Hi and welcome to another #Orentober #ThrowBackThursday! This week, I’m taking you back to my review of Turbulent Wake by Paul E. Hardisty, a book that caught me by surprise and evokes a little nostalgic smile whenever I think about it.
Let’s have a look at the blurb first:
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.
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.
And here is what I had to say about Turbulent Wake:
This is the story of Ethan, the son who has lost the father he wasn’t close to at all. The man who finds a manuscript written by his father and throws it out, but then despite himself, decides to retrieve it and read it after all. The man who simultaneously seems to find his father and lose everything else. The man who has a lot to learn. About life, about love, about himself.
Even more than the story of Ethan, this is the story of Ethan’s father, Warren. Starting out as a young engineer, ready to conquer the world, Warren documents his life through the stories he writes about the things that made him, the things that broke him.
I don’t normally put the spotlight on the author’s achievements because I like to focus on the story in my reviews, but please allow me this one exception where I tell you I am in total awe of Paul E. Hardisty and why. It’s always said that you should write what you know. Even this very book I’m now reviewing says so, and you know what, that had me smirking, rolling my eyes, thinking: okay but everything I’ve just read here in Turbulent Wake felt very realistic, guess you don’t always have to write what you know. Except that a few pages later I found out that Paul E. Hardisty in fact has written what he knows, only he knows exceptionally much! The man has worked as an engineer, a hydrologist, an environmental scientist, he’s a university professor and CEO of the Australian Institute of Marine Science! He has worked on oil rigs in Texas, in the Arctic, in Eastern Turkey, in the wilds of Africa! The fact that everything in this book is so very tangible is not the product of excellent research, it’s been lived by the author! Well, in part anyway, I do expect some research and especially good old imagination were invaluable too!
This book, you guys, I have no words (which is really annoying when you’re trying to write a review – sigh). Warren stole my heart, broke my heart too, I don’t even care, he can have the pieces. I guess most of you know by now that my go-to genre is thrillers. Turbulent Wake is not a thriller. It did not shock me at every turn. It worked its magic far more insidiously than that. Not a thriller, but it sent shivers down my spine regardless. The most beautiful prose, the most thought-provoking passages, the most evocative setting, succinct yet poetic, stoic yet rife with emotion.
Want to hear a snippet? Click on Paul!