Before the Wind

Before the Wind

Book - 2016
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Jim Lynch's fourth novel is his long-awaited breakthrough--a grand saga of a sailing-obsessed family that can stand alongside Ken Kesey's Sometimes a Great Notion .

Joshua Johannssen has spent his whole life among sailboats. His grandfather--Grumps, a.k.a. Bobo Sr.--famously designed them, his father--Bobo Jr.--raced and built them and his mother--enthralled by Einstein and mathematics--knows exactly how and why they work, or not. For Josh and his siblings, the Puget Sound is their backyard, used mostly for racing, and sailing their DNA. As a child, Ruby confounded not only her family (with magical feats no one could explain) but also the local and nationwide sailing community (by throwing a race that would've delivered her to the Olympic Games). But both she and her oldest brother fled over a decade ago to the ends of the earth, Ruby to Africa and elsewhere to do good works on land, Bernard to sea as a law-defying fugitive and pirate.
Now pushing thirty, Josh has set up shop in a marina an hour south of their Seattle home and repairs anything from abandoned wrecks to million-dollar yachts, pained daily by whatever it was that went wrong with his damn family. Plus he can't find a girlfriend to save his life, only one useless date after another. But suddenly the Johannssens reunite, at long last, for the most important race in these waters, all of them together on a historic vessel they made decades ago that will carry each to a destiny both individual and collective, and to a heart-shattering revelation.
Past and present merge seamlessly and collide surprisingly as Jim Lynch reveals a family unlike any other. He puts us all before the wind with the grace and magic of a master storyteller.
Publisher: [Toronto] :, Bond Street Books,, [2016]
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780385685795
0385685793
Characteristics: 289 pages.

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brianhaight
Oct 07, 2016

An intense undercurrent of family conflict set to a backdrop of the pacific northwest sailing community. A saga with sailboat racing intensity and heated family interactions that result in secrets coming to light.

ChristchurchLib May 15, 2016

The Johannssen family has always had sailing in their blood; Puget Sound has always been their playground. But something happened to split their family apart, and now Josh is the only one of three siblings left in Seattle -- and even he has managed to avoid the family sailing legacy. In a last-ditch effort to bring his splintered family back together, he refurbishes a classic sailboat built by his father and enters the biggest race in the area. With beautifully described details of sailing and Puget Sound itself, as well as fully realised characters, this tale of a dysfunctional family is "as bracing as salt spray during an autumn sail" (Publishers Weekly).

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