megabooks that they seem to have made everyone part of a study. It definitely seems very shady and sinister @TrishB 4mo
BarbaraBB @Megabooks To me it felt too like a reality show or experiment; how would everyone involved react? 4mo
Soubhiville Incredibly shady @TrishB ! I like your theory @Megabooks . I was still feeling like maybe this was all accidental but I wonder now if you‘re right there. Either way the Centre‘s reassurances of how “this is all normal” are giving me the creeps more and more, and every time Miri and Leah are told this I feel like things are less normal. Definitely don‘t trust the Centre! 4mo
MicheleinPhilly @Megabooks That‘s a REALLY interesting theory, Meg. 4mo
TrishB I‘d have been straight onto the press/my MP! 4mo
BarbaraBB @TrishB Me too. I wouldn‘t have let it be for so long. 4mo
batsy Like @TrishB said, definitely shady! Agree with @Megabooks too, maybe it's all the X-Files I've watched (😅) but they definitely seem to be using their scientists in less than ethical ways. The whole impenetrable bureaucracy of the Centre and Miri's desperation to get through to them is super relatable and its own kind of banal horror. 4mo
Ruthiella I agree with @Megabooks ! They are definitely not to be trusted. 4mo
sarahbarnes Agreed @Megabooks - it definitely seems like they are being intentionally non-communicative with them, almost as part of the whole project. SO SHADY. Otherwise why wouldn‘t they be doing more to address this disaster that happened?? 4mo
sarahbarnes I agree @batsy that Miri‘s failed attempts to get through to them for information or help is as much a horrifying part of the story as what is happening to Leah. 4mo
Bookwormjillk Yeah they‘re definitely not on the up and up. 4mo
Liz_M Having recently dealt with insane, ridiculous government bureaucracy (hours and hours of being on hold, forms written to cover multiple situations and therefore contradict themselves, months and months of backlog.....), to me it feels more like an underfunded agency that KNEW it screwed up and is stonewalling to protect itself. 4mo
Hooked_on_books Given their (lack of a) response and circuitous phone system it feels like a government agency to me for sure! They definitely don‘t want to fix what they broke. 4mo
KarenUK Definitely dodgy! 4mo
Chelsea.Poole I‘d love another perspective in this book….perhaps a rogue scientist‘s take on what the Centre is REALLY up to. 🧐 4mo
Kitta While I agree the Center could be seen to be doing more, we just don‘t really know what they are doing in the background. They could be frantic looking for them and trying to figure out what to do. So I kind of disagree with @Megabooks I don‘t think it‘s a sinister plot to study them, although I think they‘re taking advantage of the fact that they can now. Like it was a disaster and accident but we can learn from it. Interesting theory though! 4mo
Kitta @Chelsea.Poole I‘m a scientist and I have faith in the Center. Maybe because I‘d expect them to come after me and try everything possible to rescue me! They‘re in a tough place and don‘t have answers for the families. I‘m possibly too optimistic and the rest of the novel will tell! 4mo
Christine @Hooked_on_books LOL! As a longtime uniformed service spouse I found the gov‘t phone system navigation (and more) all too relatable!! 4mo
Hooked_on_books @Christine My dad was Air Force and my husband is a veteran, so I know their systems all too well! 😝 4mo
Christine @Hooked_on_books OMG yes! There is so much that resonates within the first half of this book re: the military dependent experience. (I haven‘t read the second half yet.) 4mo
37 likes25 comments
blurb
BarbaraBB
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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#CampLitsy

Next, let‘s reflect a bit upon Miri, and her and Leah‘s relationship. How hard for her to deal with the present.

