Tabitha Lasley’s memoir “Sea State” is described as a book about a woman seeking a world without men, but for me it was about one woman being honest. Honest about what? Name it. Her work life, living situation, relationships and frankly her outlook for any of these. In short, not good. And yet there she is admitting it through well drawn prose, humor and painful honesty. An example you ask?
Okay, as she heads north to Scotland to interview men who work offshore she just so happens to sleep with a source on her second night out. But there’s more. They become a couple, form a relationship. He’s married. Did I mention that? Oh, and oddly enough, it doesn’t end well. But what hooked me was her description of things that may or may not have been said.
A friend worked offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, which feels like child’s play compared to the rigs in the North Sea. Even still, my friend nearly died several times and felt like a lottery winner when he finally hit dry land. Even the ride back to civilization, the pilot being a bored Vietnam vet, was terrifying. He’s not been in a chopped since.
I also like the fact that Lasley doesn’t work like a journalist unless you describe her work as being embedded with your fellow man. There doesn’t seem to be that line you can’t cross. She crossed it, unapologetically, and the feel is endearing more than anything else. We can read this and feel how dangerously close it comes to striking home. Get it, read it.
Your read recommendations never achieve the level of feedback they deserve. Here is a story where the veil between author and subject is amazingly thin. Gonzo journalism? Not for me to say, but the story is interesting. Each chapter carefully leads the reader to understand the authors targeted subject matter, her relationship to the subject and the consequences resulting from that relationship when you are creating a story in a one horse town.
Personally, I am looking for a read that takes me out of my chosen wheelhouse. This book delivered on that goal.
Agree. I too love those books that take me somewhere else. Some on purpose and others through the magic that books provide.
This was just gripping. Her growing confidence in interviewing strangers as her own world was crumbling was so inspiring. And them northerners are hard, I cannot imagine doing what she did as a woman. Fantastic recommendation again, Dan!
I totally agree. Not easy especially when you have several strikes against you from the get-go. That takes nerve.