Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Step Into the Wind by Bev Prescott

When Alex Marcotte’s twin brother Jake took his own life at the age of fifteen, Alex’s life virtually ended too. Jake had taken all he could of the constant bullying over him being gay. Alex blames her parents for not putting an end to the bullying. Alex eventually leaves the family’s summer camp for kids in Maine and ends up in California, where she settles down to work and live. Well, if you can call it living. Alex is still suffering depression and anxiety, although it slightly lessens as the years pass by, it’s still lurking in the background, even now, fifteen years later.

Alex has agreed to return to Maine for the summer. Mainly because her mother is dying and her father needs her help to keep the camp running. Alex is intending this to be her last visit to Maine. She is saying goodbye to her parents and hopefully the ghosts from her past. But all these good intentions are before she meets wildlife biologist, Zoe Kimball and falls head over heels in love with her. Zoe is staying at the camp to study and oversee the safety and well being of a pair of eagles and their two offspring nesting on an island owned by the Marcotte’s.

Alex and Zoe become close during the summer. As Zoe studies the eagles behavior and Alex accompanies her on occasion, she begins to see similarities between the eaglets learning to fly and her own life. Just as the eaglets have to learn to trust their wings and step into the wind, Alex has to learn to do the same and to trust her own heart. But will Alex be able to do that? Can she finally be free of heartbreak and anger, free to get on with her own life and to love and forgive?

I loved Bev Prescott’s first book, My Soldier Too. This book however, is entirely different. It is equally as well written and an edge of the seat page turner from start to finish. Bev Prescott is a master storyteller. She’s honed her story to absolute perfection.

It is apparent that Bev has spent a lot of time on her research for this book. The details regarding climbing and the eagles are splendidly told in terms that even a layman like myself can understand. The facts and the story flow together seamlessly.

The two main characters, Alex and Zoe, are both multidimensional and easy to get to know and love. They compliment one another. They are backed up by a host of minor characters, each equally as essential to the progression of the story.

There is a lot of emotional family conflict. Conflict that simmered away for years until it reached boiling point, a point of no return and erupted.

We learn of how Alex barely coped with her brothers death over the years, but on returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Maine, something snapped. Alex had to find a way to keep her sanity and hopefully resolve old conflicts and hatred. The journey of anguish Alex takes is sympathetically penned. Sensitive issues are dealt with leaving the reader with a sense of wellbeing and understanding.

This story caused me to go through many emotions as I read through. Anger, outrage, happiness, humor, all leaving me in the end with the feel good factor of an excellent story that will resonate with me for a long time.

The little stories and sub plots that made up this book in it’s entirety were intricately and seamlessly meshed together, making this book impossible to put down. The story also taught me a powerful lesson of how we mere human beings can learn so much from nature and wildlife.

This is one book that I absolutely did not want to end. A book that will be re-read many times. I look forward to Bev’s next book, secure in the knowledge that she is one author whose books I would buy without hesitation or reading further than the title.

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