Sunday, August 22, 2010

Book Review: ALONE: Orphaned on the Ocean

It has been years since I've read non-fiction. I was not disappointed this time. Alone is a true story about an 11-year old girl who goes on a sailing trip in 1961 with her family and becomes the sole survior of a gruesome crime at sea. The skipper has killed everyone else on board the boat, has sabotaged the boat, leaving it to sink with young Terry Jo aboard, and escapes in a small motorized dingy. Terry Jo manages to retrieve a flimsy cork-and-canvas float from the ship right before it sinks. She floats upon the vast Carribean Sea for four days and nights without food or waters. A Greek frieghter miraculously sights her and pulls her aboard, tettering on the verge of death. She survives, but the skipper commits suicide when he discovers that she has survived.
The story is a facinating tale of good and bad and survival. It took me several pages to fall into the book. I knew it was non-fiction, but at the first of the book the author spent some pages describing  the beautiful sea life, the wind swept waves, etc.and inserting them into the thoughts of the characters. I knew this was fictionalized, because he could have never known what these deceased people were thinking of at that moment in time. I know he was just trying to add color to this real life story, but it distracted me. It also bored me--I wanted to get to the meat of the story, not read about the colorful streaks of blue upon the fish by the side of the boat, or whatever.
Once the story got underway, or he delved into the personal backgrounds of the characters, I liked it.
It was a facinating tale. I would recommend this book to those who love to sail, or just like tragic true stories that are hard to comprehend how they could ever happen

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