See All 34 Comments
MicheleinPhilly I feel for Miri. The glimpses of their life together “pre-excursion” make me sad. She‘s trying to be supportive but is becoming increasingly frustrated and doesn‘t seem to have a great support system. I empathize with her. 4mo
TrishB I think I would have been the same- giving her space and hoping it sorted itself out. 4mo
Soubhiville Miri is doing her best with an increasingly bizarre and difficult situation. The sort of bureaucracy of dealing with Leah‘s work would drive anyone crazy. The lack of real answers of what happened or how to deal with Leah‘s changes in behavior, the author has done a great job in creating a sense of doom hanging over the characters. (edited) 4mo
squirrelbrain This is one area I struggled a bit with @MicheleinPhilly @TrishB - it wasn‘t clear what Miri had tried to do so far but I did feel like she‘d given up a bit already. I do agree though that she doesn‘t have a great support system but is that because she won‘t allow anyone in? 4mo
Megabooks Miri is way more patient that I would be in her situation @MicheleinPhilly ! I can‘t imagine how frustrating it would be to be unable to reach your partner and understand what she‘s going through. 4mo
Soubhiville @squirrelbrain it does feel like she‘s reluctant to share what‘s happening with her friends who might be able to empathize doesn‘t it? But I wonder if that‘s because she‘s not getting answers from anyone official. 4mo
MicheleinPhilly @Soubhiville It does seem all very “top secret” for what was ostensibly a marine biology mission. Dealing with bureaucracy is never fun, but the Centre‘s silence is alarming. 4mo
BarbaraBB @MicheleinPhilly I wonder why her friends didn‘t suspect a thing. They leave her be and not once someone comes by. I‘ve been wondering about that. 4mo
BarbaraBB @Soubhiville I have been wondering why she didn‘t just go there or call the media and make a scene. Like @squirrelbrain says, it feels like she‘s given up so soon! 4mo
BarbaraBB @Megabooks Exactly, I would have been way less patient too. And I‘d called in help troops - doctors, friends, journalists, whatever it took. 4mo
TrishB Yes- after a certain amount of time it would be press, MPs etc. I genuinely didn‘t understand why she cut her friends out. 4mo
BarbaraBB @TrishB That was the only weak point for me. It‘s not that they didn‘t care for her. They just accepted that she withdrew without asking any questions. And shouldn‘t they have celebrated Leah‘s return?! 4mo
Megabooks @BarbaraBB @TrishB agreed! She seemed really passive about not raising an alarm with someone - whether a doctor, politician, someone - to advocate for Leah. I‘m not sure I‘d want Miri to take care of me in that situation. 4mo
batsy I agree with @MicheleinPhilly that I really felt for Miri. It didn't seem odd to me that she did what she did; people are like that, they make the worst decisions when faced with something that they don't want to face, & keeping people out seemed to fit with Miri's character—introspective, inclined to avoid her feelings as much as she can (her relationship with her mother seems to suggest it's a coping mechanism). She's barely holding it together. 4mo
Deblovestoread I agree with @batsy Miri is barely holding it together. It would be hard to know what to do seeing all the physical changes but not getting any information about what or why this is happening from Leah. 4mo
Ruthiella Well, she isn‘t handling it well! I did feel for her, but her lack of assertiveness did grate a bit. Her friend, however, didn‘t really seem like much of a friend-too self centered. 4mo
sarahbarnes I also really feel for Miri in this situation. I think she is just trying to cope and hoping things will turn around. It feels like kind of a boiling frog situation. It feels like she is also wanting to protect Leah from others finding out how much she has changed? Or maybe it‘s a bit of denial - if she doesn‘t admit it to anyone else it makes it less real what‘s happening? 4mo
