Today I hand the blog back to Mandie who is sharing her thoughts on Turbulent Wake by Paul E. Hardisty. This was my 2019 book of the year, a really emotional and thought provoking tale of family. You can read my thoughts here. Here is what the book is all about:
About the Book
Ethan Scofield returns to the place of his birth to bury his father. Hidden in one of the upstairs rooms of the old man’s house he finds a strange manuscript, a collection of stories that seems to cover the whole of his father’s turbulent life.Available from : Amazon | Waterstones | Kobo | Googleplay | Apple Books
As his own life starts to unravel, Ethan works his way through the manuscript, trying to find answers to the mysteries that have plagued him since he was a child. What happened to his little brother? Why was his mother taken from him? And why, in the end, when there was no one else left, did his own father push him away?
Swinging from the coral cays of the Caribbean to the dangerous deserts of Yemen and the wild rivers of Africa, Turbulent Wake is a bewitching, powerful and deeply moving story of love and loss … of the indelible damage we do to those closest to us and, ultimately, of the power of redemption in a time of change.
Having read Turbulent Wake I now understand two things. Firstly, how it became one of my sisters favourite books and, secondly, why she struggled to write a review that she felt would truly do it justice. Simply put this book is took me on a real rollercoaster of emotions at a time when my mental state is not at its most stable due to the current strange times.
I have been lucky enough to hear the author talk about his books a couple of times and the one thing that you can be sure of is that he is very passionate about both his day job and his writing. Turbulent Wake is certainly a labour of love as there are elements of this that are certainly close to his own story.
Evan has had to return to his old home to bury the father that he had not had any real contact with for many years. It is during one of these visits that he comes across an old manuscript written by his father that is clearly a group of stories about his life from when he was a small child right up until his later life. Evan has always had a very fractious relationship with his father but as he reads each story he slowly starts to uncover things that he knew nothing about, in both his personal and professional life that do in some way shed a little light into his personality and his actions. Not that this makes Evan feel any better about things, in fact in some ways it makes him angry, about the things that he experienced and also that he had never talked about them. The more I read of the stories the more I could sometimes see the similarities between the two men.
I did in part feel sorry for Evan as not only was he dealing with his father’s death, he was also dealing with an ex-wife and her new partner, a child that he continually managed to disappoint no matter how hard he tried and a job he seemed to completely detest.
With the story being told in essentially two timelines – the present by Evan and the past by his father – you get a real insight into the contrasting lives of these men. It is the individual stories that got to me the most though, especially the early ones as Evan’s father described his childhood, never as himself but always as “the boy”. It was as though he was trying to distance himself from the events that took place to, in some way, make them more bearable.
This is certainly a book that explores family relationships and the shifts in perspectives we can all experience as we get older and we work out what is really important to us, sometimes just that little bit too late.
I am going to end my review with a few thank yous. Thank you to Jen for doing her “you should read this book” mantra at me – it was well worth it. Thank you to Orenda Books for publishing this book. And, most of all, thank you to Paul Hardisty for writing something that is definitely going to stay with me for quite some time.
About the Author
Canadian Paul Hardisty has spent 25 years working all over the world as an engineer,
hydrologist and environmental scientist. He has roughnecked on oil rigs in Texas, explored for gold in the Arctic, mapped geology in Eastern Turkey (where he was befriended by PKK rebels), and rehabilitated water wells in the wilds of Africa. He was in Ethiopia in 1991 as the Mengistu regime fell, and was bumped from one of the last flights out of Addis Ababa by bureaucrats and their families fleeing the rebels. In 1993 he survived a bomb blast in a café in Sana’a, and was one of the last Westerners out of Yemen before the outbreak of the 1994 civil war. Paul is a university professor and CEO of the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS). He is a sailor, a private pilot, keen outdoorsman, conservation volunteer, and lives in Western Australia.
Author Links: Twitter
Books by Paul E. Hardisty