Our Wives Under The Sea by  Julia Armfield

Our Wives Under The Sea

Julia Armfield

Part supernatural thriller, part intimate love story: this novel explores the fallout following a disastrous mission on board a submarine. A duel narrative charts life above and below the sea, taking the reader on a claustrophobic journey. There is often an element of unease in leaving your comfort zone and this slow-burning masterpiece of suspense is not a book I will forget in a hurry.


I look around the bathroom and think about nothing, really. Stupid things. The way I always used to floss and brush and mouthwash where Leah only brushed. The way I used to sit on the edge of the bath and read to her and drink beer while she washed her hair with water poured from a plastic vase, because she preferred it to standing up in the shower.  The way she never managed to wash the conditioner out of the tops of her ears.  

I look at her now and know what has been true since she returned: this change, this dragging tide beneath her surface. I watch the water dribble from the corner of her mouth and do not know whether it is simply bathwater or something spilling from inside. I take a flannel and wipe her, gently, cup her head and wonder what it is I feel beneath my palm that isn't hair or skull but something other.  

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