Rated of 5
by Randy Roses with the thorns!
The artistry and intellect of Amber Dermont has me feeling a bit out of my league when it comes to reviewing her work. Through “The Starboard Sea”, I experienced a gorgeous landscape of reflections, insights, observation, emotion and passion, accessed through a thorny path of cruelty, narcissism, confusion, cynicism and compromise. I found myself bursting out in laughter on many occasions and there was sudden and unexpected sobbing in one spot. I found myself repeatedly underlining remarkable sentences and paragraphs.
More than a little of the book masterfully ushered me into the beauty of sailing; though I am not at all a mariner, the passion transferred very well. I found much of the coming-of-age sexuality of the young men in the story, understandably, unrecognizable. The ambivalence as to orientation explored, the private thoughts, the horsing around and jokes often seemed non-male and not real. It is a very ambitious thing for a woman to take on to be sure! Grief and loss are lovingly and artfully plumbed to their many-faceted depths. Being a widower, I found myself aching for the author as this level of understanding doesn’t come via any means other than mainline trauma. Interesting how very little there was to admire in all but a few living characters in the book (“The Lords of Discipline” comes to mind). The deceased Cal, anyone could have loved. I fell in love with Aidan. This is a book I will buy in hard cover and keep. I am confident that it is a novel that will yield more with another read… or two. Read the book and remember that I did warn you about the thorns!
Rated of 5
by Grace W. (Corona del Mar, CA) Sailing through the coming of age
Amber Dermont's novel is beautifully written and probably one edit shy of a 5 rating. The numerous characters came alive throughout the story. Many of the passages I committed to memory. You don't have to be a 17 year old boy to appreciate this extremely well-crafted story.
Rated of 5
by Ellen S. (Mundelein, IL) The Starboard Sea
I am drawn to the coming of age genre, especially those such as this; in settings completely distinct from my own. While reading The Starboard Sea, I was oft reminded of A Separate Peace (john Knowles) - the frailty of human nature, unspeakable moral dilemmas, and ultimately, redemption. Having no sailing experience, I was unfamiliar with the nautical terms; and yet, I was mesmerized by the nautical metaphors of celestial navigation and the sea of tranquility. The inclusion of the lyrics of a favorite song of my own youth, Kodachrome (p. 54) struck a huge chord with me. I look forward to the film adaptation, which will be sure to come.
Rated of 5
by Corinne S. (Paoli, PA) Th Starboard Sea
Bellingham Academy awaits Jason Kilian Prosper, a senior who experiences shame about his past at Kensington Prep, which gets him banished from the school, sexual confusion during a relationship with his best friend, Cal, and guilt about Cal’s suicide, hazing at a new boarding school, sailing competitions, love of Aidan, death, mystery, loyalty, betrayal, and the ability to forgive himself. Amber Dermont gives us a story that brings to mind The History Boys by Alan Bennett, or The Secret History by Donna Tartt. We are once again thrust into the life of a wealthy, exclusive, good ole boy private boarding school. Jason must navigate the dangerous waters of this new competition carefully even though he has a raw and damaged spirit. You will share his journey with the salty spray of sadness and depression and the warmth of sunny joy and love until Jason is able to find the right, true, starboard sea.
Rated of 5
by Rosanne W. (St Pete Beach, FL) The Starboard Sea
Deeply flawed young people at a second rate prep school. The narrators "girlfriend" was just plain weird. Read the last few pages several times as the ending was so equivocal.
Rated of 5
by Andrienne G. (Azusa, CA) Compelling coming-of-age tale set in the 80s
I don't know much about the 80s (I identify more with the 90s), so I can't comment on how accurate the way kids thought and felt. All I know is that I got this book yesterday and finished it yesterday. It was like Dead Poets Society without the idealism. I don't like boats or preppy kids, but somehow there was something intriguing about the story that made me want to keep reading. Of course, halfway through, I can figure out what the mystery was all about, but there were some startling surprises sprinkled throughout. There were also too many characters--more than I care to know about that made it a bit of a chore to read. Some characters weren't necessary and it only served to break the momentum of the book. The author was bold with some themes and she wrote about them in such a way that made me reread a few passages every now and then just to be sure I read it right. This book could be used in a book club for sure.
Judge rules unused Borders gift cards to be worthless(May 23 2013) Borders owes nothing to holders of roughly $210.5 million of gift cards that had not been used by the time the bookstore chain shut down, a Manhattan federal...