Sea Creatures: A Novel (P.S.)
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In Sea Creatures, a riveting domestic drama by Susanna Daniel, a mother must make the unthinkable choice between her husband and her son.
When Georgia Qullian returns to her hometown of Miami, her toddler and husband in tow, she is hoping for a fresh start. They have left Illinois trailing scandal and disappointment in their wake, fallout from her husband’s severe sleep disorder. For months, their three-year-old son has refused to speak a word.
On a whim, Georgia takes a job as an errand runner for a reclusive artist and is surprised at how her life changes dramatically. But soon the family’s challenges return, more complicated than before. Late that summer, as a hurricane bears down on South Florida, Georgia must face the fact that her decisions have put her only child in grave danger.
Sea Creatures is a mesmerizing exploration of the high stakes of marriage and parenthood.
framed it, that it will not disappear down the sinkhole of photographs printed but never looked at again. But also, it gives me a pinch of regret. Naturally, there is no such photograph of Frankie with my mother. We started trying to get pregnant while she was still alive, but it took too long. As far as she knew, she had no grandchild. Charlie wanted to drive the Zodiac. We’d fallen into the routine of taking a break after Frankie’s nap for a swim around the house, but today he wanted to head
at bedtime, ice cream after dinner. Sometimes Frankie looked as surprised by his own voice as I was. One morning before dawn I woke to a warm hand on my arm. “Potty?” he said. Sometimes when it was dark he didn’t want to go alone. After I brought him back, he looked up at me and said, “Sorry I wake you, Mama.” Did every mother feel, each time the word was formed, a small, soft hand petting her heart? When I told Dr. Sonia what Emily had said—this was at a hasty follow-up appointment—she nodded
around, as if Frankie might have been hiding. He took the bag upstairs and I followed. I figured I’d ask him what I wanted to ask him and get back in the boat, but once we were in the office, he immediately opened the can with a screwdriver, then poured it into a pan. “My, that is blue,” he said. “Forget it. I’ll get white.” I started to put the lid back on the paint, but he put a hand on my arm. “What’s wrong with you?” “Nothing.” “I was married for forty years, Georgia.” “I met someone
said, “I loved the last batch of portraits. You’re very talented.” He blushed. “Charlie’s the artist. I’m just a technician.” He cocked his head, regarding me. “I’ll tell you a secret—I’m a little drunk. My father keeps a bottle of Scotch in his room, but he’s forgotten it’s there.” His smile, engulfed by the abundant beard, was wry and sad. His shoulders slumped. “That’s not nice of me, is it? Vivian was very nice.” “That’s what I hear.” Marse came back with two paper cups and handed one to
they talked and held hands. Like Lidia, these women wore chunky gold jewelry and sheer scarves and brightly colored, draping blouses, wide-legged pants or layered skirts. They were the kind of women who looked like their lives, inner and outer, were composed in a way that mine had never been. As I stood barefoot on the galley’s patch of faded linoleum, wearing a tank top and Bermuda shorts, I both admired and resented them. I was a person who was usually able to ignore the inherent competition of