Thursday, April 2, 2015

Falling off the Wind by Richard Meibers

Our next book is:
Falling off the Wind by Richard Meibers
Next meeting is ........ Sunday, April 26th, 7pm
Hostess .....Sue Torosian and Kay Wood , 71 Kendall Hill
Book selection ...."Falling off the Wind" by Richard Meibers

Falling off the Wind by Richard Meibers - At 50, Clement Scheutz has been there, done that. He's raised two now-successful sons, been married and divorced, and spent the last seven years wandering the Caribbean with his luscious, much younger girlfriend, Samantha. You'd think the carefree life would be everything a man like Clem could want, but after all this time he's having second thoughts. There are storm clouds on the horizon. He and Samantha aren't getting along that well, and he's beginning to question the validity of the life he's chosen. He feels empty, homeless, and all sense of meaning seems to have disappeared from his existence. Culebra, a small island off the coast of Puerto Rico, is well known as a sheltered "hurricane hole," but that's not why Clem and Samantha have brought "Panacea", their 65 foot wooden schooner there. They've come because they need to nurse their meager supply of cash. Make them flat broke. Clement visits "El Tapon," a small restaurant run by Migdala, thirty-something granddaughter of the owner. He's seen her before, even danced with her during a party five years earlier. There's something in her face when she looks at him... Later, she makes him an offer; in return for his help in the kitchen, he can have the leftover food at the end of each day.

Soon after, Samantha announces she's leaving. Just in time, too, because there's another storm building. Hurricane Hugo strikes Culebra with 150 knot winds, devastating the village and driving ashore most of the boats hunkered down in the harbor, including "Panacea." The wind also lifts "El Tapon's" roof and carries it away. The place is all but destroyed. And when Migdala hires Clement to help rebuild he discovers that termites have eaten the wood framework from the inside out. The structure will need to be completely rebuilt. This, and the drive to restore his broken boat, serve as metaphors for Clement's need to rethink his life, and as the construction proceeds and his feelings for Migdala deepen, he endures, as does the reader, several bouts of deep self-examination.

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