Ethan Scofield returns to the place of his birth to bury his father. Hidden in one of the upstairs rooms of the old man’s house he finds a strange manuscript, a collection of stories that seems to cover the whole of his father’s turbulent life. As his own life starts to unravel, Ethan works his way through the manuscript, trying to find answers to the mysteries that have plagued him since he was a child. What happened to his little brother? Why was his mother taken from him? And why, in the end, when there was no one else left, did his own father push him away? Swinging from the coral cays of the Caribbean to the dangerous deserts of Yemen and the wild rivers of Africa, Turbulent Wake is a bewitching, powerful and deeply moving story of love and loss … of the indelible damage we do to those closest to us and, ultimately, of the power of redemption in a time of change.
I am absolutely thrilled to be hosting the blog tour for Turbulent Wake today, huge thanks to Paul E. Hardisty, Orenda Books and Anne Cater for inviting me and for my advance digital copy of the novel.
As a huge fan of Paul E. Hardisty's Claymore Straker series, I was eagerly looking forward to reading Turbulent Wake and it was my most anticipated book of the year. Although I knew it was going to be a departure from his action thrillers, I was in no doubt that he would create another unforgettable story. What I read was more than that, however; there are certain topics that some authors seem destined to write about and when they do, literary alchemy takes place - Turbulent Wake is one of those books and is amongst the best novels I've ever read.
This is the story of a father and son, Warren (War) and Ethan Schofield and although on one level, it tells of the personal, the tales which made and broke this particular family, it also explores more universal truths - especially concerning the marks each of us leave behind; on those we love and on the planet we share. After his father's death, Ethan finds a manuscript which covers the whole of the old man's life. His discovery doesn't bring him any immediate succour, however, and he angrily wonders why he chose to spend years writing his stories instead of taking the time to reconnect with his son. He is embittered by the realisation that his father was never able to look him in the eye and answer the questions he had about his mother and brother, choosing instead to send him away.
The narrative is split between their perspectives as Ethan's story follows not only his response to his father's words but also his own troubled life. As the novel progresses it becomes clear that although a wide chasm existed between the two men, they are more alike than not. Both are guilty of alienating those closest to them and Ethan's mistakes with his daughter suggest that history could well repeat itself. However, as he continues to read his father's stories, he begins to understand more about how they were both shaped by War's experiences and in doing so is able to confront his own regrets and reassess what he wants from his life.
War travelled around the world during his lifetime and Turbulent Wake is a truly global story which is striking in the way it takes its characters from the most beautiful areas to countries which are awash with corruption and torn apart through greed and conflict. Within the book, there are searing reminders that just as our choices affect those around us, so our actions also have a devastating impact on the environment. Paul E. Hardisty draws heavily on his own experiences and it's clear that he has poured his soul into this novel, with his intense descriptions creating a richly evocative, deeply moving and thought-provoking reading experience. There are some scenes which are particularly difficult to read but although this is a book which never flinches from exploring the darker recesses of humanity, the lyricism of his writing means there is also a poetic beauty to the prose throughout.
This supremely talented author continues to soar and his latest book is his best yet. It is an intelligent, sublimely compelling novel which recognises that each of us will leave our own turbulent wake behind us and is an urgent call not to tread lightly through life but to do so mindfully and to consider that ultimately what matters most, is love. If you like literary fiction with heart then you MUST read the stunning Turbulent Wake – powerful, evocative, profound; I savoured every word.
Turbulent Wake is published by Orenda Books, purchasing links can be found here.
Don't miss the other stops on the blog tour, details are below.
About the Author
Canadian Paul Hardisty has spent twenty-five years working all over the world as an engineer, hydrologist and environmental scientist. He has roughnecked on oil rigs in Texas, explored for gold in the Arctic, mapped geology in Eastern Turkey (where he was befriended by PKK rebels), and rehabilitated water wells in the wilds of Africa. He was in Ethiopia in 1991 as the Mengistu regime fell, and was bumped from one of the last flights out of Addis Ababa by bureaucrats and their families fleeing the rebels. In 1993 he survived a bomb blast in a café in Sana’a, and was one of the last Westerners out of Yemen before the outbreak of the 1994 civil war. Paul is a university professor and CEO of the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS). The first four novels in his Claymore Straker series, The Abrupt Physics of Dying, The Evolution of Fear, Reconciliation for the Dead and Absolution all received great critical acclaim and The Abrupt Physics of Dying was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger. Paul is a sailor, a private pilot, keen outdoorsman, conservation volunteer, and lives in Western Australia.