Saturday, February 7, 2015
Book Review: "Wreckage" by Emily Bleeker
For the second week of the trip, they'll fly to a private island, accompanied by Dave Hall, the yogurt company's public relations director. Lillian and Dave develop an easy rapport on the flight.
Less than an hour before they're scheduled to land, the plane crashes, leaving them stranded on an island in the middle of the South Pacific. For nearly two years, they are castaways, struggling to survive and not lose hope. But things happened on the island, things that Lillian and Dave have vowed never to talk about if they are rescued, which they don't believe will ever happen. And when they finally are rescued, they vow to tell their families their version of the truth, nothing else.
"Sometimes you have to lie. Sometimes it's the only way to protect the ones you love."
As they try to re-acclimate themselves to the lives they knew before the crash, Dave and Lillian find the adjustment hard, and hiding the truth even harder. They never counted on the media frenzy that would follow their return home, and after months of refusing interviews, Lillian agrees to one exclusive interview with a dogged television reporter, under the condition that Dave be interviewed as well. She hopes that finally sharing their version of the story will put the questions and suspicions aside, and let everyone go back to living their lives, even if they're not sure that's what they want.
Emily Bleeker's Wreckage is a fascinating story about the things we do to survive a catastrophe, the bargains we make with ourselves and others, the secrets we keep, and the sacrifices we make for others' sake. The book shifts back and forth between the crash and the present, and switches between Lillian and Dave as narrators. You see both of their versions of what happened, how they choose to handle it, and how they tell their stories. But of course, you need to figure out which version is really true.
I really enjoyed this book, and found it really compelling. Although this isn't a book with a lot of plot twists, Bleeker threw in a few surprises here and there. This is a book that derives more of its strength from character development and Bleeker's excellent storytelling than any true sense of suspense, but that doesn't take away from its appeal. Definitely worth reading.