Tuesday, October 7, 2014

On Hurricane Island By Ellen Meeropol (Expected Publication March 2015)

I have a friend who, while we have walked many parts of life's path together, is far braver than I, unafraid to scale the heights of conviction, and pursue the passions of belief. (Not that I'm a total wuss, for I try to support my own  positions, and follow through in the ways I cast my vote and dollars.) But I marvel, and am a little envious, of activist ability, and I constantly learn about human rights and our responsibilities from the glimpses of that more rugged path she takes. I am grateful that she often extends her hand, and gives me a tug up that rocky road to standing up for human rights. On Hurricane Island also helped me to explore those paths that are harder to climb. It took me on a journey far beyond a small island in Penobscot Bay, Maine and helped me to travel in the world that has become more evident since the evolution of terrorism into this century and the response of various agencies to contain and destroy it.

The course of actions that emerge in On Hurricane Island pit people of conviction against people of conviction, and it is not always easy to see who is right or wrong.  Math professor Gandalf Cohen  finds herself pulled into this shadow when she is abducted by federal agents and taken to the Hurricane Island's secret interrogation center. Isolated, afraid, and unsure of why she was taken, or where she is, she tries to make sense of what is happening. Populating her new existence are federal agents with varying motivations and secrets of their own, and a young civilian guard, shocked by some of what she learns. That this all takes place as a powerful hurricane rolls up the coast adds an element of tension and fury, not unlike waiting for the back wall of a storm's eye to slam in. the shifting points of view enhanced the reality of conflicts that emerge between various personalities and beliefs. Interspersed in the current day tale is another one, set before WWI when stone from the island was still being quarried.

I am a sucker for "interwoven" tales, and if a book teaches me something as well, I'm sold. This book did more that that, though. It encouraged me to once again, sit down and have a chat with my conscience and examine my beliefs: what is right, what is tolerable, what is wrong. What can I accept, what must I fight to change.

In full disclosure, let me add that the friend I mentioned in my opening paragraph is the author of this book. Thank you, Ellen Meeropol, for once again reaching back and helping me along the path of examining conviction.

Expected publication: March 3rd 2015 by Red Hen Press

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