Monday, December 10, 2012
Falling off the Wind
By: Richard Meibers
Clement Scheutz, his schooner smashed on the rocks of Puerto Rico by a hurricane, is accused of killing a local islander. The woman he loves has deserted him and he is without money. While putting the boat back together, he helps rebuild a local restaurant and finds new love with the owner.
****WARNING: Spoilers ahead!*****
This is a hard book for me to review. There is so much that I truly loved about it and then one little thing that bothered me and kept needling me the entire time I read the book.
Let's start with the negative. I'm happy to say that the thing that bugged me had absolutely nothing to do with the plot or writing at all. Those things were fabulous. What bothered me was something that I've notice in several other books and that's the back blurb/synopsis. That's a great little synopsis up there. Truly, it tells you pretty much all you need to know about the story. So why do I need to read the story? The writing was so beautiful and full of details that I wish I had been able to experience the first part of the story without knowing that Scheutz was going to get left behind, accused of murder and fall in love. It made certain points of the book that should have been surprising come across as anti-climactic. It made me wish I could have felt the slow building of the new relationship fully instead of thinking "Oh, so he's going to fall in love with her eventually." It took some of the suspense away.
So that's the negative. Like I noted, aside from that, the writing and the storytelling was phenomenal. When Rebecca first contacted me I jumped at the chance to read this book because it was so different from what I generally read. What I really loved and appreciated was that Meibers took the time to really bring to life the setting and characters. The book is set in a very real time and place (80's/Caribbean), but it's also a place that is totally foreign to me. Add in the element of sailing and Island life and you've created a book that not only is entertaining, but is kind of educational as well. At only a few chapters in I felt like I could go hop on a boat and sail away without a problem! Meiber's description were so rich and detailed that there was no doubt in my mind that he knew what he was talking about and that carried through the entire story.
The characters were complex and relatable as well. You felt the dissolution of the relationship with Samantha coming and you sense that both Clem and Samantha know it's coming too. Yet, they seem almost incapable of changing the course they've found themselves on and it's hard to tell if they even want to. They're operating with an odd sort of acceptance that their time is almost up and soon they will be moving on, but they aren't quite ready to say goodbye yet.
While one relationship falls apart you begin to see the start of another with Clem and Migdala, the restaurant owner. Long before Clem's accused of murder you see the starting of a friendship that might become something more. In fact this whole story is built around the relationship we have throughout our lives. The ones that you see coming and the ones that sneak up on you and change your life. That's really what makes this story work. Even if the setting and story are foreign, you can find common ground with the characters and the relationships they build along the way.
So all in all this was a wonderful read and I've already reserved two other books by Meibers from the library. I look forward to reading Steal Away Home and the Tree Rings as soon as they are in!
Posted by Kate E. at 11:55 AM