by Karen Viggers
Allen & Unwin. Australian, Romance, Adult Other. Paperback rrp $32.95
Everyone has a past. And in the small town of Merrigan, a coastal village down the south of New South Wales, it seems that there are a lot of ‘ghosts’ in people’s closets.
Lex Henderson escapes Sydney to peaceful Merrigan, running away from his past and his own private ghosts. But what Lex finds is a community that won’t let you dissolve, disappear and fade into the beautiful scenery. Then again, does Lex really want to be ignored and forgotten?
At first, Lex stays close to his isolated beach house at the Point overlooking the wild sea and land. His favourite company are the bottles kept under the sink. The locals want to know more about Lex and Lex slowly finds he wants to know more about the locals, especially Callista. Callista has her own demons and keeps important secrets from Lex.
When, on a particular ugly and wild night, Lex and Callista save Lex’s elderly neighbour from the sea, Callista finds her passion for painting goes into overdrive and Lex finds his attitude to his new community has completely changed. Where once he wanted to be remote and aloof, now he wants to belong.
Callista and Lex’s relationship is mirrored in the ocean. Their passion is as volatile as the waves thrashing against the rocks but it also has a solid depth, as beautiful and graceful as the large whales that pass by the coastline.
When a whale is stranded on a lonely and remote beach, Lex and Callista finally recognise the truth about themselves and their relationship. What happens to the whale further cements the inevitability of the days to come.
The Stranding is much more than a romance. It fits well in a number of genres. I have suggested that my husband would love this book. It is about power, love, death and what nature can bring to the table! Now when I look out to sea and watch the whales pass by, I see hope and beauty and something so graceful I am lost for words.