The Sea Captain’s Wife

Publisher: Vintage Canada
Azuba Galloway, daughter of a shipwright, sees ships leaving for foreign ports from her bustling town on the Bay of Fundy and dreams of seeing the world. When she marries Nathaniel Bradstock, a veteran sea captain, she believes she will sail at his side. But when she becomes pregnant she is forced to stay behind. Her father has built the couple a gabled house overlooking the bay, but the gift cannot shelter her from the loneliness of living without her husband. When Azuba becomes embroiled in scandal, Nathaniel is forced to take her and their daughter, Carrie, aboard his ship. They set sail for London with bitter hearts.

Their voyage is ill-fated, beset with ferocious storms and unforeseen obstacles that test Azuba's compassion, courage and love. Alone in a male world, surrounded by the splendour and the terror of the open seas, she must face her fears and fight to keep her family together.


1. Noah’s Ark
It was the fifth year of her marriage, when her child, Carrie, was four years old. The bleeding began in the privy. Azuba wiped herself with a square of newspaper and found a red gout. She ripped newsprint from the nail. More blood came, thick, flecked with black strands. She mopped...
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1. Why do you believe Azuba consents to an “expedition” to Davidson’s Beach with Reverend Walton, despite her initial hesitation?

2. What motivates the reactions to Azuba and Reverend Walton’s night at the beach? Consider the reactions of Azuba, Nathaniel, Reverend Walton, the Galloways,...

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National Bestseller

"The Sea Captain's Wife is a terrific tale, fast-moving and expertly told, one which measures, in the author's phrase, 'the true size of the world.' Like The Hatbox Letters, Powning's second cleverly crafted novel is not to be missed.
London Free Press

"Equal parts character study, travelogue and action-adventure tale, The Sea Captain's Wife is a marvellous read."
Edmonton Journal

"Epic in its emotional intensity… The work also succeeds at painting a vivid and vibrant portrait of the Atlantic Canadian landscape during the last days of the age of sail."
The Chronicle Herald

"It is swashbuckling, it is heart-rending and readers will shed tears."
National Post