Written by Mandy Loader, Eye of the Storm creatively gives its readers a clear picture of a hurricane – how it is formed, how it affects the lives of its victims, and how people living in a region vulnerable to such natural disaster survive.
One of the interesting facts I learned from the book is that every hurricane has an eye. The eye of the hurricane is surrounded by walls of clouds, rain and wind moving up and down like elevator, but with a speed reaching up to 200 kilometers per hour.
But unlike the heavy storms surrounding it, the eye of the storm presents a completely different weather condition. The area inside the hurricane’s eye get to enjoy a sunny and calm weather.
The eye of the hurricane can be small or big, depending on the speed of the wind swirling around it. The smaller the eye is, the harsher the hurricane will be.
Author Loader did not intend to write the book to merely provide facts about hurricanes. Loader centered her storyline on hurricane as a strong force of nature and how this force changes people.
Hiru, one of the main characters of the story, is a man who moved from Japan to Florida and married an American woman, Elizabeth. Elizabeth, however, died and left Hiru alone with their daughter Ikemi.
Because of Hiru’s love for his deceased wife, he bought a little fishing boat and named it Elizabeth. Hiru found fishing the best way to forget the pain of losing a loved one.
One day, he went out to fish off the coast of Florida, unaware of a looming disaster that may threaten his life. He was too busy catching fish that he missed a weather bulletin announcement warning the residents of Florida against a killer hurricane named Irene.
When Irene hit the Caribbean, Hiru’s boat unfortunately suffered an engine malfunction which prevented him from returning home.
Ikemi, who knew that his father went to fish, set off on a journey with his boyfriend, Max, in a desperate attempt to save Hiru’s life.
Ikemi and Max, on board a seaplane, endured the strong winds brought by the hurricane. They found Hiru trapped amidst the big waves and the only way to rescue him lied inside the eye of the hurricane.
The way Loader described how Ikemi and Max rescued Hiru was dramatic but seemingly realistic.
It was a joy reading the book from cover to cover and I would definitely recommend Eye of the Storm to those who are interested to discover more about the deadly natural phenomenon.
Loader’s talent to stitch a scientific theme to a dramatic story about love and family is commendable.
The 64-page Eye of the Storm was published by the University of Cambridge in 2003.
The book is available at the Self-Accessing Center (SAC) of the Royal University of Phnom Penh, and may be ordered online through Amazon.com.
Read up and find out how the dramatic rescue of Hiru turned out. It won’t be a waste of time.