Sunday, May 15, 2011

SEA CHANGE by Diane Tullson

Lucas is looking forward to spending some time with his father.  His parents have been divorced for years, but even before that, time with his dad was scarce.  The excuse was always that his dad was busy running the fishing lodge where he entertained guests interested in fishing for salmon and halibut.  Now Lucas finally has the chance to travel to the lodge and see things for himself.

The helicopter ride that delivers Lucas deep into the wilderness is thrilling, and when he sees the place where he will get to fish for coho salmon, he can't wait to get started.  The landing is made even more interesting as Lucas witnesses a small cluster of deer seemingly oblivious to the noise and commotion of the helicopter.  As he watches, one of the deer topples to the ground.  It has been shot. 

After landing, Lucas continues to observe as he father lights into the lodge worker holding the smoking gun.  It's a girl about his age and his father calls her Sumi.  He rages at her telling her if she ever does it again she'll be fired.  Lucas barely has time to recover from the sight of the dead deer and witnessing his father's anger before he is in for another shock.  His father announces that he has to leave.  Lucas can't believe it.  He thought they would be spending quality time together fishing, and now his father says it's too late and that he'll be back tomorrow.

Left alone at the cabin with Sumi, the deer slayer, Lucas fumes silently.  He knows his father has left to be with his girlfriend, the woman that caused the split between his parents.  When Sumi confirms what Lucas is thinking, he immediately wishes he had never made the trip.  He decides he will have to make the best of things for the night and hope that tomorrow will be better.

Tomorrow doesn't bring any improvement.  The weather turns bad, and Lucas finds himself being bossed around by Sumi.  She means well, but it's clear she is not good with people and isn't really enjoying her assignment as "babysitter."  Despite their rocky relationship, what follows is some amazing fishing and a careless disaster that threatens both their lives.

Diane Tullson takes readers into the Canadian wilderness complete with beautiful salmon, giant halibut, deer, and clever black bears.  Readers will be entertained by the wildlife adventures and by Lucas's struggle to come to terms with the father he loves but doesn't understand.

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