4 out of 4 stars
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Adrift byCharlie Sheldon
Saying the book was mind blowing is an undeserved understated description and an injustice to the remarkable fictional story told by Charlie Sheldon.
First, Adrift is a befitting title of the the book, which is about the 'Seattle Express'a ship on fire at sea that forces the well able captain, Steve, to make a difficult call, like most of us have to make at some point/s in our lives, and abandoned the ship.
The aforementioned stage, builds us up for a two scenario set up for the rest of the book; the desperate search for loved ones and colleagues lost at sea and the heart wrenching fight for survival the crew endures.
Just when you think Sheldon has hit the jackpot on his intrigue and thrill, he throws a spanner in the works by introducing the race to rescue the 'Seattle Express' between a deep pocketed buckhorn who own the express and an old tug, warhorse at the edge of its lifeline led by an unwavering woman, Louise, who is unfazed even while faced with the most of difficult of situations.
Sheldon is able to impeccably build on the story whilst still maintaining the captivating nature of the book by now taking us into the rescue mission phase carried out by a few people who share a common desire to change their financially distressing situations.In split of a second, Sheldon, pulls the rug from our feet by shifting the story line from the salvage of the express to now the rescue of the lead rescuer's life, Larry, who at the middle of the almost impossible mission takes on the most daring, dangerous and critical role and loses his left arm and leg while at it. On board a cold, half-burned ship, the sailors now take on medic roles so well that I was left in awe of what a human being is capable of. Sheldon, uses deep contrast when he brings out the hero of the day as one drank champ who at this point has taken the lead role in saving a life, he is described as appearing to be the most sober he had been the entire time, so comically was this brought out that for a moment you forget the somber mood everyone is engulfed in.
On the other hand, on land, the family and friends of William, a strong both in will and might sailer, go through a disheartening period as they await news on him, as seen through the eyes of his hardworking archaeologist daughter, Myra, who gathers strength from Sarah, a young girl, barely thirteen years old with a will that is enviable and a must have armor in surviving today's harsh world. During this time, we are also introduced to a traditional faith or spirituality, one that I would liken to the traditional African belief that was lost with the introduction of Christianity by missionaries. I believe the writer left it as food for thought for the reader.
Sheldon, then takes us to Haida Gwaii, where the second life boat lands and with the fight for survival proving even difficult for the fittest; we see how fragile life is, the ruthless nature of the snowy weather in this forsaken land not only breaks the crews unity but also the body and soul of each member, you just have to read to see whether anybody does survive through this turmoil.
What I loved most about the book, is the way the writer, titled his chapters after a character who would in turn embody and personify the chapter such that the story is told through their eyes. This gives the book a lot of credibility since the story is told from different perspectives. The ruthlessness of their own descriptions is in such a bare-truth manner that decency would not dare allow somebody else describe another in that way.Moreover, the story has very diverse settings whose description is to the tee and Sheldon, manages to blend all this activities in nothing short of excellently.
Finally, because I can go on and on raving about the book, I cannot put the pen down without penning the brilliancy, that the imperfect perfection of family units is brought out in and all the raging emotions the writer evokes, expecially after introducing Steve's family, Jimmie. Despite the remarkable achiements in his ten year career at sea, he had a family that was less than perfect. He had a son, Jimmie, who following an accident while still a child left him confined to a wheel chair and at the mercy of an unfriendly institution he called home for almost three centuries
after his mum, on acknowledging the difficulty of the task ahead in raising his son also abandoned ship, well in this case, Jimmie, this story would in turn speak to a lot of the employed folk in society who find themselves in a rut race of an unending demands that always seem impossible to fulfill, read on to borrow a leaf from Steve.
It is a very inspiring book, that lifts the spirits of a person going through the lows of life. A book for all seasons;to add that extra seasoning into an exciting life and to pull up those that are down trodden and are at the edge of giving up. If you are looking for romance,you are not left out either, the suttle and beautiful love story between Myra and Sergei will not disappoint.
I therefore rate this book a perfect 4 out 4 stars
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