Tere Duperrault Fassbender
*** About the Book ***
In 1961 the sailboat Bluebelle, carrying Captain Harvey and his wife, and the Duperrault family (parents and three children), sinks during a sudden squall somewhere near the Bahamas. About 12 hours later Captain Harvey is rescued and he tells the Coast Guard that that the other passengers were all lost when the boat went down. Four days later 11-year-old Terry Jo Duperrault is found floating on a tiny raft, dehydrated and in kidney failure, almost dead. When she recovers, she tells a very different story about what happened on the Bluebelle …
Did I mention that this is a true story?!
*** Why I Read It ***
I generally love non-fiction books so this was one of the few books I REALLY wanted to get while I was at BEA. I had the chance to briefly meet the author at the Midpoint Press booth during the convention (where he also signed my book). I couldn’t wait to read it and actually got through the entire thing on the three hour train ride home from New York.
*** My Thoughts ***
Terry Jo Dupperault's story is crazy. Had this been written as fiction I would have said that author went too far in asking me to suspend disbelief. But it is all TRUE! I started this book on the train returning from BEA and simply couldn't put it down; I was completely engrossed for the three hour ride. When I got home I told Hubby about it and he started reading it that same night. Even though he isn't a big reader, he finished it only 3 days later.
The author clearly has a personal connection with Tere (aka Terry Jo). Not that he ever claims to be completely objective, but his friendship with and respect for Tere is evident in the way he writes about her experiences. The book is a very easy read and the pace is quick.
It's not a perfect book, mainly due to choppy writing. However the story was so fascinating that I easily overlooked the problems and kept turning the pages - I just HAD to find out Terry Jo's whole story.
*** Your Thoughts ***
When I got home I asked my parents and in-laws if they remembered hearing about Terry Jo years ago. Only one of the four had any memory of it. What about you? Were you around in 1961? Do you remember Terry Jo's amazing rescue?
Are there any other amazing rescue stories you'd recommend?