Monday, May 3, 2010

Book Review: Grayson by Lynne Cox

This slight memoir was touching and lovely. Lynne was a teenager, training for a Channel swim off the coast of California, when she discovered she was being followed by a baby Gray Whale who had lost his mother. She swims with him for where the pod of whales was heading (sailors have called in spottings of the whales once the plight of the Baby Gray was relayed), to reunite him with his mother. An abandoned or lost baby whale will only survive a few hours, so this was a race against time and against the odds.

Lynne felt an immediate empathy towards the large baby she started to call Grayson, almost seemingly able to communicate with him. They were separated a few times, and Lynne tested her stamina and fortitude in her efforts. I doubt I am giving away anything big by saying they were successful, although given the ending of every other animal-related memoir I've read, that might in fact be a surprise. But it was a tender and beautiful story. Very short, the story of just a couple of hours' time, the audio is the same length so it's like it was occurring in real time. The audio is read by the author, who has a languid and calm tone, even when relating worry and confusion. I think if the book had been longer, her tone might have had a somnolent effect, but in this brief tale, it was perfect.

Not a great epic, not action packed or filled with excitement, this story nonetheless kept me riveted, hoping against hope that somehow in the vast Pacific Ocean, Lynne would manage to pull off a miracle, which she most certainly did in this memoir.

This review is a part of AudioSynced, hosted this month by Abby (the) Librarian. Check out her audio review round-up on June 1!

1 comment:

Cath said...

I don't read many memoirs or nonfiction but something about this tugged my heartstrings. I think I might have to give it a try. Thanks for posting--I don't think I would have heard of this book otherwise!