“This deeply moving, powerfully realized debut novel, an estranged father and son find reconciliation in the final week of the father’s life…Geye tackles the subjects of death, dying, and living with admirable insight and courage…Geye engages the complexities of family dynamics skillfully and handles especially well the kind of family grudges and misunderstandings that can cripple relationships for decades, as they do here. Inspiring, wise, and enthusiastically recommended for all readers.”
“Geye is a skilled and subtle observer. Throughout the book, readers are given an affectionate and perceptive view of roughhewn northern Minnesota, not only its Walden-esque lakes and forests, but also its thrifty and honest people…Geye is a gifted storyteller…Geye might wince to read this, but he could be a first-rate adventure novelist. He also excels in creating characters who are ordinary and exceptional at the same time—high praise for any author. The characters in Safe from the Sea are maturely-crafted; there are no heroes or villains in the book, just good people working through tough issues with grace and good humor.”
—New York Journal of Books
“A finely crafted first novel…Give this book to readers of David Guterson and Robert Olmstead.”
“[A] lyric story of familial strife and reconciliation…Geye excels at capturing the importance of life’s seemingly small moments and at cataloging their beauty…Geye shows how relationships—however flawed the participants—can be salvaged and strengthened when people strive to make things work through understanding and the search for and sharing of the truth.”
—ForeWord Magazine, ForeWord Magazine
““A man and his estranged elderly father. A tragic Lake Superior shipwreck thirty-five years in their past that crushed their - and the rest of the immediate family’s - relationships with each other. The stunningly beautiful northern Minnesota landscape. These factors come together to create one of the best first novels I’ve ever read.”
—Carl Hoffman Boswell Book Co., Boswell Book Co.
“Safe From the Sea is an honest story, of a hardened sailor and his son in their remote Minnesota cabin, together yet run aground from the apparent wind of lost years. ...the two work to fill in the missing space, the stories left unsaid, against the sway of shipwrecks and heartaches…sensational.”
—Michael Karpus, Books & Books Bal Harbour Shops, Michael Karpus, Books & Books Bal Harbour Shops
“The primeval beauty of the Great Lakes and the brutal power of its storms provide the backdrop for this superb examination of life's natural cycle. As Noah Torr confronts both his dying father and he and his wife's problems with conception, an old shipwreck and the effect it had on the Torr family supply the framework for the participants to appreciate life and death in the normal flow of human existence.”
—Bill Cusumano, Nicola's Books
“The setting was so beautifully and chillingly rendered and it wasn't surprising that hearts shattered like ice when the ending…was revealed.”
—Vicki Erwin, Main Street Books, St. Louis, MO
"You know everybody's not going to make it when the book begins, but you have to know how those who survive move ahead. For a sparse setting in a frank emotional climate, there's a lot to take from the warm scenes between father/son, son/wife, brother/sister."
—Geoffrey Jennings, Rainy Day Books
“Peter Geye has caught the essence of Minnesota's exotic and remote North Shore of Lake Superior juxtaposed with a story of the poignant struggle between adult children and elderly parents. Lake Superior is the graveyard of hundreds of shipwrecks and Peter has allowed us to imagine one from a survivor’s point of view. In this setting a son and daughter take the time to be with their father in his last days- truth, understanding and respect emerge. We will enjoy handselling this novel in fall as we experience the Gales of November.”
—Anita Zager, Northern Lights Bookstore
“Peter Geye has crafted one of the best descriptions of such a shipping disaster on Lake Superior that I’ve ever read... But this book is so much more than an exciting adventure story. Estranged from his father for much of his adult life, Noah is called to his Minnesota hometown, the shipping village of Misquah, by his dying father. What follows is nothing less than a true love story, revealed in chapters built around the shipping disaster tale... This gem is highly recommended for romantics and adventurists, men and women alike."
—Nancy Simpson, Book Vault
"This is a beautifully atmospheric book that has both seafaring adventure and a tender father-son story of regret and forgiveness. A young man and his aging father have a troubled and distant relationship, but when the son answers his father's summons to the family's cabin in the north woods, they find they have a deep longing for a better connection. As cold winds and snow sweep around the cabin, the father finally tells his son the true story of the shipwreck that has haunted their family for decades, and their hearts begin to thaw. This is a deeply emotional story about the family legacies that flow from one generation to another, shipwrecks or not, and if you're like me, it will make you think long and hard about your own."
—Margie White, Just the Bookstore
“Beautifully written…when I find myself reading passages form the story aloud, I know the writing has truly captured me. It was a sad and touching book, but some scenes made me laugh out loud, while others were so moving that I had to take a moment away from the pages…Peter Geye has given me a short read that I enjoyed so much, his next book is sure to be on my list as well.”—A Curious Reader
“What a pleasant surprise this book was! A lovely story of good people, the bad things that push them apart and ultimately, of their own goodness bringing them back together in time to appreciate the impact they have on each other’s lives.” --Chris Rickert, Joseph-Beth Booksellers
"We sometimes love our silent fathers through the hard work they do. Peter Geye has written a novel suffused with a son's love and darkened by the rough storms of a sailing father's affection and absence. SAFE FROM THE SEA is a beautiful book--all shipwreck and rescue."
--Alyson Hagy, author of GHOSTS OF WYOMING
"SAFE FROM THE SEA is at once a Great Lakes adventure, an ode to a vanished life, and a gorgeous examination of the healing of deep wounds between father and son. This is a tautly written gem. I urge you to discover this journey for yourself."
--Joseph Boyden, author of the Giller Prize-winning novel THROUGH BLACK SPRUCE
“I don't know of another novel that better captures that stormy North Atlantic up in Minnesota called Lake Superior than Peter Geye's compelling debut novel, SAFE FROM THE SEA. He captures the wildness and the cold and braids those figurative aspects into a tenderly told story of a son and a father who has been anything but tender. The artful merging of a story of relationships with a riveting sea tale has been the formula for many memorable books, and Peter Geye has made it fresh here and kept it memorable.”
-–Stuart Dybek, author of I SAILED WITH MAGELLAN
“I was thrilled to discover the work of Peter Geye. Besides being a page-turning delight, his book is beautifully written, and the relationship between Noah and Olaf is one of the greatest father and son stories I've ever come across. This is a stunning novel, and Peter Geye is a special writer, whose voice is like no one else's. I hope we hear from him again, and soon.”
--Steve Yarbrough, author of SAFE FROM THE NEIGHBORS
“Peter Geye has rendered the Minnesota north shore in all its stark, dangerous beauty, and it is the perfect backdrop for this deeply moving story of conflict and forgiveness. SAFE FROM THE SEA is a remarkable debut.”
--Ron Rash, author of SERENA
"SAFE FROM THE SEA is Peter Geye’s fine debut, a deep hearted novel of bitten lives lived out on the cold shore of a ferocious world. In the silence of their existence, the dignity of their bearing, Geye compassionately renders the magnitudes of their despair, endurance and greatness."
--Robert Olmstead, author of FAR BRIGHT STAR