The Common Bond
by Donigan Merritt
A dream takes you out of the present and seduces you to read more, as an afternoon affair is uncovered. In the dream, Morgan Cary and Victoria Novak are discovered by Tioni Kamakani who has a common bond between both of them; as Victoria’s boyfriend and Morgan’s best friend. It is Morgan’s dream, a reality of a time in the past, but upon waking he is landing in Hawaii. He is moving back home after the death of his wife, Victoria.
Flashing back to Victoria’s displaced childhood it is easy to understand her desperate need for a committed relationship providing reassurance and dependency. She finds in Morgan a man who she believes will not betray or leave her. She can be volatile, impulsive and act crazy if this stability is challenged. Their marriage becomes a complex series of twisted tales and lies by both of them, even as they profess their love.
Morgan is racked with remorse and questions of self-guilt over her death. He turns to living a life as a drunk to anesthetize, to forget, to be able to cope with life. He will ultimately turn to his love of fishing to survive, at least on the surface. When he befriends the young Ben Iki Kamakani, a small boy whose grandfather taught Morgan to fish.
I wondered as I read the book, what The Common Bond referred to. Could it be the common bond of friendship two friends had, lost and regained? Could it be the common bond of lies and deceit in a marriage that presented a false love? Could it be the common bonds made by members of the Kamakani family and Morgan? Could it be simply the common bond of love shared? There are parallels and common bonds throughout this book making the title The Common Bond an appropriate one.
Intoxicating poetic prose and aromatic stimulation of all senses would best describe Donigan Merrit’s writing. I was drawn to his descriptive style as I could imagine myself chasing the magnificent marlin, or diving for black coral in the cold ocean depths of darkness. The Common Bond was an uplifting seafaring tale of triumph over self loathing and learning about love. With writing so captivating, I have put his book Possessed by Shadows on my TBR pile.