Publication Date: April 19, 2016
I was concerned at first, not being a sailing enthusiast, if I would be able to get into this book. The Johannssen family lives and breathes sailboats to what I thought was an extreme level. There’s the boat designer grandfather, builder father, scientific mother, competitive brother, wind whisperer sister, and the protagonist himself a fixer, both of boats and his family. They all play their own unique part in this unusual family dynamic.
It is when Lynch takes the family out of the water that I found this novel to be the most fascinating. I was interested in getting to know the characters, and found Joshua’s siblings (Ruby and Bernard) lives curious. Before the Wind contains some of the most compelling writing I’ve ever read. Fortunately this wasn’t a book that I had to “get through”. I looked forward to what would happen next. The Johannssen’s aren’t a close fairy tale family that gets along famously. Each character is imperfect in their relationships, and several exiled the family, forced or not. All of their crazy issues makes them real.
It’s also refreshing to read dialogue done well, not forced, but very natural. There are many humourous situations, including Josh’s retelling of his dates, which he reefers to not by their names, but their number (He gets to 35). Before the Wind is a case of don’t judge a book by it’s cover. If you’re not the nautical type, not to worry, because Before the Wind isn’t really about sailing.
Until next time,