Our Wives Under the Sea
Our Wives Under the Sea was read for my Queer Lit class. It’s really hard to write reviews of the books read for that class because we really tore into these books going over every little thing critically. Hearing other nitpick things about a book from that kind of perspective sometimes changes how you feel about something.
Wikipedia lists the book as horror. I am not sure if I would call it horror or speculative fiction of sci-fi horror. It does given me vibes of movies like Levithan and The Abyss but it’s not horror in the sense that it scares the crap out of you.
Also from Wikipedia: The novel tells the story of Miri, a grant writer, whose wife Leah has returned from a deep-sea research expedition that was marked by catastrophic failure and who is undergoing a physical metamorphosis as a result. (It’s been a while since I read the book and had to look up the names of the characters.)
The other reason I don’t want to call it horror is, even though this thing is happening to Leah, the story is told with such care. It is non-linear and told from the POV of both Miri and Leah. You feel all the anguish of Miri as she is trying to find out what happened to her wife, and find her help. The underwater research company Leah worked for is very secretive and nonhelpful in every sense of the word. If a conspiracy was turned into a corporation it would be The Centre.
The book ends with more questions than answers, but that is really okay. The book is about dealing with impending loss of a loved one. It’s like watching someone you love fight an incurable disease and knowing the end is coming. Only Leah isn’t sick. She’s transforming into some form of deep sea life that is not suitable for life on land. It’s about the search for answers when there are none. In short, this book will break your heart.