A seachange is a profound personal transformation. A quick google of the term lead me (doesn’t it always?) to Wikipedia and a stub that references “seachange” back to one of my favourite Shakespearean plays, and in fact, one of my favourite quotations. From The Tempest:gull2

Full fathom five thy father lies,
Of his bones are coral made,
Those are pearls that were his eyes,
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change,
into something rich and strange,
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell,
Hark! now I hear them, ding-dong, bell.

Susanne Bellamy prompted me to consider the seachange aspect of Coastal Romance during a quick conversation over at the Coastal Romance Facebook group (all welcome). We were talking about differences between Rural Romance and Coastal Romance. Is it more than the setting? Outback versus seaside? And Susanne asked if it was a question of attitude.

It was a genuine aha! moment for me.

The problem I have with definitions is that they often are, or are used as if they are, exclusionary. I don’t intend to be that definite, but I do think there is a difference in the protagonists’ journey in Coastal Romance as opposed to Rural Romance.

With Rural Romance I find characters tend to be presented with a challenge and we watch them grow to meet the challenge. They find or accept their place in the local community. There is a deep and satisfying sense that they are where they’re meant to be and there they’ll stay. I love the sense of belonging characteristic of Rural Romance.

Coastal Romance, on the other hand, really is about a seachange — and you’ll have to live with the pun! The story isn’t about fighting themselves and others to claim their place in life. Rather it’s about leaving one life and discovering in themselves the potential for a radically different passion.

As I said, I don’t believe in exclusionary definitions, and Rural Romance can have similar themes — and vice versa. But I do wonder if in Rural Romance freedom is saying “yes” to commitments of place and people, and in Coastal Romance freedom is saying “no” to existing ties and setting out to find what the heart truly wants.

Both Coastal and Rural Romance celebrate that it’s love that brings you home.


I’ve started a new discussion group over at BookLikes. The Tumblresque style of this Goodreads-alternative appeals to me. The new group? What else but Coastal Romance!

8 Replies to “SeaChange”

  1. "Both Coastal and Rural Romance celebrate that it's love that brings you home." Beautifully said, Jenny. 🙂

    I never watched the TV show but I definitely know who Diver Dan is. 😉

  2. Loved that tv series! Mmmm, Diver Dan…

    How fascinating that seachange is a Shakespearean word! And interesting about your distinction between rural and coastal romance. Maybe rural represents stability, coastal represents fun in our minds?

  3. I'm slack-jawed! I'd never heard the word, seachange before. It's a perfect word for what you described. Thank you for giving my brain something to chew on. 🙂

    1. Maria, glad to help! SeaChange is part of Australia since a famous TV show here (called SeaChange) just over ten years ago. A lawyer moved her kids and her to a small coastal, became a magistrate and changed her life. Everyone started dreaming of a seachange … then the next big thing became moving to the country for a TreeChange. 🙂

      I'm not sure in Texas if you could have a RangeChange? LOL

  4. I do love discussions that throw up a different perspective and it's wonderful to be able to follow an idea to a new understanding. I like your follow-through here, Jenny, and I agree with your exploration of the idea of a sea change. Perhaps this is the reason why coastal romance is so appealing to me. Great post!