Thank you [partner] Bibliolifestyle and Ecco Books for including me on the book tour and for an advanced reading copy of Sea State by Tabitha Lasley (publication date: December 7, 2021).
“A hybrid of sorts: an investigation that is also a confession but reads a lot like a novel. It is a startlingly original study of love, masculinity and the cost of a profession that few outside of it can truly understand.”
Journalist Tabitha Lasley, long hoping to write a book about men working on offshore oil rigs and quit her job in London. She considered working on a rig herself—and even took a safety course—even though just 3% of the workers are women. But when she began an affair with Camden, a married father of twins, her first source, she let an apartment in Aberdeen for six months instead, resolving to complete one hundred interviews.
Lasley offers compelling observations about the industry—particularly its abysmal records regarding safety and environmental impact. The high pay rate, risky jobs, and significant time away from home shape the men’s attitudes about savings, gender, and relationships.
At the same time, Lasley’s affair with Camden, one of these men, and her time spent among the many others, affected her, as she dropped any pretense of objective reporting, , disregarding boundaries and engaging in the risky behaviors of drinking and drug use.
Sea State is a memoir of Lasley’s stay in Aberdeen, her interactions with the men she interviewed, and her relationship with Camden which, though they saw each other only six times in person, had significant consequences to them both.
I thought the writing was excellent, and I really enjoyed the insights into working offshore and how that affected men and bleed into their relationships. This would be a good book club book—lots to talk about!