Reviews of Grayson by Lynne Cox

Grayson

by Lynne Cox

Grayson by Lynne Cox X
Grayson by Lynne Cox
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Aug 2006, 160 pages

    Paperback:
    Feb 2008, 160 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

The true story of long-distance swimmer Lynne Cox's ocean encounter with an 18-foot baby whale and her efforts to reunite "Grayson" with his mother - part mystery, part magical tale.

Grayson is Lynne Cox's first book since Swimming to Antarctica ("Riveting"—Sports Illustrated; "Pitch-perfect"—Outside). In it she tells the story of a miraculous ocean encounter that happened to her when she was seventeen and in training for a big swim (she had already swum the English Channel, twice, and the Catalina Channel).

It was the dark of early morning; Lynne was in 55-degree water as smooth as black ice, two hundred yards offshore, outside the wave break. She was swimming her last half-mile back to the pier before heading home for breakfast when she became aware that something was swimming with her. The ocean was charged with energy as if a squall was moving in; thousands of baby anchovy darted through the water like lit sparklers, trying to evade something larger. Whatever it was, it felt large enough to be a white shark coursing beneath her body.

It wasn't a shark. It became clear that it was a baby gray whale—following alongside Lynne for a mile or so. Lynne had been swimming for more than an hour; she needed to get out of the water to rest, but she realized that if she did, the young calf would follow her onto shore and die from collapsed lungs.

The baby whale—eighteen feet long!—was migrating on a three-month trek to its feeding grounds in the Bering Sea, an eight-thousand-mile journey. It would have to be carried on its mother's back for much of that distance, and was dependent on its mother's milk for food—baby whales drink up to fifty gallons of milk a day. If Lynne didn't find the mother whale, the baby would suffer from dehydration and starve to death.

Something so enormous—the mother whale was fifty feet long—suddenly seemed very small in the vast Pacific Ocean. How could Lynne possibly find her?

This is the story—part mystery, part magical tale—of what happened . . .

One

There's something frightening, and magical, about being on the ocean, moving between the heavens and the earth, knowing that you can encounter anything on your journey.

The stars had set. The sea and sky were inky black, so black I could not see my hands pulling water in front of my face, so black there was no separation between the sea and the sky. They melted together.

It was early March and I was seventeen years old, swimming two hundred yards offshore, outside the line of breaking waves off Seal Beach, California. The water was chilly, fifty-five degrees and as smooth as black ice. And I was swimming on pace, moving at about sixty strokes per minute, etching a small silvery groove across the wide black ocean.

Usually my morning workouts started at 6 a.m., but on this day, I wanted to finish early, get home, complete my ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
A bestseller that captured the imaginations of readers coast-to-coast, Grayson is the exhilarating account of an encounter between a baby whale and a teenage swimmer in the busy ocean waters near Seal Beach, California. Lynne Cox would go on to set world records for open-water swimming around the globe, becoming a high-profile author and speaker. But the hours she spent on that special morning helping a young gray whale search for its mother will forever rank as some of the most incredible experiences of her life.

The story begins in the predawn hours, when Lynne was in the midst of her rigorous daily swim. When she felt a decidedly out-of-the-ordinary energy in the water, she eventually realized that a massive creature ...
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

I opened this little book (160 small pages) with a certain degree of trepidation because animal stories, whether they be tales of favored pets or encounters in the wild, are a mixed bag. My worries didn't last long - Grayson is a pure delight that reads like a fable but is actually true. At the center of the story is Lynne Cox, now a renowned long-distance swimmer, but then just a 17-years-old out for a practice swim early one morning in the waters off Seal Beach in Southern California.

The whale tale forms the center of the story but, for me, it was the bit players that stole the show - the rays wallowing in the warm water under the pier, the sun fish snoozling close to the legs of the oil rig and the green sea turtles "carrying their homes along with them like aquatic RVs"...continued

Full Review (759 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.

(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).

Media Reviews

Elle
A riveting adventure celebrating the mysterious bond between a champion swimmer and one wayward calf.

Booklist - Vanessa Bush
This book is moving and thrilling in its simple language as Cox laments the inadequacy of words to express profound feelings but demonstrates the exhilaration of the effort.

Kirkus Reviews
The narrative transports readers to the majestic, wonderful world of the ocean .... Still, transforming the story of one afternoon into a book-length fable, even a short book-length fable, is a bit of a stretch .... Nonetheless, an inspirational, almost spiritual read, perfect for gift-giving.

