Loving the Ocean Won't Keep It From Killing You
Rachel Bell's new book is a story of sex and recovery, drugs and hospitalization. In this slim but densely-packed volume we meet Marina and follow her as the story jumps back and forth through time--a broken marriage to adolescence and beyond.
The story begins with a crosscountry trip fleeing a cheating, violent husband. Bell gives us brief but evocative views of America as Marina navigates it: "When she stepped out of her car in Albuquerque she took a deep breath, her hands shaking from 120 milligrams of amphetamine salts, and thought, 'Fuck Albuquerque,' as she stared into the sky which was now showing her stars that she had never seen. She promised the new stars that she would give a name to each of them."
At its core Loving the Ocean Won't Keep it from Killing You is a survivor's story--it's about surviving rape, an abusive marriage, a Serbian sexual predator, and a sea of awful hook-ups. It's a book set in classrooms and in-patient recovery rooms, methy trailerparks and lonely highways. It's an American story--modern, unflinching, filled with a universe of human details (told beautifully) that make up a life. Graphically sexual and hilariously frank, this book is somber, wild, true, and terrifying.
64 pages, 5"x7", Perfect-bound
Praise for Loving the Ocean:
"Loving the Ocean Won't Keep It From Killing You is an unwavering look at the life of a girl named Marina as she navigates trauma recovery, a failed marriage, and various unsatisfying men and strangers. What sets Rachel Bell's writing apart from most is her sympathetic fondness for people, even at their most flawed and mistake-prone. She writes about life like it's an adventure and that helps both her and us--her readers--want to survive it and even celebrate it. It's a gift that Bell gives all the time in her writing and here is more hard proof. Loving the Ocean Won't Keep It From Killing You is sad, but also heroic. Viva la Marina." -Kevin Sampsell, author of This Is Between Us
"Rachel Bell is one of the most ambitious writers alive. Picture this: Rachel Bell invites you to a bar and says, 'I’m going to tell you a story about America.' You think Disney, fireworks, hot dogs, baseball games, tanned people, Christians. But Rachel Bell says, 'Not the America promised to you in the movies. The real one.' And now you’re listening. Because Rachel Bell is murdering this America in front of you. She talks about sex and anxiety and depression and shitty people and drugs and trailer parks and violence. She talks about love. And you listen. You pay attention. And in that moment you realize something. This is a gift she is giving you: the death of the American dream." -Oliver Mol, author of Lion Attack!