Cover image for Sea room
Sea room
Gautreau, Norman G., 1941-
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Publication Information:
San Francisco : MacAdam/Cage Pub., [2002]

Physical Description:
311 pages ; 24 cm
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Amidst World War II, three generations of Maine lobstermen struggle with honor and integrity, on the battlefield, on the high seas, and in the courtroom. By pursuing their dream, the Dupuy family learns that those they have lost really do live on.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

A thoughtful generational family drama set in the seaside village of Buck Harbor, Maine, Gautreau's debut explores WWII's effects on the Dupuy family and their saltwater farm. For 10-year-old Jordi Dupuy, life is simple, filled with days of lobster trapping and sailing excursions with his father, Gil, and grandfather, Pip. But when President Roosevelt's yacht arrives with a battalion of U.S. warships close behind, Jordi braces for the "far different life" ahead of him, as Gil enlists to fight in the war and temporarily shelves their plan to build a new sailboat. Jordi is ecstatic when his father's letters from abroad arrive, but furious when the sinister Virgil Blount is smitten with Jordi's mother, Lydie. Pip and wealthy Uncle Chrtien are there to pick up the pieces when the war intensifies and claims Gil's life, leaving the women to mourn and the men to build Jordi's boat without Gil. Years later, accusations fly against Virgil when the barn containing the nearly finished boat is torched, as well as against Jordi when another family member dies; not even approaching Hurricane Clara can squelch the melodrama of the courtroom conclusion. Gautreau's prose, accented with charmingly distinctive New England vernacular, demonstrates a strong eye for detailed atmosphere, which nicely counterbalances a few mawkish moments, and the characters are wonderfully rendered. This is a charming, heartfelt debut for Gautreau, who confidently abandoned a business career to write it. Agent, Kimberley Cameron of Reece Halsey North. (May 15) Forecast: MacAdam/Cage's growing reputation for publishing and promoting high-quality debuts should help draw attention to this quietly accomplished novel. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Adult/High School-Teens, especially those interested in boats, will enjoy this coming-of-age story of a boy growing up in the 1940s in a close-knit family eking out a living from the sea. Jordi Dupuy, 10; his father, Gil; and his grandfather, Pip, are dazzled by a 40-foot ketch moored in a harbor near their farm on the Maine coast. Jordi and his father dream of building such a vessel, but when America enters the war, Gil volunteers and becomes a medic. Just before the fighting ends, he is killed and the dream fades. French-Canadian and Catholic in a sea of Yankee Protestants, the Dupuys find that their isolation is deepened by their inability to join with families welcoming home their sons. A year later, Jordi and his grandfather revive the boat-building project and, when Pip is diagnosed with lung cancer, the work becomes a race against time. Friends help finish the ketch, and Jordi helps Pip aboard for its maiden voyage. On their return, Pip is dead and Jordi is charged with mercy killing, but a farewell note from his grandfather to his wife is found in time to exonerate the young man. Characters, both major and minor, are vividly drawn, as are the unpredictable sea and sky. The family members, bound ever tighter by tragedy, evoke themes of devotion, loyalty, and perseverance. They face adversity by finding sea room-the space to set your own course through rough waters.-Molly Connally, Kings Park Library, Fairfax County, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.