Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5
Henry and Sam Miller-Greene are living the dream. They love their careers — which afford each of them opportunities to travel to exotic locations — they love their home, Sam’s caring family, and each other. They disagree on the subject of adoption, but are fully committed to each other in marriage … ’Til Death Do Us Part.
The dream is shattered when Henry’s plane crashes and he’s presumed dead. But four people — Henry, two other men, and a child — survive undetected on a remote, small, and insignificant island. Will Sam and Henry’s love be able to survive, as well?
Henry fights to endure in harsh conditions, never knowing when disaster will strike. Sam struggles with his loss, but with help moves on with his life. Will Sam be able to put aside his new love when he reunites with Henry?
I love this sort of story, had been looking from something with this scenario, so for me the story was gripping enough that I finished it in one day to see the conclusion. The descriptions of how they survived on the island were very detailed and obviously very well researched. I enjoyed the story quite a bit, but there were several things that kept me from LOVING it as much as I really did want to.
The survivors did seem to have it remarkably easy on the small island, it wasn’t hard to find water and the supply stayed consistent, there was very little sickness or injuries over the extended length of time they were there. It’s mentioned how dangerous even small injuries can be, and yet there was a mention of blistered hands but no mention of complications from it nor how it was dealt with. And when we do see one rather serious injury, the care was mentioned but not in depth, and the recovery was pretty much glossed over with no lasting consequences from the injury. They explain how they washed their teeth, but never that anyone had a tooth issue in all that time despite all the fruit sugar and stuff.
My connection to the characters never felt close I’d find in books that fully engage me. A few days after reading it, I have a hard time to remember them. I wanted to feel more attuned to their emotions and desperation and trauma than what I did. Too much was told than shown, I think, which kept me at a distance from them. And the dialogue often felt unnatural.
Also there were frequent flashbacks to Henry and Sam’s relationship prior to the separation. I think this was meant to make us feel closer to them as a couple, but since it was in the past, I often felt compelled to skim and get back to current matters. The jumping around from present with each guy, then back to the past didn’t work well for me. A little touch once would have been enough for me, I’d actually rather have seen the relationship with Nash develop more rather than the rather cursory depth it was given.
Before they were rescued, despite the lack of depth to the characters, I was invested in the story and would have given it at least a four. But after the rescue, my feelings changed rather quickly. The character’s reactions after the rescue and the dialogue (often times they all seemed to just spout words without even thinking) really changed the heart of the story for me. Because I came to dislike all of them at a time when I should have been feeling for them intensely. All the back and forth, lack of thoughtfulness towards each other and what was said, just pulled me out of the story and made me hardly care.
One character just suddenly dropped off without even a final conversation on page, making me doubt if the other was ever truly in love with him. Basically, the angsty drama I had expected at the end didn’t materialize, it all felt distant. Also, I enjoyed the little boy, Buddy, and his storyline, but again it’s conclusion also so easy and left me wanting just that bit more depth and angst.
Lovely cover is lovely, perfect for the story.
ebook, 212 pages
Published April 3rd 2016 by JMS Books, LLC
CharactersHenry Miller-Greene, Sam Miller-Greene settingSeattle, WA (United States)
Honiara (Solomon Islands)
Hawaii (United States)
Ocean of Secrets by Jerry Sacher
Cover Art by Bree Archer
Purchase Links: Dreamspinner Press eBook and Paperback
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Jerry Sacher here today to talk about Jerry’s latest novel, Ocean of Secrets. Welcome, Jerry.
“Come on, jump and I’ll follow you!” He shouted above the rumbling noise that was coming from all around them. Matthew held onto Andrew’s hand for a brief second, squeezing, , silent encouragement. Then Matthew jumped, Andrew watched him hit the water that was now only a few feet below. Andrew took off the edge of the deck and leaped. The water was bitterly cold, like a thousand knives being driven into body could barely breathe but he had to find Matthew. Andrew looked behind himthe light blinked and went out and the ship towered above him in the darkness were jumping, splashing near him, crying out.
He thought he heard someone calling out his name he swam toward the sound. He only got a few feet away, when he found himself being showered with pieces of glass, wood, and scraps of metal and sparks; the screech of tortured steel drowned out all other noise, except the voice that persistently called out his name. An arm reached out, grabbing at him and pulling him under, but he somehow managed to break free up next to a collapsible boat with a handful of people inside together watching the scene unfold in front of them. Andrew hung onto the side of the boat and followed their gaze.
I hope you enjoy reading Ocean of Secrets…
There are a lot of advantages and disadvantages about writing historic fiction. The biggest advantage for me is the research. Since I enjoy history I get to read about a lot of time periods that I had previously known nothing about. Being interested in the Titanic I discovered a couple of things I didn’t really know before. Only the more expensive cabins in first class had a private bathroom/water closet. The rest were shared facilities. There was no fresh water to bathe in, only hot and cold salt water.
In 1912, even though there were telephones, phonographs, and motion pictures, slang phrases or common expressions varied from place to place. Much like today, a word that means one thing in America could have a different meaning in England. So it was difficult not to let modern words or phrases slip in to the dialogue while I was writing Ocean of Secrets.
In writing a story I’m more of a planner. I will first complete a biography of all the main antagonists and protagonists, and then once I’ve given them a back story, than I’ll set up an outline, although the charters will tell their own story once you type in the first sentence.
My favorite characters are Andrew Elliot and Matthew, plus Jeremy Haniver from my first novel: The Saint of San Francisco. I love them and I think I identify with them because all three of them are trying to find their way through life, and they emerged through conflict with confidence that none of them knew they possessed…
A little about me: I currently live in Chicago with my husband, Dean, and our two rambunctious cats, Monty and Nicky. I’ve been actively writing full time for the past six years. I’m interested in Titanic and all periods of history, and I have also published a novel set during the Russian Revolution.
My other works include: The Saint of San Francisco. The Rosary and the Badge. Noble’s Savior, and Fair In Love.
You can follow me on Twitter at @jerrysacher1 and on Facebook on my The Saint of San Francisco page. Keep up with me on my website, JerrySacher.com, for more news about Ocean of Secrets and my other projects.