Bookwormjillk I do feel for Miri but think that at a certain point she needs to stop waiting for Leah to tell her what to do. She can‘t keep being the passive one in the relationship when Leah is so obviously incapable right now. 4mo
Liz_M Again, Leah was gone for _six_months_. It's cruel, but most of the world moves on in that length of time. If you are not personally involved, it can be hard to sustain empathy over six months of no news and no known ritualized way to process or support. 4mo
Liz_M I also think Miri is struggling with the reality. On the one hand she doesn't seem to want to acknowledge something is wrong -- doesn't want to speak it in existence. But on the other hand she doesn't understand what is happening -- how can she ask for help if she doesn't know what is wrong?
ETA: what @SarahBarnes said
(edited) 4mo
batsy @sarahbarnes Yes to Miri being in denial. There's a sense that she instinctively knows that things might be worse than it appears at the moment, and she's trying to put off having to deal with something she isn't sure how to deal with it. 4mo
cariashley Miri is a very sympathetic character to me, but I got frustrated with her cycling between inertia and otherworldly patience. Her seeming acceptance of the situation over time did seem a little unrealistic, but maybe that‘s a good representation of the impact of the extreme trauma she was dealing with. 4mo
BarbaraBB @cariashley @Bookwormjillk @Ruthiella I felt that frustration too and although I do agree with @batsy @sarahbarnes @Kdgordon88 @Liz_M that Miri might have been in denial, I also think so much time went by (with Leah missing and after she returned) that some kind of action should have been expected 4mo
Hooked_on_books I think Miri‘s doing the best she can with what she‘s been handed. But we also see her getting more and more frantic and trying to contain it. It‘s fantastic writing, building this bubble that you assume eventually has to burst. 4mo
Hooked_on_books @TrishB @BarbaraBB @Megabooks I understand why she hasn‘t raised the alarm. She trying to do so with the Center but getting stonewalled. And she doesn‘t have any answers or know what‘s happening, and when you tell people something in that setting, they start asking you questions you don‘t have the answers to, and for me that just makes me more upset and anxious. So I get it. She‘s barely holding it together as it is without others questioning her. 4mo
KarenUK I felt for Miri so much. It‘s so very difficult caring for someone who doesn‘t want help, or isn‘t able to ask for it, and who doesn‘t let you in. I think Miri kept people at arms length for many reasons. In denial, and the fear, recovering from her own trauma and also for Leah‘s sake. Leah wasn‘t communicating, and was retreating so much into herself. I found it all really heartbreaking. 4mo
Chelsea.Poole I was hopeful in the beginning for their relationship. I agree with @batsy and @sarahbarnes in Miri‘s defense. She was certainly very distraught over the entire situation but seemed powerless to do anything. I can‘t say how I‘d react but I know sometimes people have different ways of coping with trauma. 4mo
BarbaraBB @Hooked_on_books You say it so well, she‘s barely holding it together as it is, and she wants to protect Leah above all, as @KarenUK mentions. You are right @Chelsea.Poole who knows how we would cope in such a heartbreaking situation. 4mo
Kitta I like the analogy of the boiling frog as @sarahbarnes said. I also think this was traumatic for Miri and she could also be responding in a kind of PTSD way, like her trauma wasn‘t as bad as Leah‘s and she knows that but it still affected her badly. I‘m not sure they will get over this. 4mo
Christine Wow, this is such a rich discussion! Wish I‘d been able to participate in real time and feel like tagging basically everyone and saying “Well said!” 4mo
BarbaraBB @Christine Happy you have joined in and please feel free to tag everyone 😀 4mo
30 likes34 comments
blurb
BarbaraBB
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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#CampLitsy

