Owen's Reviews > The Cay

The Cay by Theodore Taylor
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Nov 17, 2011

really liked it
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** spoiler alert ** Owen MacDonald
Reading ely

The Cay

4 stars
The Cay starts with a boy named philip Enright living on the island of Curacao. At the beginning of world war two he and his mother make his way towards Miami because his mother feels it isn’t safe. On the way, their ship is torpedoed by german submarines. Phillip takes a blow to the head and is blinded. He, an old black man, and stew cat are stranded on a small raft adrift in the ocean. Eventually, they find a cay and Timothy (the black man) swims them to shore. At first Phillip is a little hostile towards Timothy. This is partly due to his racism and partly due to the strict rationing of water. Timothy is highly resourceful. He makes shelter, creates funnels to store rain, and catches a kind of lobster called langosta. After some tension, Phillip notices that the hard labor and strict rules that Timothy enforces are for their survival.
As they live for progressingly longer on the island, the two of them get closer and closer. Timothy makes a rope, so if Phillip ever needs to start the signal fire he can. Timothy encourages Phillip to be more independent. Due to his age, timothy isn’t sure how much longer he will be able to care for Phillip, especially if they are going to be living on the cay permanently. Phillip learns to catch langosta and fish.
Soon after this, a tempest sweeps over the cay. Timothy desperately ties phillip to a tree at the highest part of the kay. In his effort he dies soon after the end of the storm. Soon after Timothy's death Phillip begins explooring the island alone and it’s rather eventful. He wanders into a bird nesting ground and is attacked. Then a moray eel bites his hand. A plane flies overhead once, but Phillip is unable to get the pilot's attention with the signal fire. Quickly, Phillip discovers how to make black smoke using oily bundles of sea grapes. In no time he successfully flags down the plane.
An operation in new york restores his sight, and when the family returns to Curacau, he becomes friend with some of the people from west india, like timothy. He dreams of going back to the cay some day.

I liked how this book had a clear anti-racist message, without making it really about racism. It was an easy read, but It still had good detail and an interesting plot. Overall, I like a good survival story. They don’t have to be filled with non-stop action.
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