Synopses & Reviews
In August Gale, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Barbara Walsh—who has interviewed killers, bad cops, and crooked politicians in the course of her career—faces the most challenging story of her lifetime: asking her father about his childhood pain. In the process, she takes us on two heartrending odysseys: one into a deadly Newfoundland hurricane and the lives of schooner fishermen who relied on God and the wind to carry them home; the other, into a squall stirred by a man with many secrets: a grandfather who remained a mystery until long after his death.
Sixty-eight years after the hurricane that claimed several of her ancestors, Walsh searches for memories of the August gale and the grandfather who abandoned her dad as a young boy. Together, she and her father journey to Newfoundland to learn about the 1935 storm, and along the way her dad begins to talk about the man he cannot forgive. As she recreates the scenes of the violent hurricane and a small boy's tender past, she holds onto a hidden desire: to heal her father and redeem the grandfather she has never met.
“A celebration of traditional family values and reconciliation.”—Kirkus Reviews
"Like The Perfect Storm, Barbara Walshs book vividly captures the fishermen who fought for their lives in an unforgiving sea. Her quest to redeem and understand her grandfather is a powerful story that will resonate with fathers, daughters and sons. August Gale is a hauntingjourney that readers will long remember." - Kate Braestrup, New York Times bestselling author of Here If You Need Me.
“A wonderfully written tale of the sea and a far flung village of people surviving on the edge of the world, Barbara Walsh has plucked a historical event out of time and filled it with an emotional breadth rarely found in documentary or memoir writing.” - Jonathon King, Edgar Award-winning mystery author.
“Barbara Walsh's lyrical story of her father and their journey into the tempest is gripping, heartwarming - and memorable. A terrific read.” - Jackie MacMullan, former Sports Illustrated and Boston Globe writer and author of Magic and Bird: Basketball's Awed Couple.
An award-winning journalists voyage into her family history and her quest to face the storms she encounters there.
Long before "The Perfect Storm," the 1935 August Gale roared northeast. The surf raged along the New York and New Jersey shores as the gale whirled toward Newfoundland. Waves as tall as three-story houses swamped ships; monster combers broke masts in two and swept every man on deck into the raging sea. Scores of fishermen disappeared when the "divil" descended on that August evening, and one Newfoundland village would never be the same. Forty-two children in a community of three hundred lost their fathers.
In August Gale, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Barbara Walsh takes readers on two heartrending odysseys: one into a deadly Newfoundland hurricane and the lives of schooner fishermen who relied on God and the wind to carry them home; the other, into a squall stirred by a man with many secrets: a grandfather who remained a mystery until long after his death.
About the Author
Barbara Walsh is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and magazine columnist who has chased many stories during her career; her work has changed laws, lives, and affected the 1988 presidential election. She is also the author of Sammy in the Sky, a childrens book illustrated by painter Jamie Wyeth.