Saturday, August 10, 2013
Afloat, by Erin Healy, is a fictional story that combines faith, suspense, and the supernatural for what amounts to an overall fascinating book and interesting read.
Eagle's Talon is an architectural wonder: A series of beautiful condominiums floating on the Rondeau River. The project is still under construction, although some of the units are already complete and occupied. Danielle Clemente, a young single mother and the girlfriend of the owner, lives in one of those units with her five year old son. They both narrowly escape major injury in the beginning of the book, when what is presumed to be a sinkhole causes a piece of construction machinery to topple, tearing off the balcony to her apartment.
In what eventually becomes the perfect storm, torrential downpours flood the only way in and out of the cove, and Danielle and her son are trapped, adrift, along with a handful of other builders, investors, and residents. What follows is the story of their fight to survive, and the conflicts that arise when multiple personalities, opinions, and egos are thrown together in a crisis situation. Should they wait for rescue? Should they chance going out by boat?
Woven throughout the story are various pieces of back-story, particularly about Vance Nolan, the architect who designed the buildings. He's struggling with demons from his past, all of which he's forced to face as the group makes decisions about their survival. People's true characters come to light, in ways that are both shocking and poignant. More than anything else, I think this was a book about human nature, and about our relationships with ourselves, with our faith, and with others, especially during times of trial.
This was a gripping story, with plenty of unexpected plot twists to keep it interesting. The characters were real and well-drawn, and the element of wondering if they would survive kept me turning the pages. I did get a little bogged down in some of the details occasionally, and found myself skimming in certain sections, but it didn't detract from what was an overall enjoyable and fast-paced read.
I received this book for free from the BookSneeze program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.