Turbulent Wake is the latest novel from author of the renowned Claymore Straker series, Paul E. Hardisty. It is a departure for the writer and is very much a stand-alone book. Published with Orenda Books, it is described as ‘a bewitching, powerful and deeply moving story of love and loss, exploring the indelible damage we can do to those closest to us and, ultimately, the power of redemption in a time of change.’
I have read, and thoroughly enjoyed, books in the Claymore Straker series, all packed with an exciting and at times horrifying narrative. In Turbulent Wake, Paul E. Hardisty has written a much more reflective novel, with a definite literary edge. As a well-travelled engineer, Paul E. Hardisty has experienced life in all of it’s colours, working in some of the more remote and dangerous locations on the planet. Using these memories, he has created a beautiful tale of one man’s journey as he seeks to discover the truth of those gone before him in the hope of creating a better future for himself.
Ethan Scofield is lost, not in a physical way, but in an emotional one. Having recently buried his father, Warren, Ethan returns to his family home to see if there is anything worth keeping as a memento of happier times. Ethan’s family life became very fractured over the years, so when his father passed away their relationship was virtually non-existent. Ethan always knew that there were secrets kept from him but he never got to ask his father and now he fears it’s too late.
Ethan’s own personal life is in turmoil following the collapse of his relationship with Maria. Their young daughter, Rachel, is in the middle of their separation, and Ethan is very aware that he is slowly losing her. Ethan is in a very bad place right now as he travels between two continents in a bid to discover his past and figure out his future.
But Ethan makes a discovery among his father’s things, a manuscript written by his father, detailing the years of his earlier life working as an engineer in far-off places right through his marriage and his latter days.
As Ethan begins to read this account, these short stories, he begins to see his father in a very different light. As he turns the pages, Ethan is astounded by his father’s tales and his ability to write about his life in such an articulate and detailed manner. Ethan’s father had a very turbulent life, as he faced down many dangers in far away places. He worked as an engineer all his life and witnessed much destruction and despair in many parts of the world but he was also part of something better, as he attempted to help others in less fortunate situations than him. Ethan recalls his Dad being away over the years, he recalls the absences and the disappearance of certain people in his life but he never knew the truth…..until now.
Paul E Hardisty is a man who has experienced events that many of us can only imagine. He brings his adventures alive for the reader through the hand of Warren, weaving a story that is both fascinating and heartrending of a broken man who made many mistakes and paid the ultimate price. As Ethan Scofield reads about his father’s life, he looks at where he himself is at. Ethan has made many mistakes and, with the help of his father’s words, he is now prepared to make changes in his own life. His father, with all his amazing adventures, ultimately ended his days a very lonely man. His parting gift to his son, this manuscript, his only way to right the wrongs in his life.
Atonement is a word that comes to mind when reading Turbulent Wake. With a literary feel to the narrative, there are questions asked of all of us. How we choose to live our lives is a personal decision but we also need to consider the impact this decision has on those around us. We all have a history but how we interpret that and knit it into our own daily lives, and how we can give it all meaning, is a message that spills out of the pages.
Turbulent Wake is an emotional read, as the reader is taken on this touching journey with Ethan and his father, Warren. It is a challenging read, exploring the father-son relationship in a very thought-provoking manner. Compelling and inspiring, it is an adventure, a journey, a exploration of life, a fascinating novel.
(c) Swirl and Thread
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