Heart specialist Katherine Dunne knows her career has been hard on her three kids, a situation compounded by the death of Stuart, their father four years ago. Now happily remarried to hotshot lawyer Peter Carlyle, Katherine is determined to forge her wayward kids into a family again and what better way to do it then with a family sailing adventure. Carrie, the eldest is a freshman at Yale who suffers from depression and eating disorders. Sixteen-year-old Mark is two years younger then Carrie and has little ambition other then getting high while Ernie with his smarts and innate wisdom seems much older then his ten years. Acting as captain aboard The Family Dunne sailboat is the capable Jake Dunne, Stuart’s brother and Katherine’s lover during one particularly lonely summer. Due to an upcoming trial, Peter is unable to accompany his new family but encourages Katherine to go through with their plans. Thus, the stage is set for an epic adventure where everything goes drastically wrong and culminates in the family coming together even as they are written off for dead. When a strange twist of fate reveals the Dunne family is still very much alive, things get ugly in a hurry and it will take help from an unexpected place before justice is finally carried out.
A lightening fast pace and transparent storyline make for a quick suspense read, the mild twist comes in how the antagonists are served their just desserts. There are a few minor holes in the plot, like where on a small island is the family finding enough water to survive, but that doesn’t detract too much from this light escapist read suitable for summer travel.