Email this review


By a Dutch environmentalist, this is fiction with a purpose: dramatizing the activities of Greenpeace. But, unfortunately, the legitimate message is weakened by overstatement and imperfect meshing with the story. Menno, 15, joins his archeologist brother, Adrian, in search of evidence of 17th century whalers on a remote island, where they encounter a solitary Inuit who has learned to dislike and distrust all whites (though his hostility is mitigated by Adrian's association with Greenpeace), and a lawless whaler who captures a whale in a bloody, unequal battle, damaging their boat. Cast up on an island where another whale (""Anouk"") makes its home in a sea-connected lake, they contact a Greenpeace boat that hurries to their rescue; unfortunately, the message is overheard by the whalers, who now try to take Anouk. In the ensuing contest, the harpooned whale scuttles the whalers' ship. Menno and Anouk, convalescing in his lake, share a touching friendship before going their separate ways. Though marred by clumsy writing, especially by wooden conversations designed simply to convey information to the reader (Menno, especially, is given an unlikely combination of knowledge and ignorance as a result of this device), the stow is somewhat redeemed by its unusual adventure; but for a better crafted, more thoughtful presentation of similar themes, see George's Water Sky.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1987
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Orchard/Watts