Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfield

Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfield
Published by Picador on March 3, 2022
Genres: Horror, LGBTQIA+, Science Fiction
Pages: 240
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Purchase on: Amazon// Barnes & Noble
Add to: Goodreads

Miri thinks she has got her wife back, when Leah finally returns after a deep-sea mission that ended in catastrophe. It soon becomes clear, though, that Leah is not the same. Whatever happened in that vessel, whatever it was they were supposed to be studying before they were stranded on the ocean floor, Leah has brought part of it back with her, onto dry land and into their home.
Moving through something that only resembles normal life, Miri comes to realize that the life that they had before might be gone. Though Leah is still there, Miri can feel the woman she loves slipping from her grasp.
Our Wives Under The Sea is the debut novel from Julia Armfield, the critically acclaimed author of salt slow. It’s a story of falling in love, loss, grief, and what life there is in the deep deep sea.


Long and Short of it: A lot of build just to be let down and confused.

I wanted to read something that would scare me. Something that would sweep me up and make me read it nonstop because I would want to know what is happening and what will happen. Our Wives Under the Sea seemed like it’d be the right fit, and honestly? It was for a little bit.

Basic premise, wife of main narrator goes on a routine sea expedition. Nothing goes as planned. Main narrator thinks her wife is dead and is just preparing for that (this all happens off screen if you will.) Wife comes back but comes back wrong. Seems thrilling, doesn’t it?

Except, for me, this ran into an issue a few other horror writers have. They create all this intrigue, all this mystery, but never have any answers! It is all building tension with no release. I blazed through the majority of the book and when I reached the last 15-20%, I knew no one knew what was happening. I wish they did because it was so good until then!

Another pet peeve was the main character and my inability to understand her. There were things she did, and mostly things she didn’t do, that made no sense to me. I would’ve been screaming, calling everyone, the government, the media. I would’ve been on the phone with any and everyone I could. Instead, she seemed content to just let things be, regardless of how they are. It became annoying and wildly unrealistic the further in I got.

Would I recommend this to anyone? Unsure! If you don’t mind open endings, you might really love this! If you hate having to do an author’s work for them, maybe skip…


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