A storm is coming...
It's Valentines Day 1982 and a storm is coming into Newfoundland off the Atlantic right into the face of the Ocean Ranger Oil Platform. All should have been well, however a string of unfortunate events led to its collapse and sinking with lose off all 84 men aboard. Left to mourn them were their wives, families and the entire community.
This is the fictional story of one wife, Helen and her four children: John 9, Cathy 8, Lulu 7, and Gabrielle (not yet born).
Helen essentially stopped living that day. Yes, she went through the motions of everyday life, but she didn't participate with a full heart. She did for her children what was expected and ensured that they had what they needed. She started a business to support her family, but she, herself didn't get on with the art of living.
Her son John also seems to be stuck. He was the eldest of the children and had the most memories of life with his father. When we meet John in the present time he has been confronted with his own mortality, a woman he spent time with has told him with her pregnancy. Another storm in his life that he must deal with or risk sinking. I think it is this event that grabs Helen and forces her back into life.
The whole book presented a very emotional story, I spent at least half my reading time with a tissue to my eyes mopping up tears. The most touching moment for me was when Helen and her sister Louise were coming back from identifying her husband Cal's body and they had stopped the car in front of her house. Helen was frozen with grief in the car and couldn't get out. Traffic was building up behind them, when the man in the following car stomps up to them, very annoyed. When he hears that Helen is one of the widows, he gently helps her from the car and into her house. (yes, the tears are running down my face as I relate this moment).
I loved this book and highly recommend it to all readers, specially those who remember the day these events actually occurred. I remember starting University the following fall, and my husband-to-be's engineering class chose the Ocean Ranger as their term case study, designing safe escape methods/equipment for Oil platforms.
Thanks to Deanna at 'My Tragic Right Hip' for her review of this book which inspired me to pick it up.
This is my 5th book for the Canadian Book Challenge 2009/2010