It‘s time to gather around our campfire and discuss the first half of Our Wives under the Sea!

Take care to avoid spoilers if you‘ve already finished the book! We‘ll discuss the whole of the book next week!

First now we start with our thoughts on Leah!

See All 34 Comments
cariashley I just finished the book this morning but am putting myself in the mind frame of being only halfway done. At this point in the book I definitely thought something weirder was going on. The foreshadowing in Leah‘s parts is increasingly intense (and really effective). I really love this kind of writing! 4mo
MicheleinPhilly I‘m beginning to suspect that it must be something else. Have they established how long Leah has been back? I don‘t know anything about decompression sickness but it seems that it would have righted itself by now? 🤷🏻‍♀️ I did force myself to stop reading and I am very intrigued. 4mo
Laughterhp I‘m currently behind! I‘m only 14% and just starting Twilight Zone. 4mo
Soubhiville I just finished this week‘s reading and I definitely think something more than decompression sickness is happening to Leah. I‘m very curious and looking forward to seeing where the story goes. 4mo
TrishB Was definitely a foreboding that it was something else. 4mo
squirrelbrain I agree with you all @cariashley @MicheleinPhilly @Soubhiville - something more than decompression sickness is going on. Earlier on I wondered about mermaids and if she was turning into one, but halfway through it doesn‘t seem like ‘that kind‘ of book. I think it‘s something subtler / less obvious than that. 4mo
BarbaraBB The fact that her body starts changing too implies something Reilly weird has happened. I was thinking of her turning into a mermaid too @Squirrelbrain ! Like that other book all of Litsy read a few years ago? I forgot it‘s title 🤷🏻‍♀️ (edited) 4mo
MicheleinPhilly @squirrelbrain The physical stuff is odd and I‘m curious to see if there will be a definitive diagnosis. Psychologically speaking, her condition makes more sense. She was only supposed to be gone for 3 weeks and it was 6 months. I‘d crack up too. 4mo
BarbaraBB @cariashley I too love this kind of writing. The whole book has a feeling of something going off the rails in between the lines. 4mo
Megabooks Kind of like I said in Q3, I think The Centre is running a human experiment instead of the ocean ones Leah signed on for. I wonder if this illness after her voyage is purposeful. 4mo
BarbaraBB @MicheleinPhilly That‘s right, mentally it must take its toll to be in the dark under the water, not knowing where 😱 4mo
Soubhiville @MicheleinPhilly I‘m with you- I don‘t know if my brain could handle that kind of isolation for 6 months! I‘d probably crack up too. 4mo
TrishB What are they actually ‘doing‘ for 6 months 😱 4mo
batsy Definitely felt like it was something different, to me. That sense of dread and foreshadowing. And yes, as others have mentioned—6 months in the deep, pure dark 😩 4mo
BarbaraBB @TrishB I felt like they did absolutely nothing! 4mo
Deblovestoread Ohhhhh @Megabooks This “clicks” for me. The pieces of what happened down there are sparse and no information on the intent. 4mo
Ruthiella In the first half of the book, I wasn‘t sure…though all the time in the bath and drinking salt water does seem to indicate that it‘s more than psychological or decompression sickness. Plus the fact that The Centre seemed to have intended this to happen-like she was unwittingly part of an experiment. (edited) 4mo
sarahbarnes I agree it definitely seems like something weird is going on with her that no one is talking about and that they don‘t understand. I love the creepy tone of it all. I also cannot imagine being down there for that long! 😳 4mo
Bookwormjillk I think it‘s something more. @Megabooks your theory makes a lot of sense. 4mo
MrsV I agree with @Megabooks and others who think The Centre is doing other experiments other than the stated purpose of the expedition. 4mo
BarbaraBB @Kdgordon88 @Ruthiella @sarahbarnes @Bookwormjillk @MrsV The theory @Megabooks comes up with makes the book extra scary… as if the experience in itself wasn‘t scary enough already 😱 4mo
Hooked_on_books I love that we really don‘t know! The book feels so sinister right now with the not knowing and the Center stonewalling. It makes me want to look over me shoulder while I listen. And good point, @MicheleinPhilly I think a lot of people would crack up. Plus, then she‘s back to the world and supposed to just reintegrate into “normal” life. Not so simple. 4mo
KarenUK It seems like it‘s a huge reaction to the trauma. Like PTSD meets cabin fever…. I just kept thinking about how frightening it would be to be down there, not knowing if or when you would ever escape/return… 4mo
Chelsea.Poole Sounds like an absolute nightmare. I couldn‘t imagine being in a submarine for any amount of time let alone 6 months!! 😱 I agree, seems like something more is going on with Leah. 4mo
BarbaraBB @KarenUK @Chelsea.Poole It would be so frightening! I wonder why Leah doesn‘t talk about it after she‘s back. 4mo
Kitta I agree @KarenUK it seems a lot like PTSD and just surviving rather than living to me. I hadn‘t heard about personality changes from decompression sickness and I do a lot of scuba diving! 4mo
BarbaraBB @Kitta Then you probably know best! Thanks for joining in!! 4mo
Leniverse I've finally caught up. I'm thinking PTSD plus something more. Leah is behaving like that Saint that Jelka was talking about, fasting and drinking salt water while her body falls apart. But there's also Leah's childhood dream of becoming a sea creature, which seems to be actually happening, and Matteo had that Cthulhu figurine, and I'm not sure what genre I am reading right now! But also, Mira doesn't seem like the most reliable of narrators. 🤔 4mo
Kitta @Leniverse I didn‘t notice the connection to the saint! Although drinking salt water sounds disgusting I‘m not sure how she‘s surviving. Interesting idea about her becoming a sea creature as well. 4mo
Leniverse @Kitta Maybe the Center is trying to modify humans so that they can live under water. Or the vessel was taking in water and they were rescued by an unknown race of octopus-/merpeople who modified them so that they would survive. Or... Mira is just having a nervous hypochondriac breakdown and is putting an unreal spin on things. All seem like viable options. 4mo
29 likes34 comments
review
batsy
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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Pickpick

