Amanda Star, July 19, 2011 (view all comments by Amanda Star)
This is an impressive and engrossing fantasy. The writing is beautiful and highly poetic. The span of the epic is satisfying. I cant help but think about some of literatures other heroines who are larger than life and stronger than time. I love rading stories that remind you not to "settle", to keep dreaming and following those dreams.
Lynn Cox, January 2, 2010 (view all comments by Lynn Cox)
Ahab's Wife is one of those rare books that makes one regret having finished reading it. It's not that the ending disappoints -- not at all! It's that the sheer pleasure of reading such a well-written, engrossing saga has ended. I wanted the book to go on and on. A masterpiece.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No (2 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)
Marie, March 7, 2007 (view all comments by Marie)
Naslund has taken the notion of this character, this unknown woman who we would presume is merely waiting and watching for the fabled whaler Ahab to return, and fleshed her into an amazing person in her own right, living in a fully formed world of hardy survivors.
Although in many ways the book strains credulity, the gorgeous writing holds us and makes us believe. It is not an historical novel, even though some mistake it for that because Naslund so fully places us in Ahab's world.
What has stayed with me most about this novel is the inspiration of people who are fulfilling their potential despite harsh circumstances and societal pressures.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No (15 of 23 readers found this comment helpful)
"A complex and sophisticated book, brilliantly written, beautifully illustrated."
by Kirkus Reviews,
"[A] genuine epic of America: an inspired homage to one of our greatest writers that brilliantly reinterprets, and in many ways rivals, his masterpiece."
by Louise Erdrich,
"An intense treat, powerfully written, Ahab's Wife is one of the best contemporary novels I have read in years."
by Los Angeles Times,
"Beautifully written. Lyrical...alluring and wise."
A gorgeously written, gritty, sensual novel that captures a new Joan of Arc - the achingly young peasant woman long hidden behind the layers of history and legend
by Harper Collins,
From the opening line — "Captain Ahab was neither my first husband nor my last" — you will know that you are in the hands of a master storyteller and in the company of a fascinating woman hero. Inspired by a brief passage in Moby-Dick, Sena Jeter Naslund has created an enthralling and compellingly readable saga, spanning a rich, eventful, and dramatic life. At once a family drama, a romantic adventure, and a portrait of a real and loving marriage, Ahab's Wife gives new perspective on the American experience.
This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.
Behind the girl rides her army of ten thousand warriors, all of them united by the same strange and feverish joy as they crash across the winter fields, through the white land and toward the shadowed stillness of the pines. She is seventeen, a peasant, unschooled, simple as a thumb. But on this morning, she is simply Gods arrow, shot across the winterland, brilliant and savage and divine. Unstoppable.
It is the fifteenth century, and the tumultuous Hundred Years War rages on. France is under siege, English soldiers tear through the countryside destroying all who cross their paths, and Charles VII, the uncrowned king, has neither the strength nor the will to rally his army. And in the quiet of her parents garden in Domrémy, a peasant girl sees a spangle of light and hears a powerful voice speak her name. Jehanne.
The story of Jehanne dArc, the visionary and saint who believed she had been chosen by God, who led an army and saved her country, has captivated our imaginations for centuries. But the story of Jehanne—the girl—whose sister was murdered by the English, who sought an escape from a violent father and a forced marriage, who taught herself to ride and to fight, and who somehow found the courage and tenacity to persuade first one, then two, then thousands to follow her, is at once thrilling, unexpected, and heartbreaking. Rich with unspoken love and battlefield valor, The Maid is a novel about the power and uncertainty of faith, and the exhilarating and devastating consequences of fame.
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.