Sea Creatures: A Novel (Paperback)
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.
About the Author
Susanna Daniel was born and raised in Miami, Florida. Her first novel, Stiltsville, was awarded the PEN/Bingham prize for debut fiction. She is a graduate of Columbia University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and lives in Madison, Wisconsin.
“A captivating, haunting novel about the complexities of the human heart and its attachments, terrain as slippery and beautiful and disaster prone as Daniel’s South Florida.”
— Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone
“There’s a charmer at the heart of Sea Creatures….Almost like an action-filled, emotional memoir….Gripping.”
— Associated Press
“While Miami has inspired its satirical works of genius, chilling mystery novels and excellent accounts of Cuban exile, we’ve mostly run short on first-rate literature that takes the city seriously enough to capture its eccentricities without flinching....Daniel, with Sea Creatures, gets it absolutely pitch perfect.”
— Miami Herald
“A tender tale of a woman navigating the responsibilities and risks of parenthood.”
— Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“Don’t confuse the waterfront setting with light beach reading; this is substantive domestic drama…readers interested in families coping with disabilities will find Frankie particularly compelling as he navigates changing relationships and obstacles.”
— Library Journal
“Daniel returns to Stiltsville’s South Florida in a second novel filled with domestic upheaval, difficult choices, and far-reaching consequences….Daniel’s verdant descriptions of salt and sea continue to shine, as does her portrayal of a mother struggling to protect her son.”
— Publishers Weekly
“A sophisticated story that holds the reader rapt….[Daniel] sets up each scene in Sea Creatures with masterful strokes….She builds momentum from the opening chapter, leading up to the crescendo….Daniel drives into tumultuous waters and emerges with a mesmerizing, beautiful novel.”
— Jeanna Kolker, Wisconsin State Journal
“Utterly enthralling….[Sea Creatures is] about love, loss, and longing in their most familiar forms. Brace yourself: you’ll fall hard for the characters, and your heart will break preemptively-even before the hurricane blows through.”
— Catherine Newman, More.com
“What I found most stirring in Sea Creatures is how deftly Daniels exposes one of the most agonizing realities of parenthood: that no matter how hard we try, or how endless our love for our children, we are hampered by our own limitations, sometimes even tragically.”
— Helen Schulman, author of This Beautiful Life
“Susanna Daniel brings an uncommon intimacy to her characters’ lives, and also to the landscape where those lives unfold-a cartographer not only of the shore and the ocean but of the passions, bruises, joys, and insufficiencies of the human heart.”
— Kevin Brockmeier, author of The Brief History of the Dead
“An intelligent page-turner (that is, the dream combination) about, among other things, South Florida, art, insomnia, and marriage.”
— Curtis Sittenfeld, author of Prep and Sisterland
“Daniel’s writing is rich in description—of both its lush Florida settings and her characters’ emotional landscapes—that draws the reader in.”
— Isthmus Review
“Sea Creatures is perfect for summer reading, a more literary offering than your usual beach fare. Author Susanna Daniel crafts beautiful, dreamy descriptions of ocean life that threaten to lull readers into a sense of complacency.”
— The Daily News Journal (Tennessee)