Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Great Wide Sea by M.H. Herlong

Okay, as I picked this book up, I thought, a book about three brothers that become shipwrecked. Hmmm... wonder how this will compare to other wilderness survival stories like the fabulous Hatchet by Gary Paulsen?

My verdict? Surprisingly well. The story begins with a teaser ...
"Once upon a time three boys were lost at sea. One almost drowned. One almost went crazy. One fell off a cliff."
... and then switches to the beginning of the story--way before the island. We learn that the three brothers and their father are going to be taking a years' sailing trip in the Bahamas. The mother recently died in a car accident and all in the family are struggling with their grief. Yes, lots of dysfunction here! Dad apparently doesn't bother to tell the boys his plans until AFTER he's set it all in motion. Some of this part of the story drags, but it's good to know a little of the family history.

The action picks up with the sailing trip. Lots of description of what it takes to sail, especially good for someone like me who lives hundreds of miles from the ocean. What really makes this story is the interaction between the three brothers once they are marooned. The action picks up as well and it's a real page-turner until the end.

I'd definitely recommend this for those fans of Hatchet, and anyone else looking for a riveting survival adventure. I give it a B+, Recommended.

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