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  • Writer's pictureAshley Mongrain

Our Wives Under the Sea | Review

Rating - ⭐⭐⭐

"Leah is changed. Months earlier, she left for a routine expedition, only this time her submarine sank to the sea floor. When she finally surfaces and returns home, her wife Miri knows that something is wrong. Barely eating and lost in her thoughts, Leah rotates between rooms in their apartment, running the taps morning and night.

As Miri searches for answers, desperate to understand what happened below the water, she must face the possibility that the woman she loves is slipping from her grasp."


Our Wives Under the Sea is a standalone fiction novel by Julia Armfield.

I had never heard of this book before, but it is apparently one of Booktube's favourite books of 2022. Although I knew this was out of my comfort zone, I decided to pick it up since my library had a copy available and the concept did grasp my attention on some level. I really don't gravitate toward stories that focus on trauma, and grief, and rehabilitation, but I was in a daring mood I guess I could say. Did it end up being worth it, I can't quite say yes.

I wouldn't say this was bad, but I didn't get what all the hype was about. That is mostly due to the fact that the story wasn't what I was expecting it to be. It could have just been a misleading review, but I thought this would be about Leah and Miri reconnecting and healing after a traumatic event. That this would grapple with the concept of trauma by confronting it rather than with ignorance. That didn't happen though. It could just be me not understanding the story as well, but there was a whole lot of nothing in this to me.

By the time I got to the end of the story, I was confused because I thought there would be more to the story. I feel like I missed something because it felt like the story didn't progress, at all. Barely anything happened and there was no closure or explanations for aspects of the story that I really needed. Just a lot of introspection which isn't what I look for in a book.

In general, I don't vibe with fiction since I find those kinds of stories to feel rather flat. Or maybe that isn't the best descriptive word, but what I mean is that I need a story with more ups and downs. This remained pretty constant, while fantasy and horror/mystery have a lot more tension and atmosphere to them, which I think this story did need. I probably would have liked it a lot more if there was more horror to it, despite this being labelled as a horror (even though it is most decidedly not).

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