Before he was posted to the Tuamoto Archipelago, Dr. Kersaint was warned “those islands are sometimes visited by hurricanes, and from all accounts, they are most unpleasant things.”
Fifteen years later, Kersaint tells a young colleague the story of a handful of one hurricane’s survivors.
The Hurricane by Charles Nordhoff & James Norman Hall
Little, Brown, 1935. 275 p. 1936 bestseller #7. My grade: B-.
As the hurricane bears down on the Archipelago, the French, who administer the South Pacific islands, are seeking an escaped criminal, a native lad who a British merchant seaman had been training to take over his shipping business.
Terangi has been pulled from the sea by the local priest and brought home.
When the islands’ administrator accidentally discovers Terangi’s relatives are conspiring to help him get away, he sails off to find the convict, leaving his wife at home watching the barometer fall.
Writer team Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall skillfully punctuate gray blurs of terrifying sound and sleep-deprived ache with vivid details that make readers feel the narrator truly lived through a hurricane.
They do not, however, go beyond telling an exciting story.
The survivors of “the wind that overturns the land” survive unchanged.
That’s would be impossible for anyone whose adventures occur outside their armchairs.
© 2016 Linda Gorton Aragoni