TURBULENT WAKE | Paul E. Hardisty
05.16.2019 | Orenda Books
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Ethan Schofield has returned to the place of his birth to bury his father. They lived a strained relationship following the death of Ethan’s mother. For years he has felt a lack of connection with his father. Hidden away in one of the upstairs bedrooms of his father’s house, Ethan finds a manuscript, a collection of stories that seem to span his father’s entire life.
Throughout his life many mysteries have haunted Ethan’s thoughts. How did his little brother die? Why did his mother’s life end far too early? Why did his father send him off to boarding school and essentially push him away indefinitely? The answers to Ethan’s questions lie within the pages of his father’s manuscript. Tucked between the tales of journeys to the Caribbean, Yemen, and Africa are the answers to who Ethan’s father truly was.
There is no plot. I know that now, can see it clearly. Sure, you make plans, and one thing may seem to lead to another, but life, if you think about it, is just a series of moments, of things that you do. Some are connected, but most aren’t, not in the way you’d like to believe, as if there were some kind of destiny, some plan God has for you. There’s just living. Doing the best you can. Navigating this turbulent wake we all leave.
TURBULENT WAKE alternates between the past and present. Ethan’s father’s manuscript documents the past and covers his entire life. In the present we get to know Ethan and the struggles that he has had to overcome, as well as those that plague him currently. He has been haunted by unanswered questions his entire life which have manifested in anger and negativity. Through Ethan’s father’s manuscript we learn about not only his father, but Ethan and what has helped shape who he is today. Each man has a story to tell. Only once they are both told can Ethan reflect back on the time he has lived and what he needs to do to live a happier life.
Hardisty has written two compelling characters in Ethan and his father. Each man has many flaws and yet buried under the surface is heart driving them towards what they believe to be the best actions. Ethan has the chance to course correct following in his father’s shoes, living a life separated from his child, if only can learn to face the truth about his and his father’s pasts.
You never know anyone. Especially the ones you love.
The way Hardisty has layered the book, weaving in and out of the past and present, is masterfully crafted. The reader is instantly curious about the manuscript and eager to read along with Ethan. As the reader is familiar with neither man, they are taken on a journey of discovery into both characters. The passages about the past may be longer than Ethan’s reflections on his present day, but they do not take away from learning about Ethan. In fact, it is perhaps the key to understanding Ethan’s character fully that the reader must confront his demons from the past with him. One must read about what happened in the past and then reflect on how it has impacted the present.
I’ve never read anything by Paul E. Hardisty before, so I cannot compare this work to his previous titles, which after reading his acknowledgments tell me they are quite different. What I can tell you is TURBULENT WAKE is a story that will touch your soul. Hardisty takes you on a journey across the globe and into two men’s lives that will stay with you long after you turn the last page. You will reflect on your own life, those events that have shaped you, how you have impacted those around you, and how you can strive to be a better, happier person at the end of the day. It might be too late for Ethan to talk with his father, but his father’s words will be there to change not only his life, but the reader’s as well.
It’s always hard for me to explain how deeply a book has touched me, so at the end of the day, the best thing I can tell you is to give this book a spot on your shelves. Put it on your TBR and let it take you on an amazing journey!
Please be sure to stop by the other blogs on this fantastic tour and check out what others are saying!
Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.
Disclosure: A massive thank you to Orenda Books and Anne Cater for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.