Deeply affecting exploration of grief, as well as mental, emotional, & physical alteration & deterioration. The genuine devastation of losing a loved one slowly, right in front of your eyes. I felt for Miri & Leah. It had some really effective moments of eerieness, but here's where I wish it got weirder & creepier than it was. Like @Ruthiella I would have liked some VanderMeer horror, but perhaps that would have made it a different book entirely.

batsy I love Armfield's writing; her sentences are beautifully constructed, & sometimes surprising. The love story between Miri & Leah tugged at my heart, all the more so because it wasn't expressed in grand terms, but grounded in the little things, in the realities of each person. "It is still comforting, of a fashion, to think about my Leah, though such thoughts come attendant on the usual wave of grief that my Leah is not who I have with me now." 4mo
Freespirit Lovely review. Sounds like one to put on the reading list😊 4mo
See All 14 Comments
squirrelbrain Wonderful review! Looking forward to our #camplitsy discussions. 4mo
jlhammar Awesome review! This was definitely a different kind of horror than I was expecting, but it really worked. Agree about her writing. Only a few pages in I realized I was in good hands when I read “It went on too long and too helplessly. The way that anyone who sneezes more than four times abruptly loses the sympathy of an audience, so it was with me and Leah.“ What an insightful description/comparison! 4mo
Ruthiella I agree, it would have been a different book if the horror aspect had been played differently. Unfortunately the love story angle is just less interesting for me as a reader. 4mo
batsy @Freespirit Thank you! 🙂 4mo
batsy @squirrelbrain Thank you! Yes, it'll be interesting to see what everyone thinks! 4mo
batsy @jlhammar Thank you! Yes, she has a knack for those perceptive insights that arrive quite subtly, without fanfare or a lot of foreshadowing. And I found that quite compelling. 4mo
batsy @Ruthiella I get you! It's a book that sets up different expectations and how someone gets on with it might depend on whether they feel those were fulfilled. I like her writing well enough that I'll gladly read the full weird-horror version if she writes it. 4mo
Megabooks Fantastic review! 🙌🏻 I must admit I‘m more with @Ruthiella though. 👍🏻 4mo
batsy @Megabooks Thank you! It seems to have divided opinion along those lines so the discussion should prove interesting 🙂 4mo
Sparklemn @jlhammar So insightful! Looking forward to this one and catching up with the campers. 4mo
cariashley Finished it this morning and was JUST thinking that it felt like stripped down VanderMeer. Spot on. 4mo
93 likes3 stack adds14 comments
review
TrishB
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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Pickpick

#camplitsy
A pick because I finished…..plenty to discuss. Hope someone‘s got the answer sheet.

Bookwormjillk 😂 4mo
Megabooks 👍🏻👍🏻🤣 4mo
BarbaraBB So many questions 🧐 4mo
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review
squirrelbrain
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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Pickpick

I don‘t want to say too much about this before our #camplitsy discussions at the weekend but…

I was surprised how much I liked it, as there have been mixed reviews. I enjoyed seeing both Miri and Leah‘s perspectives and found myself really engrossed.

