CM . . .
. Volume XXII Number 12. . . .November 20, 2015
Georgia is only 17 when her older brother Lucky dies in a surfing accident in Australia. Many of his friends come to California to support each other and the family. One such friend is Fin. He comes to False Bay and soon settles in, finding a job and charming everyone, including Lucky’s mom, his former girlfriend, and even the family dog! He seems to take over where Lucky left off, and Georgia begins to wonder about his motives. How much does he know about Lucky’s accident? And why does he never really explain anything about his own background?
Prinz has written a fast-paced and suspenseful thriller which will keep readers intrigued right to the final pages. One main thread of the plot is Lucky’s mysterious death. Why would a good athlete and experienced surfer even attempt to surf in water that seemed too dangerous? And Lucky was wearing a special necklace as he went into the water, a necklace which Fin now possessed. Had Fin taken it as a souvenir as he killed Lucky?
The pace of the novel seems rather slow at the beginning but picks up as George becomes more and more determined to unravel the mystery of her brother’s murder and Fin’s seemingly coincidental appearance. As George becomes more and more frantic and often quite delusional, the tension mounts, and readers will find they are swept along until the conclusion. Prinz eventually resolves all of the plot twists although readers may not have anticipated just how the story will end.
It is hard to escape the irony of the book’s title which refers not only to the drowning victim but implies that, despite his name, he was anything but lucky.
Prinz deals with the topic of mental illness and schizophrenia with understanding and caring. Readers follow George as everything around her appears to unravel and the voices in her head confuse and dismay her. Treatment consists of medications which are continually being revised as well as times in hospital so that the medical team can assess her condition. Eventually, a second psychiatrist takes her case and seems to help her become more calm and level. Prinz makes it clear that there is no magic wand which will cure this disease and emphasizes that treatment is an ongoing effort to stabilize patients through medication. At the end of the novel, she cites a variety of sources for readers who would like to delve more deeply into the subject of schizophrenia.
Ann Ketcheson, a retired teacher-librarian and teacher of high school English and French, lives in Ottawa, ON.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.