In 1945, two brothers die in the icy Barents Sea and a book is all that survives of them. More than 60 years later, Donny and his mother set out for Suffolk to meet his mysterious great aunt. There is an accident and Donny is taken into care.
But are the officials all that they seem and why won't they believe Donny's story? Soon he discovers that his life has been built on a lie. Only the new friendships he makes and an unsuspected talent for sailing help him steer his way through dangers that he cannot understand towards a knowledge of his own identity - and the secrets of a salt-stained book.
This is the first volume of the acclaimed Strong Winds series.
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Even better as an audiobook
Having already read the book in print form, I found hearing it narrated by Anna Bentinck very enjoyable.
It deals with less commonly encountered issues, such as mental health and how government intervention to "fix" families can fail.
Bentinck's narration is brilliant, and hearing the characters speak breathes new life into them. Some of the characters have accents or mannerisms which are much more effective when heard. For example, Toxic Tune's strange pronunciations of words such as "I'm" (pronounced "aim") is mentioned in the book, but it is only when heard that one gets the full effect.
Yes, although I had to break it into two halves because of personal circumstances.