The latest book that I am reading was a gift from my cousin Nancy, she passed it along to me when we went to see her on Mother’s Day weekend. It’s written by Sena Jeter Naslund who also authored Four Spirits, the title of her latest book is Ahab’s Wife or, The Star Gazer.
I just started it and I really like the writing style, I love the concept of exploring the wife’s story, the character off the pages of Moby Dick, who stayed on shore tending the home fires while the husband is traipsing throughout the seas on a crazy quest. The book’s first chapter is called Extracts and it is a few pages of extract after extract from Herman Melville’s classic showing the existence of Captain Ahab’s wife.
Once the fact that Captain Ahab did indeed have a wife is well established, we then get to meet her and follow her through her own story. I am curious to see how getting to know Captain Ahab’s wife, her name is Una by the way, will impact my appreciation of Moby Dick after all these years.
So far I have learned that Una is very close to her mother and has a difficult time of it with her father. This in and of itself isn’t so uncommon, girls and their fathers can often clash but I am waiting to see if this will affect her later in life when men enter her life.
I am very intrigued as to what type of woman would be attracted to a personality such as Captain Ahab’s and I suspect that I will see how huge the transformation of Ahab’s psyche must have been after his encounter with the beast and the impact on their relationship. Quite interesting if you ask me.