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The Voyage: A Novel (original 1999; edition 2000)
References to this work on external resources.
Wikipedia in English
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679768394, Paperback)The title voyage of Philip Caputo's sweeping new novel commences under exceedingly strange circumstances: in June 1900, Cyrus Braithwaite, a gruff Yankee granite magnate, orders his three teenage sons to board the family's beloved schooner, sail away from their imposing Maine summer home, and stay away until September. His sole explanation for this sudden expulsion: "It's a new century, boys." Puzzled, abashed, but also intrigued by the adventure forced upon them, Nathaniel, Eliot, and Andrew leave behind their privileged WASP childhood and head out to sea--bound, they decide more or less on a whim, for the Florida keys.
Adventures are slow to shape themselves at first, but once the Braithwaite boys enlist the help of blond, worldly wise Yale dropout Will Terhune, the pace quickens considerably. Nat, who serves as skipper, and is also the most naive and most ambitious of the brothers, nearly dies in a bar fight in lower Manhattan. Fourteen-year-old Drew, the seasick-prone family rationalist, discovers a penchant for cold-blooded violence. Caught in a blow off the Carolinas, the boys limp the damaged schooner into Beaufort, South Carolina, their mother's birthplace, where an ancient aunt invites them to dinner and hints darkly at family secrets. Then, about two-thirds of the way in, what has seemed a leisurely coming-of-age story explodes into an elemental drama as a hurricane swallows the boat and spits it out on the desolate coast of Cuba. This, as it turns out, is but the first in a series of terrible reversals.
The Voyage is a departure for Caputo, a former foreign correspondent who made his name with a Vietnam memoir (A Rumor of War), and he does a fine job of conjuring up an age "when both the awareness of death and the hope of salvation were writ on every face." True, his framing device of a present-day Braithwaite descendant delving into her family's secret history is a bit forced and yes, the characters could use more depth. No matter. At some point, The Voyage becomes irresistible. --David Laskin
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:33:31 -0400)
At the turn of the century, a Maine fisherman sends his three sons to sea in June, with orders not to return before September. A woman descendant of the family recounts the boys' adventure in their schooner-- storms, shipwreck, murder--as well as the father's motive and the mystery of the mother's absence.
(summary from another edition)
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