Publisher: Yannick Thoraval (September, 2014)
Category: Literary Fiction, Climate Fiction
Tour Date: November, 2014
Available in: ebook, 312 Pages
Peter Van Dooren’s wealth and prestige mean that his family wants for nothing – except a husband and a father.
When the president of a sinking tropical island in the south pacific calls on the world’s most ingenious entrepreneurs to help save his people, Van Dooren reckons his plan can save the island and its people’s way of life.
If it works, Van Dooren’s plan will not only make him richer, it could also change the very idea of nations and borders. After all, changing the world is what Peter really wants to accomplish.
The thing is, not all of the islanders share Van Dooren’s vision for their homeland. That won’t stop Peter from risking everything to prove that nature can be tamed. Playing God may cost Van Dooren his fortune and his own family.
While Peter plots a world away, his wife, son and daughter sink deeper into their own personal abyss of retail therapy, amateur pornography and Christian fundamentalism.
Everyone is adrift on the same tide of greed, lust and fear. This is the current that shapes the world. It always has; it always will.
Commended by judges of the prestigious, Victorian Premier's Literary Awards for an Unpublished Manuscript and finalist in the International Showcase Screenwriting Competition, 'The Current' is a novel about the difference between having a house and losing a home. The style of writing is literary (thoughtful but humorous), and will appeal to readers of Jonathan Franzen (particularly Freedom), Ian McEwan (particularly Solar) and Michel Houellebecq (particularly Platform). Stylistically, The Current offers readers a back and forth split storyline and portent of danger comparable to Paul Thomas Anderson's film, Magnolia (1999).
Buy the Book:
Peter Van Dooren identifies as a businessman. After growing his father's shipping company, he is considered a forerunner in the engineering and business world. This prestige earns him an invitation from a president of a small island nation, L'Eden Sur Mer. As sea levels rise, L'Eden Sur Mer is sinking and the residents of the island will soon lose their home, their cultures and their identities. President Koyl invites Peter to a summit of his peers to come up with ideas to save the island. Peter gladly accepts the invitation hoping to become the next great engineer of his time; also leaving his home and family behind for months without him. Meanwhile, Peter's wife Alma finds solace in retail therapy, his daughter Gracie becomes involved in a Christian fundamentalist group and his son Steven grows more addicted to pornography and finds an online job at a sketchy business.
I was drawn to this book because of the environmental aspect of the sinking island, a real issue that is affecting many island nations. The issues facing L'Eden Sur Mer accurately reflected many Pacific Island nations. The reactions of the inhabitants of the island also seemed real when facing the loss of their home. Peter's character very interesting, there was a conflict between the good he was doing to save a nation and the damage he was doing to his family by leaving for long periods of time. I was very intrigued by the idea Peter came up with to save the island, I only wish it was put into action. However, the focus of the story is on work vs. family and there is certainly an exploration of maintaining that balance.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
Yannick Thoraval is a professional communications adviser and university lecturer.
Best known as an essayist, Thoraval has publishing widely for both academic and general audiences.
He formally studied film, philosophy and American political history, attaining a masters degree from the University of Melbourne before leaving academia to pursue commercial writing interests. He ended up working as a copywriter in marketing and communications.
Thoraval’s fiction has received critical acclaim. His first screenplay, Kleftiko, was a finalist in the International Showcase Screenwriting Awards. Judges of the prestigious Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, Australia, highly commended his first novel, The Current.
The novel draws from Thoraval’s personal and professional experiences of working in the Victorian State Government, particularly his work in international development with the nation of Timor-Leste.
He is a career migrant and has lived in the Netherlands, France, Cyprus, Canada and Australia. Moving internationally from a young age has left him feeling culturally stateless, despite holding three passports.
Thoraval is a quiet advocate for refugees and asylum seekers. He is a founding member of the World Writings Group, which helps refugees write about their experiences of forced migration.
He has pledged to donate 10% of the proceeds of this book to assist the settlement of refugees.
He currently lives in Melbourne, Australia, where he teaches professional writing and editing. He is working on his second novel.