A Message to the Sea by Alex Shearer

I picked up this book in the library wondering what sort of book it would be. The plot was both original and intriguing. It turned out it wasn’t quite what I expected, but in a good way. I think this book is very similar in style of writing to Michael Morpurgo.
‘A Message to the Sea’ kept me hooked, and I’m tempted to look for other Alex Shearer books in the future. The main protagonist in this book is a young boy, named Tom Pellow. A year prior to the beginning of the book, his dad died at sea, but as Tom lives with his mother and sister near the sea, instead of the sea making him sad, it almost reassures him, like a father.

Tom throws a bottle in to the sea, as a way of ‘unbottling’ his feelings – get it? – but doesn’t expect a reply. Soon Tom writes more and more letters, in the hope of discovering his father’s whereabouts as he starts to discover some interesting facts…

Tom’s uncle works on a ferry, back and forth, back and forth every day, but he never gets tired of it. Near where he works, cargo ships are moored, waiting for when they are needed. The book also picks up on some conversations between two men painting one of the two ships, and the end of the story comes as a surprise.

This is the sort of book where at the end you just think, I should have known that would happen, or other things along those lines. I for one got to the end and thought, that was so obvious, how could I have missed that connection. But that just makes it an even better book, so go on, give it a try, and please comment below and subscribe by email!

FictionFan1 Rating: 8.5/10

If you liked this author you might like: Rebbeca Stead, SimonMayo, Michael Morpurgo

About the author: Shearer is a British novelist who was recognised aged 29 as a television scenario writer after having produced 30 works.

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Coming up soon: Stay tuned for next review of The Honeymoon Sisters by Gwyneth Rees