Katy Simpson Smith, author of The Story of Land and Sea, on tour August/September 2014

Posted By on August 17, 2014

The story of land and seaAbout The Story of Land and Sea

• Hardcover: 256 pages
• Publisher: Harper (August 26, 2014)

Set in a small coastal town in North Carolina during the waning years of the American Revolution, this incandescent debut novel follows three generations of family—fathers and daughters, mother and son, master and slave—characters who yearn for redemption amid a heady brew of war, kidnapping, slavery, and love.

Drawn to the ocean, ten-year-old Tabitha wanders the marshes of her small coastal village and listens to her father’s stories about his pirate voyages and the mother she never knew. Since the loss of his wife, Helen, John has remained land-bound for their daughter, but when Tab contracts yellow fever, he turns to the sea once more. Desperate to save his daughter, he takes her aboard a sloop bound for Bermuda, hoping the salt air will heal her.

Years before, Helen herself was raised by a widowed father. Asa, the devout owner of a small plantation, gives his daughter a young slave named Moll for her tenth birthday. Left largely on their own, Helen and Moll develop a close but uneasy companionship. Helen gradually takes over the running of the plantation as the girls grow up, but when she meets John, the pirate turned Continental soldier, she flouts convention and her father’s wishes by falling in love. Moll, meanwhile, is forced into marriage with a stranger. Her only solace is her son, Davy, whom she will protect with a passion that defies the bounds of slavery.

In this elegant, evocative, and haunting debut, Katy Simpson Smith captures the singular love between parent and child, the devastation of love lost, and the desperate paths we travel in the name of renewal.

Praise for The Story of Land and Sea

“The arresting prose, vividly original characters, and narrative drive with which Smith tells this story of desperate familial love on a long-ago coast provided this reader with several hours of pure pleasure and a rare glimpse of grace in a fictional world.” —Anita Shreve

“A marvel. With prose as meticulous as brushstrokes, I can think of no other debut filled with such wonder, grace, and beauty…a tremendous achievement, a masterful exploration of parenthood and faith…An heir apparent to Michael Ondaatje and Marilynne Robinson, Katy Simpson Smith has written a book for all of us.” —Paul Yoon

“Smith’s soulful language of loss is almost biblical, and the descriptions of her characters’ sorrows are poetic and moving.” —Publishers Weekly

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 Purchase Links

Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble

Katy Simpson SmithAbout Katy Simpson Smith

Katy Simpson Smith was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. She attended Mount Holyoke College and received a PhD in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. She has been working as an adjunct professor at Tulane University and is the author of We Have Raised All of You: Motherhood in the South, 1750-1835. She lives in New Orleans.

Connect with Katy Simpson Smith through her website.

Katy’s Tour Stops

Monday, August 25th: Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Tuesday, August 26th: BookNAround

Wednesday, August 28th: Sara’s Organized Chaos

Wednesday, August 28th: Broken Teepee

Tuesday, September 2nd: Jorie Loves a Story

Wednesday, September 3rd: No More Grumpy Bookseller

Thursday, September 4th: Book Hooked Blog

Monday, September 8th: The Book Binder’s Daughter

Thursday, September 11th: Kritters Ramblings

Friday, September 12th: Consuming Culture

Saturday, September 13th: 100 Pages a Day … Stephanie’s Book Reviews

Wednesday, September 15th: 5 Minutes for Books

Tuesday, September 16th: BoundbyWords

Wednesday, September 17th: Spiced Latte Reads

Thursday, September 18th: West Metro Mommy

Monday, September 22nd: Cerebral Girl in a Redneck World

Friday, September 26th: Silver’s Reviews


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