The Sea Captain’s Wife

Sea Captain's Wife cover001

“One day she would look back at it and see only a picture, small and insignificant as a rain-wrinkled postage stamp, of herself and Carrie, a messy cabin, a storm somewhere in the Drake Passage…”
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Growing up on the Bay of Fundy, Azuba Galloway dreams of going to sea. When she marries Nathaniel Bradstock, a seasoned sea captain, she assumes that she will sail at his side. But Nathaniel will not hear of it. Returning, after years away, he discovers that Azuba has been involved in a scandal and so, reluctantly, agrees to take her on board his ship, along with their young daughter. The ensuing voyage charts not only the world’s oceans, but a marriage’s evolution under the most extreme circumstances.

Long-listed for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award; short-listed for the Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award; a Canadian national bestseller; a Barnes and Noble “Discover Awards Pick”; an “Best Books of the Month” selection.


Globe and Mail: “The Sea Captain’s Wife” offers a fine and variegated journey; back in time (to the 1860s) and around the world on a merchant sailing ship…Beth Powning is an extraordinary writer…The book reads as real. I am a witness to its truth and sweep. I read, and was there.”

Owen Sound Sun Times: “A brilliant, absorbing story…Powning’s prose never misses a beat.”

National Post: “An elegant piece of writing…Powning has opened up a fascinating bit of history.”

 Ottawa Citizen: “Readers will find a streak of the poetic in all of Beth Powning’s work. The Sea Captain’s Wife is a terrific tale, fast-moving and expertly told…not to be missed.”

The Toronto Star: “…a novel about relationships, the changes wrought by time and the long, rocky voyage that constitutes marriage…”

Book Beast: “A perfect summer read.”

Elle: “…(a) powerful tale of love and obsession.”

The Chronicle Herald: “Epic in its emotional intensity…the work also succeeds at painting a vivid and vibrant portrait of the Atlantic Canadian landscape during the last days of the age of sail.”