Arts and Culture / Current Issue / DU Alumni / Magazine Feature

Alum pens young-adult novel about sailing adventure

After his mother abruptly moves out prior to the family’s annual sailing trip, 16-year-old Luke and his angry and confused father set out alone on the weeklong voyage. The routine journey becomes a fight for survival when an unexpected summer storm pulls Luke’s father overboard. Without anyone to rely on or any knowledge of his father’s condition, Luke must figure out how to navigate himself to safety.

As the book explores typical feelings associated with teenage angst—dislocation, confusion and anger—it offers possible solutions. Only by accepting the unavoidable circumstances before him, both in terms of his oceanic entrapment and his familial turmoil, can Luke hope to move forward.

Rather than paralyzing him with fear, the harsh reality of Luke’s predicament brings him clarity, and he realizes that his attitude toward his life and family have been misguided. At that moment, Luke becomes “seaborn.”

Moodie’s affinity for the ocean began while he was growing up in Cape Cod, Mass., where he spent his spare time exploring beaches and coves with friends and family. Later, as an adolescent and adult, Moodie made a living working as a deckhand aboard commercial fishing vessels.

His reverence for the ocean’s beauty and his understanding of its power has influenced many of his books, including Salt Luck, A Sailor’s Valentine and Our Perfect Youth. Moodie lives with his wife and children in Franklin, Mass., and works as a creative director for the EMC Corp. in Westborough, Mass.

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