Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Publication Date: 3/1/2015
My Rating: 4 Stars
Lillian Linden is a liar. On the surface, she looks like a brave survivor of a plane crash. But she’s been lying to her family, her friends, and the whole world since rescue helicopters scooped her and her fellow survivor, Dave Hall, off a deserted island in the South Pacific. Missing for almost two years, the castaways are thrust into the spotlight after their rescue, becoming media darlings overnight. But they can’t tell the real story—so they lie.
The public is fascinated by the castaways’ saga, but Lillian and Dave must return to their lives and their spouses. Genevieve Randall—a hard-nosed journalist and host of a news program—isn’t buying it. She suspects Lillian’s and Dave’s explanations about the other crash survivors aren’t true. And now, Genevieve’s determined to get the real story, no matter how many lives it destroys.
In this intriguing tale of survival, secrets, and redemption, two everyday people thrown together by tragedy must finally face the truth…even if it tears them apart.
WRECKAGE by Emily Bleeker, a stunning debut; a survival suspense story which plunges into the lives of its characters, offering a poignant, yet intriguing tale of emotions, lies, deceit, redemption and sacrifices for those they love. Lillian’s mother-in-law won a vacation trip to an exotic island. Being she was widowed, Lillian agreed to go along to accompany her on the trip. Lillian is not a huge fan of hers; however, everything was going smoothly, until the plane goes down. Lives change from this point on. The book switches back and forth between the suspense and intensity of the original plane crash to the present day when Lillian is back home with her husband, attempting to move on with their lives after the tragedy, as well as Dave the other survivor, and the upcoming media coverage attention. There is also questions about the pilot and some of the other characters. I will admit, when listening to the audio version, I kept thinking, “get to the point”, and found myself impatient of how this was to play out and felt it was dragging. Since we know the identity of survivors, it is now about what went down during the time on the island for two years, and if they can go back to their normal lives. So much happened which changed these two, similar to anyone such as soldiers who have experienced war and trauma, to try and fit into a mold, when returning to their previous lives. Everyone has changed, even the spouses at home. However, would urge readers to stick with the story, as by the time I got to about fifty percent into the book, this is when I felt the true talent and technique of the author really shines through. This is a thought-provoking book, almost a love story; an ideal choice for book clubs, or discussions with many viewpoints. In the beginning, I was all set for a lower rating; however, by the end of the book, found it to be almost a captivating prose, the intimate feelings between Lillian and Dave, as they were left to survive in this dangerous remote island off the South Pacific, knowing they may not live to see another day, or return to their families. Suffused with a stunning sense of character and atmosphere, WRECKAGE is really at heart, a beautiful story. The joyous part, of course is the ending, when the secrets come out and everything you thought would happen, does not. I loved the twists and turns, and the ending. I think readers, especially mothers, and wives will respect Lillian and her love for her family, her husband, her children and Dave’s family. You will also learn to like her husband by the end. I have seen many mixed reviews of WRECKAGE, as can see why different readers may have a different perspectives. With this being said, I would take the time to invest in the story, patiently, and reflect when completed, and believe you will agree this is a unique book, and very creative. It is emotional, intimate, and complex. The author does a good job in holding back and giving you just enough to keep you compelled to continue. Enjoyed the audiobook with two narrators, performed by Kristin Watson Heintz and Luke Daniels, always helpful with a woman and man’s voices which matched the characters. The novel reminds me a little of In Wilderness by Diane Thomas 3/3/2015. Both are suspenseful tales of survival in the wilderness; highly emotional, romantic, intimate, companionship, and an almost literary love story. Both of course, offer totally different story lines whereas one is a plane crash and the other one is a woman going off to the wilderness to die in peace. Recommend both. WRECKAGE proposes many questions, the events could happen to anyone and how would you react in such dire circumstances? Look forward to reading more from Emily Bleeker, a heck of a debut!