I wanted more answers though, but that‘s how I always feel, and that will make for much more interesting conversations around the campfire at #camplitsy this weekend!

batsy I just finished today and was unexpectedly moved. Cried a bit at the end. But yes, wanted more answers or a deep(er) dive into Leah's experience! 4mo
TrishB I‘m enjoying so far 👍🏻 4mo
BarbaraBB @batsy @TrishB @squirrelbrain I am glad you‘re all enjoyed it - after all the mixed reviews. It was a pick for me too! 4mo
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Megabooks I feel like I‘m in the minority on not liking this one, which is good! I want people to like the camp books! 4mo
Cinfhen I liked it ( kind of) but something was off / missing from the telling - not a favorite by any means 4mo
Oryx Interesting..I didn't enjoy this one much (but I finished it at least). Looking forward to the discussion 4mo
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blurb
TrishB
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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#quicklunchtimeread
Just starting this one.

squirrelbrain Enjoy! I just finished…. 4mo
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review
BarbaraBB
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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Pickpick

Leah returns to her wife Miri transformed after a deep-sea voyage in a submarine.
Alternating between her account of the fateful expedition and Miri‘s of its aftermath, Armfield sets two timelines hurtling towards each other as the text approaches its central question: what happened down there?

The book reads like a fairytale, a love story and a gothic horror novel, all done so well that it leaves me sad as well as unnerved. #CampLitsy

lele1432 Ahhh I can‘t wait to read this! I loved her short story collection Salt Slow. 4mo
BarbaraBB @lele1432 Then you‘ll probably love this one too 🤞🏽 4mo
Suet624 Are you still thinking it's probably not for me? 4mo
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jlhammar Sad and unnerving - great way to describe this one! Glad it was a pick for you. I'd definitely be interested in trying her short story collection sometime. 4mo
BarbaraBB @Suet624 I meant for us of course! It ended up being a pick for me but that‘s more for the cleverness of it than for the story or the characters. You‘d probably like it too but it‘s no 5 star read for me and I wouldn‘t really hurry to read it if I were you. 4mo
batsy Sad and unnerving sums it up—just finished the first half. I'm filled with the need to KNOW but I also sense that it's not going to give many answers (not that it's a bad thing!) 4mo
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BarbaraBB
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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Summer is going so fast. We‘re already starting our last #CampLitsy book, Our Wives Under the Sea.
We‘ll discuss the first half (until Abyssal Zone) on Saturday 20 August and the second on the 27th.

Afterwards we‘ll vote for our August winner and the ultimate #CampLitsy winner. Helen, Meg and I hope you‘ll be there!

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Soubhiville How is it already the last book?! I‘m ready to start it today 🙂📚 4mo
TrishB On my pile for this week 👍🏻 4mo
Megabooks So excited to see what camp thinks of this! 4mo
Cinfhen Wow!! That went by SO FAST!! I‘m also curious to hear what others have to say about this one @Megabooks 4mo
squirrelbrain Really looking forward to our #camplitsy discussions on this one! 4mo
MicheleinPhilly This is the one I‘ve been most looking forward to so I am VERY excited. 4mo
Bookwormjillk I can‘t believe we‘re on the last book already! I don‘t know a thing about this book but I‘m looking forward to getting started tomorrow! 4mo
Cathythoughts 👍🏻 Thanks Barbara 4mo
BarbaraBB @Soubhiville @TrishB @MicheleinPhilly @Bookwormjillk @Cathythoughts I hope we all will love it, reviews are mixed so far! 4mo
BarbaraBB @squirrelbrain @Megabooks I just started but it is a real campy read I think! 4mo
batsy Thanks! Just started and I'm intrigued. 4mo
Deblovestoread Excited for this one! 4mo
Suet624 I can‘t seem to find this book at any of my libraries. 🥴 4mo
BarbaraBB @Suet624 I am sorry to hear that although I doubt it would be your favorite book of #CampLitsy 4mo
Larkken I loved this! Powered all the way through it already. Don‘t worry, no spoilers 🤐😂 4mo
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Augustdana
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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Did some poolside reading last night and finished this one quickly. Enjoyed the two different perspectives.

