Book Review: The Language of the Sea by James MacManus

Rating: 3.5/5

Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books

Publish Date: May 10, 2011

Origins: From Publisher for Review

Format: Hardcover

Order From:  Amazon / Barnes & Noble  

Synopsis: Marine academic Leo Kemp has everything: the respect of his colleagues, an international reputation, and an enviable Cape Cod lifestyle. But beneath the tranquil surface of his life, tension is brewing. Leo and his wife, Margot, have been drifting apart for years, and Leo's growing resentment with the Institute he works for has put him at odds with the administration.

When Leo loses his teaching position thanks to his outspoken views, he decides to go on one last field trip with his students. The outing becomes disastrous when the weather turns and Leo is swept overboard. Despite everyone's best efforts, Leo is missing, presumed dead; lost at sea. Left behind are friends, lovers, and a bewildered daughter, seeking the truth. Amidst the grief, rumors slowly begin to circulate; something has been sighted living on an uninhabited island a few miles off shore.

Leo's journey is evocatively described in this novel as the author explores what can happen beyond our perceived knowledge of science. James MacManus has crafted a lyrical and affecting family drama in which the bounds of reality are tested through his cunning narrative.

Review: While I did enjoy this book once I was able to get into it, it was a bit of a slow process. I had to put it down a couple of times, but I wanted to read it, so I kept going. I really enjoyed the last half of the book. I just had a hard time relating to any of the characters, except for Leo, but only later in the book. I did enjoy learning about the seals and marine life. I do agree that there is so much we have left to learn about our own planet. Try The Language of the Sea and see if it speaks to you...



  1. Sound like an intriguing book, and I do love the ocean and marine life. A book I'd love to read!

  2. Sounds intriguing though this theme has been done before.


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