A young Englishwoman—akin to a Jane Austen heroine—transforms the lives of a couple who has suffered tragic loss in this story of love and redemption
Fourteen years after her death, the ghost of their baby daughter, Sarah, haunts world-famous playwright Emmanuel Joyce and his fragile, embittered wife, Lillian. They have each learned to cope in their own way: Emmanuel seduces his secretaries and Lillian keeps photos of her lost child on the dressing table of every hotel they visit. They’re always on the move as they travel from city to city accompanied by Emmanuel’s orphaned, hero-worshipping manager, Jimmy. But now a minor crisis looms: Emmanuel’s latest secretary has taken a near-lethal dose of drugs on the eve of the Joyces’ departure for New York to cast his new play. They need to hire a replacement immediately. Enter stage right: Alberta Young.
A clergyman’s daughter from Dorset, Alberta arrives for the interview clutching a copy of Middlemarch. She is unlike anyone Emmanuel, Lillian, or Jimmy has ever known. And little by little, she will transform all their lives.
Narrated by four main characters, The Sea Change moves from London to New York to Athens and, finally, to the Greek island of Hydra. The bestselling author of the Cazalet Chronicles delivers a novel about learning to move beyond the past without giving up our memories, and how we can change and grow.