Move Like Water by Hannah Stowe

Rating: 4/5

What It’s About:

As a young girl, Hannah Stowe was raised at the tide’s edge on the Pembrokeshire coast of Wales, falling asleep to the sweep of the lighthouse beam. Now in her midtwenties, working as a marine biologist and sailor, Stowe draws on her professional experiences sailing tens of thousands of miles in the North Sea, North Atlantic, Mediterranean, Celtic Sea, and the Caribbean to explore the human relationship with wild waters. Why is it, she asks, that she and so many others have been drawn to life at sea—and what might the water around us be able to teach us?

Braiding her powerful and deeply personal narrative and illustrations with stories of six keystone marine creatures—the fire crow, sperm whale, wandering albatross, humpback whale, shearwater, and the barnacle—Stowe invites readers to fall in love, as she has, with the sea and those that call it home, and to discover the majesty, wonder, and vulnerability of the underwater world.

Tin House

Thank you to Tin House and Net Galley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This book releases on September 19, 2023.

The Review

I’ve been thinking about this review for about two weeks, just letting everything marinate in my mind. Move Like Water is a book that blends the Stowe’s life experiences with marine biology in a captivating way. There are so many elements that stood out to me that I think a bullet point list would work well. My 3 year old is also sitting next to me, eating ramen and painting with watercolors…so I’m a little distracted! Haha!

  • the author is a female working in a male dominated field – marine biology and sailing
  • descriptive and lyrical writing about the ocean and marine ecosystems
  • scientific facts that are easy to understand by non-science people 😅
  • shares her inspiration by other female scientists in marine biology
  • her non-traditional path of earning a degree
  • having a major spinal injury as an active young person, rehabilitation, pain management
  • I loved learning so much about the ocean animals that she writes about
  • the author’s advocacy for ocean conservation and reducing our human impact on marine life

The vast ocean kind of scares me but, Move Like Water has changed my perspective quite a bit. Stowe’s writing has encouraged me to see the beauty and wonder of the sea. If she ever writes more books, I would definitely read them. I also look forward to exploring the many resources she shares at the end of the book.

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Have you read this book? I’d love to hear what you thought!

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