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July's Book
Ahab's Wife
- by Sena Jeter Naslund

Advance praise for Ahab's Wife

"Ahab's Wife is an epic tour de force and deserves its rightful place next to Melville's classic. Ambitious, powerful, heartbreaking, and transcendent at once, Una Spenser's tale of a life fully lived gives us what we crave: a compelling story beautifully told. This is a great American novel."

--Brett Lott, author of Jewel


"Ahab's Wife is a worthy female companion to Moby-Dick and a tour de force in its own right."

--Gail Godwin, author of Evensong


"Line up the literary prizes. Rendered in language both lush and luminous, Ahab's Wife is sustenance for the mind and soul."

--Wally Lamb, author of I Know This Much is True


"Based on nineteenth-century sources and peopled with a rich array of fictional, mythic, and historical characters, this ambitious novel is a kind of Technicolor dream quilt that turns Moby-Dick inside out and stitches it back together... Harrowing, poignant, and comical by turns, Ahab's Wife is an audacious romp through mid-nineteenth-century New England history that is amply informed by both scholarship and imagination...A spanking good read."

--Laurie Robertson-Lorant, author of Melville: A Biography


"Ahab's Wife joins a distinguished tradition of literary works inspired by Moby-Dick. Sena Jeter Naslund's homage to Melville is steeped in his work and at the same time explores a world that Melville left largely uncharted: the world of woman's experience in nineteenth-century America. She weaves a richly imagined tapestry of historical details, compelling characters, literary history, metaphysics, and a gripping plot. Ahab's Wife is a riveting novel."

--Elizabeth Renker, author of Strike Through the Mask: Herman Melville and the Scene of Writing


"A deliciously old-fashioned bildungsroman, adventure story, and romance...with a suspenseful, affecting, historically accurate, and seductive narrative.... Una is an enchanting protagonist: intellectually curious, sensitive, imaginative, and kind.... A splendid novel that amply fulfills its ambitious purpose, offering a sweeping yet intimate picture of a remarkable woman who both typifies and transcends her times."

--Publishers Weekly (starred review)


"Una...is so vividly portrayed that she seems more real than fictional.... She possesses a sense of wonder, the experience of divinity in all things. A complex and sophisticated book, brilliantly written, beautifully illustrated."

--Booklist (starred review)


"A ravishingly detailed re-creation of the worlds of 19th-century antebellum America and of Melville's seminal Moby-Dick... A genuine epic of America: an inspired homage to one of our greatest writers that brilliantly reinterprets, and in many ways rivals, his masterpiece."

--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)


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