by Michael Hurley
published by Raggerbag Press
I received this books through Goodreads Giveaways programs in exchange for an honest review.
The Prodigal tells the story of Aidan Sharpe, a troubled lawyer trying to rebuild his life on Ocracoke Island, who finds love and destiny when an abandoned schooner thought to have been lost at sea more than a century ago drifts ashore. While struggling to come to terms with his own failures and his growing affection for Molly, an enterprising towboat captain, Aidan is drawn into a 2,000-year-old mystery that unfolds with the reappearance of the ship. (from Goodreads)
In this debut novel from author Michael Hurley, the story of the mysterious ship named the Prodigal is intertwined with a cast of characters on Oracoke Island, NC. We start with what seems a fable, of a gypsy princess who runs away with her true love, a salior, on board an amazingly powerful boat. we then switch to present day. When hot shot lawyer Aidan Sharp makes a mistake in a major case, he finds himself suddenly left with nothing. His mentor sends to him stay with Father Marcus, a Roman Catholic priest in charge of a tiny congregation in Oracoke Island, on the Outer Banks. Father Marcus is a bit of a renegade himself, and feels it is his job to help the lost souls who find themselves on the island with nowhere else to go. One of these is Sarah, a woman who showed up years before on the beach totally naked. Father Marcus gives her a small boat to live on and helps her survive. Also helping Sarah is Molly, a spunky tug boat captain who is trying to survive in a man’s world. When Sarah disappears into the Atlantic on her small boat, Aida, Marcus, and Molly, along with their friend Ibrahim ( a Bahamian on the run boat worker) set out to search for her. As she disappears before them, they happen upon an abandoned boat. Father Marcus digs into the origins of the boat and is amazed at some of the stories surrounding her.
This was a very well written book that surprised me with the changes in the story. Just when I thought I had a good idea what type of book this was, the story would change, subtly, and head in a different direction. I thought the characters of Aidan and Father Marcus were very well written-these felt like men I might have known. As I grew up on a boat every single weekend fishing with my dad, I loved the descriptions of being on the water. As the story moved into sailing and racing, I was a little confused by all the terminology, but never felt lost, as I moved along with the feel of the words.
Rating 4 out of 5
Sunset on a northern island beach (Ocracoke Island, Outer Banks, North Carolina, United States) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)