Out Front the Following Sea is a historical epic of one woman’s survival in a time when the wilderness is still wild, heresy is publicly punishable, and being independent is worse than scorned—it is a death sentence. At the onset of King William’s War between French and English settlers in 1689 New England, Ruth Miner is accused of witchcraft for the murder of her parents and must flee the brutality of her town. She stows away on the ship of the only other person who knows her innocence: an audacious sailor—Owen—bound to her by years of attraction, friendship, and shared secrets. But when Owen’s French ancestry finds him at odds with a violent English commander, the turmoil becomes life-or-death for the sailor, the headstrong Ruth, and the cast of Quakers, Pequot Indians, soldiers, highwaymen, and townsfolk dragged into the fray. Now Ruth must choose between sending Owen to the gallows or keeping her own neck from the noose.
About the Author
Leah Angstman is a historian and transplanted Michigander. Her writing has been a finalist for the Saluda River Prize, Cowles Book Prize, Able Muse Book Award, Bevel Summers Fiction Prize, and Chaucer Book Award, and has appeared in Publishers Weekly, L.A. Review of Books, Electric Literature, Nashville Review, Slice, and elsewhere. She serves as editor-in-chief for Alternating Current and vice chair for a Colorado historical commission.
"With Out Front the Following Sea, Leah Angstman reveals herself as a brave new voice in historical fiction. With staggering authenticity, Angstman gives us a story of America before it was America—an era rife with witch hunts and colonial intrigue and New World battles all but forgotten in our history books and popular culture. This is historical fiction that speaks to the present, recalling the bold spirits and cultural upheavals of a nation yet to be born." —Taylor Brown, author of Pride of Eden, Gods of Howl Mountain, The River of Kings, Fallen Land, and In the Season of Blood & Gold
"Steeped in lush prose, authentic period detail, and edge-of-your-seat action, Out Front the Following Sea is a rollicking good read. Leah Angstman keeps the story moving at a breathtaking pace, and she knows more 17th century seafaring language and items of everyday use than you can shake a stick at. The result is a compelling work of romance, adventure, and historical illumination that pulls the reader straight in." —Rilla Askew, author of Fire in Beulah and The Mercy Seat
"Leah Angstman has written the historical novel that I didn’t know I needed to read. Out Front the Following Sea is set in an oft-forgotten time in the brutal wilds of pre-America that is so vividly and authentically drawn, with characters that are so alive and relevant, and a narrative so masterfully paced and plotted, that Angstman has performed the miracle of layering the tumultuous past over our troubled present to gift us a sparkling new reality." —Kevin Catalano, author of Where the Sun Shines Out and Deleted Scenes and Other Stories
"Out Front the Following Sea is a fascinating book, the kind of historical novel that evokes its time and place so vividly that the effect is just shy of hallucinogenic. I enjoyed it immensely." —Scott Phillips, author of The Ice Harvest, The Walkaway, Cottonwood, Hop Alley, The Adjustment, and Rake
"Out Front the Following Sea is a meticulously researched novel that mixes history, love story, and suspense. Watching Angstman’s willful protagonist, Ruth Miner, openly challenge the brutal world of 17th-Century New England, with its limiting ideas about gender, race, and science, was a delight." —Aline Ohanesian, author of Orhan’s Inheritance
"Leah Angstman is a gifted storyteller with a poet’s sense of both beauty and darkness, and her stunning historical novel, Out Front the Following Sea, establishes her as one of the most exciting young novelists in the country. Angstman plunges the reader into a brilliantly realized historical milieu peopled by characters real enough to touch. And in Ruth Miner, we are introduced to one of the most compelling protagonists in contemporary literature, a penetratingly intelligent, headstrong woman who is trying to survive on her wits alone in a Colonial America that you won’t find in the history books. A compulsive, vivid read that will change the way you look at the origins of our country, Leah Angstman’s Out Front the Following Sea announces the arrival of a preternatural talent." —Ashley Shelby, author of Muri, South Pole Station, and Red River Rising
"Rich, lyrical, and atmospheric, with a poet’s hand and a historian’s attention to detail. In Out Front the Following Sea, Leah Angstman creates an immersive world for readers to get lost in and a fascinating story to propel them through it. A thoroughly engaging and compelling tale." —Steph Post, author of Holding Smoke, Miraculum, Walk in the Fire, Lightwood, and A Tree Born Crooked
"Rich in deeply researched detail, and peopled by complex characters, Out Front the Following Sea is a fascinating story that is bound to entrance readers of historical fiction." —Kathleen Grissom, author of The Kitchen House and Glory Over Everything
"From the squalor, prejudice, and violence of 17th-century America, Leah Angstman has summoned to life the most extraordinary young woman. Ruth Miner insists on surviving, building a life, and being true to her odd independent self, despite the whole world seeing her as worthless filth. Angstman creates a hypnotically real and brutal world and then manages to infuse it with humor and beauty and a moving tale of love. The reader will follow Ruth Miner anywhere, and be the richer for it." —Heather O’Neill, author of The Lonely Hearts Hotel, Lullabies for Little Criminals, The Girl Who Was Saturday Night, and Daydreams of Angels
"Lapidary in its research and lively in its voice, Out Front the Following Sea by Leah Angstman is a rollicking story, racing along with wind in its sails. Though her tale unfolds hundreds of years in America’s past, Ruth Miner is the kind of high-spirited heroine whose high adventures haul you in and hold you fast." —Kathleen Rooney, author of Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk and Cher Ami and Major Whittlesey