The Angle of Vanishing Stability
by Sally Lee Stewart
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Pub Date 07 Nov 2023 | Archive Date 06 Nov 2023
Thea West, a Northern Californian teenager growing up in the late sixties and early seventies, is one of five daughters trying to stay afloat amid the psychologically catastrophic dynamic between her parents—a covert and commanding mother and an ocean-yachtsman father. A talented sailor and businessman, Mr. West suffers from crippling alcoholism, with frequent rages that mask his fragility. Thea longs to know how to sail, but in her world, traversing the water is a skill that belongs only to men, and she’s terrified to ask her larger-than-life father to teach her.
When her father’s demons drive him to a new low, Thea isn’t sure if she can ever learn to forgive. She strikes out from home in search of love and self, running from what she views as the problem—her father and his hold on her family. As Thea falls in and out of affairs, marriages, and jobs, her travels take her from New York to Nicaragua and finally back to California. There, she must reckon with the legacy of her father’s love and failure and decide whether she’ll let her past capsize her future—or if she can finally find balance with a life of her choosing.
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