Sea Change is a surprising little gem of a book. I was drawn in by the promise of octopus friendship, but I stayed for the incredibly relatable (human) protagonist. 

Ro is floundering. Her boyfriend has left to embark on a literal mission to Mars, she is still mourning her missing-presumed-dead father, her mother is “difficult”, and her best friend is seemingly beating her at the Game of Life. Ro’s one source of happiness is Dolores, an octopus she cares for at the aquarium where her father once worked, and where Ro is now employed. But when someone expresses interest in purchasing Dolores, Ro spirals out of control.

Gina Chung’s debut is utterly charming. I couldn’t help but empathize with Ro; I think we all reach the “what am I doing with my life” point at one time or another. Chung treats Ro’s story with real tenderness. Chung’s writing is fluid, and a genuine joy to read. To be honest, I have very little patience for novels about the problems of people in their twenties, but this one was constantly compelling. 

Sea Change is a light read, addressing issues such as family, love, societal pressure, growing up, making bad choices, and sea life. It is incredibly well-written, and contains a lot of warmth.

Sea Change is released on March 28, 2023. Pre-order from your bookseller of choice now!

Thank you Knopf, Pantheon, Vintage, and Anchor for providing me with a much-appreciated ARC.

One thought on “Review: Sea Change, by Gina Chung (Knopf, Pantheon, Vintage, and Anchor)

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