Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Review-Every Boat Turns South, by J.P.White

Every Boat Turns South
By J. P. White
Permanent Press
240 pages
September 2009

Every Boat Turns South Every Boat Turns South is the story of two brothers. Hale the shining star with all the promise a parent could hope for and Matt his younger brother who lives in his shadow. One night ignoring his intuition, Matt follows his brother on a trip even though he feels a sense of foreboding. The dye is cast and the fate of Hale is sealed when the clandestine plan suddenly backfires.

Unable to cope with the memory of his brother and the circumstances of his death Matt disappears. Three years later, Matt arrives on his parents’ doorstep looking like “something the raccoons forgot to eat.” He carries with him more baggage than the two plastic bags in tow with a readiness to unload his guilt. His father Skip is a skeleton of his former self. He is dying a result of congestive heart failure. He has tenaciously held on, unable to give up the ship.

There is little doubt that his mom loathes rather than loves him for Matt has come home to tell Skip what really happened to Hale that night. He has come home to tell Skip about his adventurous trek of escape and survival.

This may appear to some as a simple story of an adventurous drifter running from a lot of guilt and memories over his brother’s disappearance. However, it is more than simple, it is complex, an intricate composition of themes that twist around each other as you follow the undulating currents. The book is written in alternating narratives, one is Matt talking to his father, and the other is Matt’s journal or captain’s log. The characters never appear to be who they are, adding more mystery and intrigue. “ And sometimes I have seen what men have thought they saw.”

White’s compass rose takes you on a meandering voyage that will keep you guessing until the last sail south. The poetic lyrical motion of White’s writing is spiritually uplifting with a lilting cadence. Reading is an effortless indulgence as his prose embraces the reader. With the skill of an artisan in Venice his imagery is precise beauty on paper intended to captivate the audience.

Highly recommended.


Literary Feline said...

This sounds like a really good book. I love how you describe it, Donna.

wisteria said...

Thanks Wendy...I just posted my edited copy. For some reason, I copied the wrong one. It is pretty much the same...just a few corrections. Silly me.

Jenny Girl said...

Excellent review Wisteria. I especially love your last line, "With the skill of an artisan in Venice his imagery is precise beauty on paper’ intended to captivate the audience."

I would never be able to come up with a description like that. I am heartily impressed :)
have a great weekend

The Bookworm said...

this does sound good, excellent review.

'Reading is an effortless indulgence as his prose embraces the reader'- you always express yourself so well.

Ladytink_534 said...

I think I would like the imagery that you describe but it just doesn't sound like something I would pick up voluntarily for some reason.