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The keeper's son /

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Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press, 2003
Edition: First edition.
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SUMMARY

In 1941, Killakeet Island of the wind-swept Outer Banks of North Carolina is home to a tiny, peaceful population of fishermen, clam stompers, oyster rakers, and a few lonely sailors of the Coast Guard. Dominating the glorious, raw beauty of the little island is the majestic Killakeet Lighthouse, which for generations has been the responsibility of one family, the Thurlows.
However, Josh Thurlow, the Keeper's son, has forsworn his heritage to become the commander of the Maudie Jane, a small Coast Guard patrol boat operating off Killakeet. Josh is still tortured by guilt, seventeen years after losing his baby brother at sea. Then his life is complicated by the arrival of the beautiful Dosie Crossan, who has journeyed to lonely Killakeet to escape the outside world and perhaps find a purpose in life. While Josh's heart is stirred by the often-vexing Dosie, he continues his search for his brother, even after a wolfpack of German U-boats arrives to soak the island's beaches with blood and oil.
One of the U-boats is captained by Otto Krebs, a famed and ruthless undersea warrior. Krebs, a man also scarred by lost love, comes to Killakeet, however, with more than torpedoes and plans for war: He may also have the answer to the mystery that haunts Josh Thurlow.
"The Keeper's Son" is a rousing, romantic tale of the power of the human heart forever searching for redemption.


Review by Booklist Review

This excellent story of World War II on the Outer Banks will surprise no one who remembers Hickam's Torpedounction (1989), his nonfiction account of the U-boat war off the American coast in 1942. Drawing on his research for that book, Hickam deftly crafts a romantic, even melodramatic story, occasionally venturing beyond the limitations of historical factuality but always presenting consistent viewpoints for both American and German characters. The former include the title character, Coast Guard Lieutenantosh Thurlow in his 83-foot patrol boat, the Maudieane; her motley crew; and the inhabitants ofillakeet Island. The Germans are hard-driving but ethical Captainrebs, commander of U-560, and his crew, one of whom, Harro Stollenberg, may beosh's brother,acob, who was lost at sea 17 years earlier. The pacing, the building of character with carefully chosen detail, and the masterful construction of a setting are as much strengths of this novel as they are of Hickam's other books. He evokes with great skill a time and a place that is passing out of living memory, and if he completes his projected series aboutosh Thurlow and those who went down to the sea in Coast Guard cutters, he will have made a very notable addition to American maritime literature, indeed. --Roland Green Copyright 2003 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

A gutsy Coast Guard officer battles German submarines and 17 years of unfettered guilt on the North Carolina coast in 1941 and 1942 in this high adventure yarn. Hickam, the author of the memoir Rocket Boys (which was turned into the film October Sky), knows a great deal about submarine warfare in WWII, as evidenced by his 1989 nonfiction naval history, Torpedo Junction. This is the first novel of a planned series about rough and tumble Coast Guard Lt. Josh Thurlow and his unusual patrol boat crew during WWII. Josh, 31, is a career officer assigned to Killakeet Island, along North Carolina's treacherous Outer Banks. Both he and his father-the keeper of the Killakeet Lighthouse-are haunted by the loss at sea and presumed death of Josh's two-year-old baby brother 17 years earlier. Shaken from his brooding by the appearance of German U-boats, Josh must try to protect the merchant ships torpedoed every night offshore. His patrol boat is small and ill-equipped, and his crew is a wacky group of casual islanders who aren't sure they really want to fight anybody. A talented U-boat commander named Krebs becomes Josh's honored enemy, but another U-boat skipper is a far more ruthless and dangerous adversary. Josh must fight both, as well as his suspicions that his little brother may not be dead after all; the reappearance of a childhood sweetheart leavens the mix. Hickam provides a vivid and convincing portrayal of life under the sea in a U-boat, as well as on the surface in a fragile patrol boat. Well-crafted characters, gripping naval warfare and colorful island life come together in this dynamic and exciting tale. Agents, Frank Weimann and Mickey Freiberg. (Oct.) Forecast: The success of the Rocket Boys trilogy should help launch this new series, as should an extensive author tour-Hickam is a practiced speaker. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review

The "Rocket Boy" is back with the story of Josh Thurlow, a Coast Guard commander during World War II chasing a U-boat captain who might just know something about his lost brother. With an eight-city author tour. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
AUTHOR NOTES

Homer H. Hickam Jr. was born in 1943 in Coalwood, Va. and earned a degree in industrial engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1964. He served in the U.S. Army from 1967 to 1972, rising to the rank of captain. Hickam also served as an engineer at the Army Missile Command in Huntsville, Ala. and with the Army Corps of Engineers in West Germany. He has been with NASA since 1981.

Homer Hickam is a rare combination of practicing scientist and literate storyteller. As a NASA trainer he has taught astronauts to walk on the moon. As an author he has written a poignant, personal memoir about how he became an aerospace engineer.

In Rocket Boys (1998) Hickam tells how his fascination with rockets began in the 50s Sputnik space race, developed into a teenage rocket club, and led to Hickam's winning a gold and a silver medal at the National Science Fair in 1960. His inspiring story, told with honesty and humor, had its beginnings as an article in Smithsonian's Air and Space magazine in 1994 and is being adapted as a motion picture.

Hickam's other book Torpedo Junction: U-Boat War Off America's East Coast, 1942 (1989) is also praised as a literary achievement. It is a fascinating, fast-paced narrative that draws on his background as a scuba diver and explorer of sunken ships. Hickam has also written several shipwreck articles for major magazines.

(Bowker Author Biography)


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