Page the Second


A fronte praecipitium a tergo lupi. (In front of you, a precipice. Behind you, wolves.)

Friday, May 29, 2015


I recently read a beautiful series by Angela Morrison. I dove into this series having already read and loved her book SING ME TO SLEEP.

The first book is TAKEN BY STORM. Michael has grown up in the deep water, exploring seamounts and deep canyons with his parents. His world is that of darting reef dwellers and the deep blue fade to black. His is the world of fins and mask, of Nitrox and regulators. It's a halcyon world, cradling him in contented exploration.

It all goes wrong with a wall of storm-driven water. A hurricane steals the lives of everyone on the boat but Michael. He's left to lick his wounds in the company of his grandmother in a place far from his luscious deep haven, far from the only medicine that works.

Enter Leesie.

She's a good little college-bound farmer's daughter who knows more about hogs and Sunday School than she does about her own heart. A sweetheart is nowhere on her horizon. She's chugging straight to university. But somehow Michael sticks to her like a barnacle, uncomfortable, but suddenly necessary. Soon their relationship is completely symbiotic. They can't figure out how to live together, but they can't be apart.

I really, really loved this book. I loved Michael's world of drifting reef sharks and free dives through schools of angel fish. I loved how Leesie loves him even though he isn't considered marriageable, even though she can't figure out a way to be his wife. I'm crazy about the thing where she doesn't keelhaul her morals to hang with her boy. And I love how Michael never stops loving her. He's so patient and values her so greatly. She's his oxygen tank and his life ring and his zodiak raft all rolled into one.

I learned the very basics of Scuba in the North Fork of the Santiam river, at a place where a hot springs feeds into the river, leaving it delightfully warm and clear to the very bottom. We'd jump off the bridge and try to catch the enormous trout with our bare hands. My favorite part was the diving, though. I've always wanted more of it. I'm like my diver sister in that way. I'm stuck in the desert, wishing I could figure out a way to get down to that liquid indigo world. It heads my bucket list.

So when I read this book, it spoke to me on a deep-dive level. I immediately went to go buy the other two books in the trilogy, finding out that I'd already bought them long ago. They were a whip-fast read--a series I'd take to the beach any day. Tomorrow I'll write about the next book in the series.

I'm giving TAKEN BY STORM a 10 flipper salute. You can buy it here.

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