• The Great Offshore Grounds

  • A Novel
  • By: Vanessa Veselka
  • Narrated by: Xe Sands
  • Length: 13 hrs and 57 mins
  • 4.0 out of 5 stars (41 ratings)

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The Great Offshore Grounds  By  cover art

The Great Offshore Grounds

By: Vanessa Veselka
Narrated by: Xe Sands
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Publisher's summary

National Book Award Nominee

A wildly original, cross-country novel that subverts a long tradition of family narratives and casts new light on the mythologies - national, individual, and collective - that drive and define us.

On the day of their estranged father’s wedding, half sisters Cheyenne and Livy set off to claim their inheritance. It’s been years since the two have seen each other. Cheyenne is newly back in Seattle, crashing with Livy after a failed marriage and a series of personal and professional dead ends. Livy works refinishing boats, her resentment against her freeloading sister growing as she tamps down dreams of fishing off the coast of Alaska. But the promise of a shot at financial security brings the two together to claim what’s theirs. Except, instead of money, what their father gives them is information - a name - which forces them to come to grips with a long-held family secret. In the face of their new reality, the sisters and their adopted brother each set out on journeys that will test their faith in one another, as well as their definitions of freedom.

Moving from Seattle’s underground to the docks of the Far North, from the hideaways of the southern swamps to the storied reaches of the Great Offshore Grounds, Vanessa Veselka spins a tale with boundless verve, linguistic vitality, and undeniable tenderness.

©2020 Vanessa Veselka (P)2020 Random House Audio

Critic reviews

"The Great Offshore Grounds reminded me of what a great novel can do - Veselka's seafaring epic has the forward momentum of a grand adventure and the spiraling depth of a new myth. All the pleasure of eighteenth century storytelling renewed for our newborn millennium. I love this textured, tonally complex wonder of a book, a quest for Melville's 'unimaginable sublimity' that never shies away from the messy flux of the body, or the oceanic scope of our shared global history. It's also a blast to read - darkly hilarious, astral, cerebral, suspenseful, warm-blooded, divine." (Karen Russell, author of Orange World)

“Astonishing depth and scope ... Veselka blends fascinating details of seamanship, cab driving, and boot camp with intimate, spot-on descriptions of contemporary American poverty ... This gritty and unsentimental work is compassionate, funny, and deeply human.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Energetic ... points of view shift kaleidoscopically, passages of history and politics are woven into the questlike narratives of the characters. The result is a fiery and occasionally luminous chaos that feels true to the experience of those for whom each day is lived at the edges of mainstream society.” (Kirkus)