4 out of 4 stars
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“Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.” This the quote that introduces us to this gripping tale narrating the hazards mariners face at the high seas. Seattle express ship which is seven hundred feet catches fire and is abandoned off the Queen Charlottes’ island. Those on board this ship led by Captain Steve must make a hasty escape by launching two lifeboats into the sea. One team is led by Steve and the other is led by William. The two crews must make it to shore in the midst of rain, freezing temperatures, raging waves, with minimal food and the risk of illnesses such as hypothermia. To add to the suspense of the tale, we are informed that the waters off the Charlottes were among the worst in the world. William’s team is lost. Will they survive or will they freeze to death? Someone must tow the abandoned ship to harbor. Larry and Louise attempt this feat with their one hundred and sixty feet tug named Warhorse. The team must fight off Buckhorn, the owners of the ship who would like to steal the ship and lay hold of the claim. Larry is on board the ship and is severely injured, having lost his arm and leg, oozing blood and slipping in and out of consciousness. Will Larry survive? Can he get the urgent medical assistance he needs to save his life?
Another angle to the plot is the tumultuous love relationships among the characters in this tale. Louise suspects her husband Larry of cheating on her, Pete and Joyce fight constantly over the joint custody of their son, Travis is looking to end things with Dale, Myra and Sergei are working hard to hide their feelings and Heather had married and divorced two sailors in three years. I actually think that the life-death circumstances that these crews faced at sea are a shadow of the turbulence in their love lives.
[/i] Adrift[/i] is a stand-alone sequel to Strong Heart. It is authored by Charlie Sheldon. Charlie has spent his life sailing on large ships as well as working on them. He worked as a commercial fisherman and later as a consultant for fishery management councils, developing fishery management plans and then engaging in gear development projects to develop more selective fisheries. He spent twenty-eight years working for seaport s as a project and construction manager in New York, Seattle and Bellingham.
I loved that the well-developed characters in this book brought out all sorts of emotions in me. The character I loved most is Steve Procida. He is portrayed as a great father who sacrifices his career to take care of his son Jimmie. This happens as Buckhorn, the company he has worked with for ten years, fires him and gets ready to sue him for abandoning ship. The author has also gone to great lengths to give technical details of the marine life which gives the reader vivid mental images of the scenery and scenes. For instance when Larry Hunt loses his arm and leg on board the abandoned ship, the scene is graphic and horrendous. The book also ends on a high note. Pete Wise gets a job offer as park ranger at Olympic national park so he is in a better position to negotiate for the custody of his son Sam. Louise gets to keep her company and property by receiving a life insurance payout instead of selling out to Buckhorn.
I think the snippets from Strong Heart are a double edged sword. This is a great idea for those who have not read it but those who have read it may find these sections uninteresting. I felt that they derailed the plot and made the book unnecessarily lengthy. I think the author should have included a glossary that lists and describes the sea world terminology in layman terms so those of us who do not have the technical background do not struggle to understand the terms. I hated the frequent vain use of God ‘s names such as Jesus and Christ to express emotions. Some characters irked me. Oleg, for instance insults Heather who is diabetic when she offers to hunt for seals so the team can have food to eat, and yet he is too lazy to hunt. He insolently asks, “how does a cow like her move so well?” Jimmies ‘s mother, though not a character in this tale, will bring out the worst in any humane person as she abandons her son because he is confined to a wheel chair claiming he wears her down.
Unfortunately, the book has a few errors. Repetition of paragraphs such as in chapter 28 where the first and second paragraphs are repeated , in chapter 39, the third paragraph from the second sentence , fourth paragraph and fifth paragraph are a repetition as well as in chapter 61, the third and fourth paragraphs are repeated. Repetition of the word ‘was’ in the sentence “Myra said was was extinct.” The name Matthew is misspelt as Mattiew. The word ‘who’ is omitted in this sentence in chapter 19, “even if he was the only one over there had any idea what to do”.
I would recommend this book to anybody who loves the marine life, or who is seeking a career in the shipping industry. Since the book has intertwined the theme of tumultuous love relationships with that of the hazards encountered by mariners while at sea, I think even those who may not be knowledgeable or interested in Maritimes will still enjoy this read.
I rate this book [/b]4 out of 4 stars[/b]. This is really a captivating and enjoyable read. It is professionally edited with minimal errors.
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