Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Great Wide Sea Review

Book talk:  When Ben's mother dies all he wants is some time to be alone, but his father has other plans.  One day he announces that he's sold their house and bought a sailboat and that the family is going to spend a year sailing around the Bahamas.   Ben and his two brothers don't want to go, but he is their father and so they have to go anyway.  Ben is so upset with his father he doesn't even want look at him, so living on a 30 foot long boat with him 24/7 seems like the worst fate imaginable, that is until the worst truly does happen.  One morning they wake up in the middle of the ocean to find their father gone.  The boys are left all alone, and a storm bigger than any they've ever seen is brewing on the horizon.

Rocks my socks:  I like how layered the characters are and the changes they go through as they deal with their grief.  None of the characters are perfect, they all make mistakes they wish they could take back, but in the end they're family and they know that they have to stick together.  I also found the descriptions of their trip fascinating.  I could tell that the author had actually been to many of these places, and her experience and the sense of place really comes through and enriches the novel.

Rocks in my socks: The tone of the novel was pretty unrelenting and even scenes that could have been nice, relaxing interludes were told in a way that made me extremely aware of the fact that it was just the calm before the storm so I was still on edge.  I read the book in one sitting and by the end I felt like I had been battered by a storm myself.

Every book its reader: This book is perfect for a teenager seeking a fast-paced adventure novel, especially for those who like survival stories or with an interest in sailing.

The Great Wide Sea by M. H. Herlong

Support your local independent bookstore or check it out from your local library

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