cover image Move Like Water: My Story of the Sea

Move Like Water: My Story of the Sea

Hannah Stowe. Tin House, $24.95 (272p) ISBN 978-1-959030-10-2

Stowe immerses readers in the sights, sounds, and rhythms of the ocean in her spellbinding debut. She begins by recounting her childhood on the Welsh coast, characterized by walks along a shore studded with sea glass, mermaid’s purses, and hag stones, then loosely traces her development as a sailor, from working on a tourist boat to joining research expeditions while she pursued a degree in marine biology. Each chapter revolves around a sea creature, which Stowe shares research about before weaving in her own experiences: for example, a fascinating introduction to matrilineal sperm whales turns into a stirring meditation on the women, including her grandmother and scientists Rachel Carson and Sylvia Earle, who have inspired her. In a chapter on the albatross, Stowe braids the perilous, transoceanic journeys the giant birds undertake each year with her own against-all-odds struggle to recover from a spinal injury. “By stars and birds, wave and whale,” Stowe finds her way across choppy waters while encouraging readers to reassess their own relationships with the sea. The result is an unforgettable plunge into the passions of an extraordinary storyteller. Agent: Jessica Woollard, David Higham Assoc. (Sept.)