Suzanne Moore's Reviews > Wrack

Wrack by James  Bradley
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's review
Aug 10, 2009

it was ok
bookshelves: australia
Read in August, 2009

David, an Australian archeologist, is searching for evidence of a Portuguese ship that was rumored to have been lost centuries earlier on a quest to discover Australia. What he finds is the remains of a body over 50 years old. He later meets Kurt, an old man, suffering in the final stages of cancer. Believing that this man holds the secret to the body and knows about the ship as well, he convinces a friend, Claire, to help him care for the dying man. While probing for information, he learns that Kurt as a young man was involved in an affair with Veronica, the wife of his best friend Frazier. The two friends were in WWII together and in an escape from a war torn city where they were stationed, Veronica goes missing. Frazier discovers the secret of his friend’s betrayal when he reads a letter left in his wife things. He goes to kill Kurt in a drunken state and ends up being the one fatally shot. Kurt buries the body and it is this corpse that David discovered. Before Kurt breathes his last breath, he admits that he did know about the ship, but it will never be found. For some reason he burned it.

While Claire and David were caring for Kurt, they start their own affair. Though both are not technically unfaithful to others; both live with memories. David not able to forget the memory of his former girlfriend who died from an asthma attack and Claire still obsessed with a former boyfriend with whom she had parted ways. Kurt’s story of his love for Veronica and the tragic end of their romance, leave David and Claire unsure about whether they should allow their hearts to love again.

Bradley begins each part of his novel with references to Magellan, Marco Polo, Columbus, and other legendary explorers. The scenery and emotions of the characters were poetically described throughout.
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