Thursday, January 27, 2011

52 Weeks of Twitter Authors: Week 2

Like most people, I have irrational fears. And one of those fears is sharks - I am terrified of sharks. I think they are amazing creatures, but I do not go in the ocean. Or in lakes or rivers. Or swimming pools. (Don't roll your eyes - I saw Jaws 3-D!) Because, with my luck, the one time I go swimming, I will be eaten by a shark. Which makes for a great story, but I am awfully attached to my mortal coil. (I have so many more books I want to read!) Large bodies of water kinda freak me out, anyway. There's, like, stuff in them. This creeps me out. It will surprise no one when I say I also do not go on boats. Because if they stop floating, where do you end up? That's right - in the water. With the sharks and the other creepy stuff, like jellyfish. And Squidward.

However, a few of the books I have read recently involve boats and water. Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand, told of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner who spent 40+ days adrift in a life raft after his plane crashed in the Pacific during WWII. I also read The Curse of the Narrows by Laura MacDonald, which is an amazing account of the day in 1917 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, when a munitions ship crashed into another vessel, and the resulting explosion leveled the entire town, and caused a tsunami so large, it lifted people and objects up and set them down miles away from the blast site. They are both incredible stories.

And that brings me to the second book I read for my 2011 goal: Safe from the Sea by Peter Geye. I first heard about Peter's book on Unbridled Books Twitter feed, and then a few weeks later, at our Emily Mandel / Dan Chaon event at RiverRunBookstore, our rep gave me a galley, along with a rave recommendation of it.

Safe from the Sea is the story of Olaf Torr and his estranged son, Noah. When Noah was young, Olaf was in a boat wreck that altered his life, and changed his behavior, making his home situation tense and difficult. Now, 35 years later, Olaf believes he is dying, and he wants Noah to come visit him at his cabin in Minnesota. Noah's first instinct is to say no, so he is surprised when he agrees. The book alternates between the events that caused the chasm between them as Noah was growing up, and the time they have left to spend together, trying to reconcile.

The wreck, told in flashbacks, is terrifying, and Peter has done a wonderful job making it an entirely believable novel. The character of Olaf poked at my heart a bit, as he reminded me of my laconic grandfather I adored so much. Looking forward to more great things from Peter!

To learn more about Peter Geye, visit here.

1 comment:

  1. Speaking of boats n water, have you checked out Simmons' THE TERROR? (DROOD, while having nothing to do with water except maybe the sewers of London, was also a fine Simmons read.)