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At Sea

LIST PRICE $27.99

About The Book

“Moving and immersive...truly compelling.” —Marjan Kamali, nationally bestselling author of The Stationery Shop

What happens when the man you love most in the world—who may be lying about everything—unexpectedly disappears and takes your small child with him? Emma Fedor’s riveting and powerful debut explores the fierceness of first love and how far one woman will go to learn the painful truth about her family.

When Cara and Brendan first meet, she’s fresh out of college, recovering from the recent death of her mother, and spending time on Martha’s Vineyard while trying to figure out her next steps. She’s swept away by Brendan’s humor and charm, and intoxicated by his thrilling, dangerous secret: he can breathe underwater. Able to stay beneath the waves for longer than should be possible, Brendan reveals that he is part of a secret experimental unit of the US Special Forces. And Cara, struck by the power of his conviction, by his unstoppable charisma, and by the evidence before her, believes him.

Their summer romance turns serious. Then Cara gets pregnant. When their son, Micah, is born, she’s sure their happy ending is underway. Still, she’s thrown by Brendan’s dramatic moods, his unexplained disappearances, and the weight of his secrets. Cara is determined to stay strong for her young family, to heal Brendan’s psychic wounds, to keep him safe. Until he and baby Micah vanish, leaving her desolate and alone and questioning everything she once thought was true.

Five years later, Cara is still struggling to move forward, married to another man and trying to rebuild her life, when a local fisherman announces he’s spotted two people—one of them a small child—treading water in Nantucket Sound, far from any vessels and miles from shore. The news rekindles Cara’s never-abandoned hope that her little boy may still be alive. As she fights to untangle delusion from reality, and revisits a past she’s worked hard to reconcile, Cara is determined to learn the truth about her lost love and finally find her son.

About The Author

Photo by Jared Charney.

Emma Fedor grew up in Connecticut and earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Kenyon College. Her short story “Climb” was selected as a semifinalist for the 2018 American Short(er) Fiction Prize. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and chocolate lab. At Sea is her first novel. Visit Emma’s website at EmmaFedor.com and follow her on Instagram and Twitter @EmmaMFedor.

Why We Love It

“How can the unexplainable be explained—or understood? Cara’s first love, Brendan, insists he can breathe underwater, and she believes him. Is he telling her the truth? Is he mad? She’s not sure it matters, until he disappears with their young son and her grief upends everything she thinks she knows about loss and love. A stunning debut novel that will remind readers of​Matthew Quick’s New York Times bestselling novel, The Silver Linings Playbook or Guillermo del Toro’s magical Oscar-winning film, The Shape of Water.”

—Jackie C., Senior Editor, on At Sea

Product Details

  • Publisher: Gallery Books (March 7, 2023)
  • Length: 320 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781982171544

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Raves and Reviews

“[M]esmerizing fantastical debut… Fedor’s neatly plotted narrative keeps the pages turning, and Cara’s emotional pull toward her lost family makes the far-fetched conceit feel believable. This sparkling debut will hook readers.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A wonderful, haunting and original read, full of longing and watery strangeness. Fedor perfectly captures the fever dream of first love. I was immersed and didn't want to come up for air." —Katherine Faulkner, author of Greenwich Park

"I loved this haunting, genre-defying novel. It made me imagine sitting at a bonfire, listening to my elders tell stories with themes as old as time. Selkies and merrows, mythology and folklore—what mysteries does the universe hold? Fedor took this question and made it her own. I couldn’t stop turning these pages." —Mary Beth Keane, New York Times bestselling author of Ask Again, Yes

At Sea captures the intense and irresistible pull of first love . . . explores the complex layers and unanswerable questions of our romantic connections with refreshing honesty and grace.” —Marjan Kamali, nationally bestselling author of The Stationery Shop

"At Sea is a beautifully written, mesmerizing debut about love: the stories we believe when we think we’re in love, and the stories we tell ourselves in order to hold onto that love. This is a book you won’t be able to put down." —Jessica Anya Blau, author of Mary Jane

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