Plumbelly: A Novel by Gary S. Maynard
A father and mother uproot their family to sail around the world giving themselves and their children an experience we all yearn for but never quite accomplish. The father is a bit abusive, the mother very submissive, the younger brother is a go with the flow type, and the older boy (Gabe) – well, he’s a teenager experiencing puberty, rebelling, and has his own yearning to travel. Leaving home on a 29-foot sloop with his new-found love along with his best friend, they encounter nature and humans at their worse.
This is a book that sneaks up behind the reader and draws them in, holding their attention until the last page is turned. The author, Gary Maynard, describes the islands and people easily, using vivid imagery that makes them real. The dialog is realistic as well as the angst and turmoil the teenagers experience during their escape. We all experience, at one time or another, the need to flee – to get away from the authority figures in our lives and these teenagers do it – but the life lessons they learn are harsh and unyielding.
Plumbelly is a haunting novel that brings back the long-forgotten desire some readers have had to flee and experience life on their own terms. It also drives home the consequences we must face for our choices. It is a thrilling novel with a startling ending that one expects but when it happens one is left reflecting and hurting for them. The ending is sad, realistic and haunting to the core.
I enjoyed the vivid imagery and words that the author took great care to shape and present allowing me to “see and feel” the novel as it unfolded. Drawn in completely, the story of what Gabe went through and the thought of his future has haunted me several days after finishing the book. This is a beautifully written book that will capture the hearts of anyone with wanderlust in their heart and a need for adventure.
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