Black Wave is the story of a family from San Diego sailing around the world in their catamaran. The subtitle lets you in on the upcoming drama: A Family's Adventure at Sea and the Disaster that Saved Them. It only takes five pages into the book before the disaster strikes. The boat slams into a coral reef during the night, destroying the boat and seriously wounding members of the family.
I am generally not a big fan of stories that start with the climactic scene and then flashbacks to tell the story. It just seems to be kind of tired way of bringing people into the story. In this case, I found it worked. Interweaving the family's background with disaster unfolding made you understand and empathize with the characters as they struggled to survive.
I really enjoyed Part I of the book which was this story told by Jean Silverwood. Part II of the book was written by John Silverwood and tells some of the history of the reef. He focuses on a similar disaster, when the Julia Ann crashed into the same reef in 1855. Part II far less interesting and not as engaging as Part I.
In the interest of full disclosure, the publisher send me a free copy of this book to read, hoping I would review it. I am big fan of human adventure stories. Before the kids I had a few years of mountain climbing and adventure racing. Now, with two kids, I am much more of an armchair adventurer. Maybe it the family man in me that got so engaged in a family trapped in a desperate situation.
Whatever the reason, I thought the the book was a good read. But feel free to stop at the end of Part I.