The Sea Knows My Name

The Sea Knows My Name
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Release Date
June 14, 2022
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In this seafaring fantasy, a soft-spoken and empathic teen must chart her own course to rescue the ruthless pirate who raised her

If there’s one thing Thea Fowler has learned from her mother, it’s that the only way for a woman to survive in a man’s world is to make herself strong, invulnerable even. Strength, after all, is how Clementine Fowler survived after her world was washed away by ash and lava and became one of the most notorious pirates the world has ever known.

Unfortunately, Thea has inherited none of her mother’s ruthlessness and grit.

After a lifetime of being told she is a disappointment, Thea longs to escape life under her mother’s thumb. And when she falls for a handsome sailor named Bauer, she thinks she’s found her chance at a new life. But it’s not long before first love leads to first betrayal, and Thea learns that there’s more than one way to be strong.

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exploration of the female voice in a male-dominated world
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THE SEA KNOWS MY NAME is an exploration of the female voice in a male-dominated world. Told in back-and-forth timelines of Thea in the present and the past that brought her to this point we meet a girl trying to find her place away from the shadow of her mother’s reputation and a man’s world.
Thea’s mother, Clementine, is smart but when she warned her island of an impending explosion, they would not head her because she was female. Four days after leaving on a ship with Thea the island was destroyed with few survivors. In her rage, Clementine turned pirate captain and tried to educate Thea on how to be a ruthless killer that all men feared.
Clementine is a force of nature. As the story unfolds, we get glimpses of this pivotal time in Thea’s life but I would have enjoyed a more immersive experience. I did not feel a part of her story. It was made up mostly of a few scenes where Clementine was the mouthpiece of female rage instead of a “real” character with layers and depth.
I enjoyed Thea’s time on shore when she was learning that she could survive without help. She has trauma and her mother’s teachings ultimately made her life much harder. She could have stayed with Wes and it could have been a love story or she could have made a new life with the baker after finding her strength, but this story was not so easily predictable.
Thea is a bit of an unreliable narrator because she knows she is not like other girls but her mother has stamped her views on her development till she is unable to function well around others. The author used this book to point out gender inequality and make good points about the disparity but I still would have liked this story to go differently. Wes was a great character who was underutilized and arrived at convenient times to save Thea.
Overall, this was a fast-paced read. The story was broken up between before and now timelines which made each chapter feel quick. It also kept the characters at a surface level that felt like a missed opportunity. There was room for expansion of a story beyond the exploration of female rage at men.
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