Publishers Weekly
The combination of retelling her once-in-a-lifetime experience with her observations on life will have timeless appeal for all ages.

VOYA - Paula Brehm-Heeger
Although the initial chapters lack the suspense and action of the latter half of the book, teens who stick with this quiet tale of hope and perseverance will be richly rewarded.

Author Blurb Anne Rice
A story of remarkable simplicity and charm. A young swimmer invites us into sea off the coast of California where through her eyes we see an entire realm of creatures we have never known so intimately before. Truly for people of all ages, Lynne Cox’s adventure with the baby whale, Grayson, becomes a parable and an experience, thanks not only to the author’s great and generous spirit, but through her immense gift for describing nature.

Author Blurb Carl Hiaasen
Grayson would be compelling enough as a fable about a young woman and a lost whale. The fact that it’s true makes the story wondrous, and unforgettable.

Author Blurb Jane Goodall
A story of remarkable simplicity and charm. A young swimmer invites us into sea off the coast of California where through her eyes we see an entire realm of creatures we have never known so intimately before. Truly for people of all ages, Lynne Cox’s adventure with the baby whale, Grayson, becomes a parable and an experience, thanks not only to the author’s great and generous spirit, but through her immense gift for describing nature.”

Author Blurb John Grogan, author of Marley & Me
A moving and memorable story, filled with dramatic tension and loving descriptions of the sea and all the wondrous creatures it holds. Grayson is a celebration of the natural world in all its glory, and the deep and lasting effect it can have on us humans if only we pause to notice.

Reader Reviews

leopard

Grayson
Grayson is definitely a worthwhile book.
Wylee Sanders and rest of English class

Required Read, a Let Down
I was excited to be assigned this memoir to read in school, how interesting, I had thought. Two paragraphs and I was dreading the rest of the book. It did not captivate me at all and when I surveyed the rest of the class, we had all disliked the book...   Read More

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

Gray Whales

Adult Gray Whales weigh 30-40 tons and measure about 45 feet (14 meters); they have dark skin with gray patches and white mottling, the calves are born dark gray to black (sometimes with distinctive white markings). They are baleen whales (with a series of 130-180 fringed overlapping plates hanging from each side of the upper jaw in lieu of teeth), as such they feed by drawing sediment and water into their mouths, expelling the water and sediment through the baleen plates, leaving the trapped food ready to be swallowed.

Courtship and mating behavior are complex, and frequently involve 3 or more whales of mixed sexes (one on top to keep the the other two down), They make one of the longest of all mammalian migrations averaging 10-14,000 ...

This "beyond the book" feature is available to non-members for a limited time. Join today for full access.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Read-alikes Full readalike results are for members only

More books by Lynne Cox

If you liked Grayson, try these:

  • The Lightkeepers jacket

    The Lightkeepers

    by Abby Geni

    Published 2017

    About this book

    More by this author

    A debut novel from a talented and provocative new writer which upends the traditional structure of a mystery novel while also exploring wider themes of the natural world, the power of loss, and the nature of recovery.

  • The Fly Trap jacket

    The Fly Trap

    by Fredrik Sjoberg

    Published 2016

    About this book

    A mesmerizing memoir of extraordinary brilliance by an entomologist, The Fly Trap chronicles Fredrik Sjöberg's life collecting hoverflies on a remote island in Sweden

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search read-alikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

and discover exceptional books
for just $3.75 per month.

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: The Facemaker
    The Facemaker
    by Lindsey Fitzharris
    The summer of 1914 saw the beginning of World War I, the bloody conflict known as the 'war to end ...
  • Book Jacket: How to Read Now
    How to Read Now
    by Elaine Castillo
    Toni Morrison once wrote, 'My project rises from delight, not disappointment.' This remark appeared ...
  • Book Jacket: Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow
    Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow
    by Gabrielle Zevin
    It's been more than 20 years since Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Klay won ...
  • Book Jacket: Cult Classic
    Cult Classic
    by Sloane Crosley
    At a trendy Chinese restaurant in downtown Manhattan, Lola, the protagonist of Sloane Crosley's ...

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Dirt Creek
    by Hayley Scrivenor

    "A heart-wrenching mystery, Scrivenor's remarkable sense of place brings Dirt Creek to life. A stellar debut."
    —Jane Harper,

  • Book Jacket

    Some of It Was Real
    by Nan Fischer

    A psychic on the verge of stardom and a cynical journalist are brought together by secrets that threaten to tear them apart.

Who Said...

To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

N I, ands, O B

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.