Book Review – “Almost too Late” by Elmo Wortman

Almost Too Late in my amazon bookstore

4 stars out of 5 – I really liked it

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Wow, what a book.  Things go wrong out on the ocean sometimes.  Sometimes really wrong.

This book tells the story of a man and his 3 children (Cindy – age 16, Randy – age 15, and Jena – age 12) as they go through the sinking of their sailboat in a fierce Alaska winter storm.   Somehow, they all manage to make it to shore as the boat breaks up under them.  They go through terrible hardship, freezing feet, exposure, near starvation.  Through it all they are determined to rescue themselves.

Unlike the author in my last book review, Elmo doesn’t spend a lot of time on analyzing the meaning of it all as he tells his tale.  They methodically go about the business of trying to survive as best they can.  At one point, when he and his son are unable to go on and his girls are stranded by themselves without food, it seems certain that his two girls must be dead.  In this moment of reflection, he attributes his failure to save them to a change in his attitude when he goes from self rescue to expecting to find help.

I find myself strangely attracted to disaster at sea stories.  Having been involved in a shipwreck myself at the the tender age of fourteen (5 years before the Wortman’s misfortune) I know that terror of suddenly being in the water when moments before you were nice and dry on a ship.  Fortunatly for me it was summertime in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and our rescue came after only 3 hours in the water.  I’m sure looking forward to not EVER repeating that experience!

Anyway, great book. 


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