Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Step into the Wind by Bev Prescott


THE RAINBOW READER WELCOMES YOU TO A SPECIAL SEGMENT


With Special Guest Reviewer, BARRETT, author of DAMANGED IN SERVICE and  DEFYING GRAVITY


Book:  Step into the Wind
Author:  Bev Prescott
Publisher:  Blue Feather Books

For a kid growing up in the Midwest, every summer brought the opportunity of “going up north” for vacation. I believe there’s something magical about the north woods for children, as well as adults. Maybe it was the quiet or the sheer joy of being swallowed up by, what seemed like, endless acres of trees and lakes.

My family, like hundreds of others, packed the car before dawn to make the excruciatingly long drive to Northern Wisconsin. For two blissful weeks my brother and I led a carefree existence of swimming, running loose, picking blueberries, fishing, and capturing frogs.

When I was a little older, I had the chance to go to scout camp in Wild Rose, Wisconsin. Some of the memories are just as vivid today as they were then. It was my first time away from home and I met dozens of other girls enjoying a special week of coordinated recreation and learning. I also learned the wonder of “camp counselors” for the first time.

Author Bev Prescott’s new release, Step into the Wind, offers readers a peek behind the scenes of a landmark camp in the beautifully described town of Glasgow, Maine. The Marcotte Camp has been a rite of passage for decades for many lucky children. But with the death of their son, the beloved Marcotte family is self-destructing.

Alex Marcotte fled the town and her family after the tragic death of her twin brother. Finally, on the pretext of researching the wildfires in Maine, she returns to her hometown. Sadly, Alex carries with her the same emotional burdens that she had when she left. The psychological wreckage that, after so many years, continues to metastasize through the roots of her family, hooks her back in almost immediately.

A lifesaving distraction appears in the form of self-assured wildlife biologist named Zoe Kimball. Tasked with studying a very special pair of breeding eagles on an island owned by the camp, Zoe Kimball finds herself drawn into the vortex of a growing storm. Her attraction to Alex blooms, but it’s her rock solid courage and patience that bond her to the unmoored young woman.

At first glance, the story lines up to be a romance. And to be sure, the relationship between Zoe and Alex develops in halting steps. But the real story, from my perspective, is one of survival on many levels. Ms. Prescott has intricately woven a tapestry of back-story that involves not only the Marcotte family, but all of the colorful individuals who make up the saga.

The well-researched tale of the eagles and their offspring is gripping and enchanting. (It reminded me of Marlin Perkins and his Sunday night “Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom” television show). By the end of the story, I was truly hoping for a sequel about the baby eagles. 

Anyone who knows Bev Prescott, will understand her passion for the bounty of nature surrounding all of us. When you read her words, you will feel it.

Each character is drawn with the same meticulous attention to detail, and you’ll feel as though you know each one of them.

The pacing of the story moves quickly and evenly. I engaged early and had trouble finding a place to stop for the night. The only time I felt slowed, as a reader was midway through when Alex slipped into a dark space of self-analysis. Her emotional state is vital to understanding the story, but I understood that earlier.

There’s richness in the novel that resonates even after its finish. And it stems from the very title—Step into the Wind. It’s a matter of trust, it’s a matter of survival, and it’s a matter of seeing what’s in front of you. At one point, they discuss the remarkable vision of the eagles, the ability to spot their objective from hundreds of feet in the air.

Bev Prescott has given us a well-written story layered with some of her authentic observations that give her writing a rich satisfying ring of truth. I enjoyed my time in Glasgow, Maine and I’m sure I will revisit Step into the Wind soon. In the meantime, I will be paying  a lot more attention to birds nests.

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