My book review of 'The Stranding' by Kate Sawyer
Ruth has left her home and life in London for a new adventure. Relationships were claustrophobic and there were things she felt she'd left undone. So she's travelled to New Zealand, hoping to fulfil her ambition to work with whales.
Stepping off the plane she soon has a sense that something is different, and not just because she's the other side of the world.
She doesn't engage with the newsfeeds, but makes her way to the coast. Here her ambition to see a whale is tragically fulfilled where she finds one beached on the shore.
As the looming catastrophe becomes a reality, Ruth's only hope of survival is to step inside the whale, with a stranger.
This is an extraordinary novel. I was hooked from the very first page and found Ruth's story completely consuming. While this might appear a bleak story, instead I found it inspiring and intriguing. The characters, their relationships and their response to the situation all felt authentic and compelling. The pace is perfectly pitched and while I kept turning the pages to learn the outcome, I was so sorry to reach the conclusion.
It's a book about courage, resourcefulness and hope, and ultimately challenges every reader to look at their life today - how we're looking after the planet, and our relationships, and how we, too, might respond if everything was stripped away. So much to think about!