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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Alone: Orphaned on the Ocean (a BEA book)

by Richard Logan, PhD, and
Tere Duperrault Fassbender
179 pages

*** About the Book ***

ALONE: Orphaned on the OceanIn 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?


Nicole (Linus's Blanket) said...

I wasn't around back in 1961, but I am totally curious about the little girl's version of events. I won't even try to pretend that I can read this one, but I just might have to google around and see if I can't find out a little bit of what went on.

Serena said...

I remember you telling me about this book when we chatted at BEA. Sounds like a good one. I have no idea what great rescue stories are out there, but I would love to hear the story about that lone surviving miner out in W. Virginia after that major collapse and explosion. That would be interesting.

ME said...

Sounds interesting...may have to add it to my list!

bermudaonion said...

Wow, what an amazing story!! I turned 3 in 1961, so I don't remember this story. I'll try to remember to ask my mother if she does.

Miss Remmers said...

This looks like a great read! I'm very intrigued and I generally stay away from nonfiction! Great review!

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

Nicole - I already emailed you the details. :)

Serena - Yes, that WOULD be fascinating!

Goddess - If I still have my copy when I see you next I'll give it t you.

bermudaonion - Let me know if she remembers it!

Miss Remmers - It was definitely an intriguing story.

Michelle Stockard Miller said...

This sounds like a good one. I like non-fiction too. Unfortunately, I do not dedicate enough time to it. Probably because I'm always doing so much reading for college that, at times, non-fiction for pleasure actually feels like required reading. I will definitely be checking this one out though! Great review. =O)

Wendy said...

I picked this one up, too, Heather! I haven't read it yet, but I'm looking forward to it because I like these kinds of books from time to time. Glad to know it kept you interested!

Britt said...

Definitely wasn't around in 1961. lol

I don't read a ton of nonfiction, but this looks interesting....

Literary Feline said...

This sounds like quite an interesting story. Sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction, isn't it? Thanks for the great review, Heather.

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

Michelle - I hope you enjoy it!

Wendy - Glad to know I wasn't the only blogger who found this book. :)

Britt - 1961? Me either ... ~LOL~

Literary Feline - yes, truth IS often stranger than fiction!

Anonymous said...

Sounds amazing - and I've got a sinking feeling that something terrible happened. Apart from the rest of the family losing their lives.
I haven't heard of this story - the book or the original episode before. I'll look out for it.

christa @ mental foodie said...

I like non-fiction especially when it's a bizarre true story (like Running with Scissors or the Glass Castle)! So I'll add this to my growing TBR list!

I have never heard of this event before... very interesting...

Beth F said...

I was a bit young in 1961 (just 6), but I went though a time period in high school or college (can't remember) when I read a lot of ship-wrecked stories (nonfiction). I have a vague recollection of this one.

I am definitely going to look for this book. I'm also looking forward to the Amy Einhorn book Ten Degrees of Reckoning by Hester Romberg, which is the true story of a woman who was a sole survivor of a wreck.

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

blackwatertown - "I've got a sinking feeling that something terrible happened" ... yup, you got that right!

christa - bizarre true story is a great way to describe it, that's for sure.

Beth F - I hadn't hear of TEN DEGREES but it sounds like something I'd love - will you be reviewing that one?

Sherry said...

OK, I'm intrigued. I'll be looking for this one to see what happened.

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