BarbaraBB I am reading this one too now. I hope you‘ll join in for the #CampLitsy discussion about it next Saturday! 4mo
bookishdawg Beautiful reading spot! 😊 4mo
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review
jlhammar
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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Pickpick

This is a strange one, but in the best of ways, I think. Eerie and compelling. Really captures the helplessness you feel when someone you love isn‘t well. The horror of having them with you physically, but not truly with you because they are so altered by trauma or illness. That terrible feeling of losing them slowly.

Should make for a great #CampLitsy discussion. I‘ll be out-of-town for family stuff so not sure if/when I‘ll be able to join-in.

squirrelbrain Great review! I‘m looking forward to starting this one (hopefully this weekend). 4mo
Megabooks I struggled with this one, but I‘m very interested to see how the discussion goes. Great review! 4mo
BarbaraBB Great review. I just started it. I hope you‘ll tune in when possible! 4mo
batsy I just finished and, damn 💔 Love your review! Captures it perfectly. 4mo
jlhammar @batsy Thanks! It really is a heartbreaker. It will be a harder #CampLitsy decision for me this month. I think I‘m leaning towards Either/Or, but I did appreciate this one. Makes me want to try her short story collection. 4mo
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review
Chelsea.Poole
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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Pickpick

Submarines have always totally creeped me out, so I was uneasy during this whole book. Excellent writing and it‘s short, so I wasn‘t tortured for very long. 😆 Need to think more on this to ponder the themes and meaning behind it all. Spent much of the reading experience feeling claustrophobic. 😬
Looking forward to the #camplitsy discussion! Also this is my #bookspin for August.

Megabooks Thinking of submarines makes me feel claustrophobic too so 😬😬😬 4mo
jdiehr I toured a submarine in San Francisco and walked straight through saying, "excuse me, excuse me," in order to get out as fast as I could. 4mo
Sparklemn @jdiehr Sounds like me every time I'm in a big crowd. 4mo
allureofbeauty I really want to read this one. 4mo
TheAromaofBooks I get stressed every time I watch a movie that takes place on a submarine 😂 4mo
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blurb
Chelsea.Poole
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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My #bookspin and #doublebookspin seem to have a theme! I‘ll be in the ocean with both reads. 🌊
Our wives is for #camplitsy

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review
Addison_Reads
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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Pickpick

Some of the marketing for this listed it as horror, but you will be disappointed if you go into this read thinking that.

What this book is though is a brilliantly disguised love story wrapped up in a strange, not quite fully explained underwater expedition that leaves one wife forever changed.

The dynamics between Miri and Leah are tender and melancholic and explore the deeper bonds of marriage.

I also loved the underwater descriptions. 😁

BarbaraBB Fantastic review. I am so looking forward to it! 4mo
dylanisreading I really liked this one too! 4mo
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rockpools
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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The deep sea is a haunted house: a place in which things that ought not to exist move about in the darkness.

#FirstLineFridays @ShyBookOwl

Because, obviously, reading things in the right order is beyond me, I thought I‘d start this. (Also, it‘s due back and I can‘t renew). Very atmospheric- liking it a lot so far.

BarbaraBB I am very much looking forward to this one. Are you with us in #camplitsy to discuss it? 4mo
rockpools @BarbaraBB Yes, definitely, but… I haven‘t persuaded myself to read Either/Or yet 🫣. I had two attempts at The Idiot, and failed so…. 4mo
BarbaraBB Then I wouldn‘t bother. I did like it but it‘s more of the same, only Selin is in 2nd year now🤷🏻‍♀️ 4mo
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rockpools @BarbaraBB That‘s kind of what I thought. I‘ll probably read enough to be sure what I‘m missing, but I‘m quite intrigued by this one. 4mo
ShyBookOwl Great cover, but despite loving creepy horror, I am legit terrified of sea creatures so this is probably not the book for me 😅 4mo
Kitta I love this cover version, mine (US) is different. 4mo
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jlhammar
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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“The deep sea is a haunted house: a place in which things that ought not to exist move about in the darkness.”

#FirstLineFridays

BarbaraBB Hope you‘ll like it! 4mo
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