ForeWord Reviews

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Appointment at the Ends of the World

Foreword Review — Sept / Oct 1999

Anyone who has ever yearned for adventure will find plenty in this audiotape tale of a month-long swordfishing expedition on the open seas of the East Coast. Greenlaw, a talented and highly respected sea captain, narrates her own story as commander of a swordfishing boat with a skilled and colorful crew. Greenlaw captures the listener’s attention immediately as she describes the coils of tension building in her before her and the crew leave the dock.

She has reason for knotted nerves—not only does she strive to win approval from her demanding boss, owner of the “Hannahboden” who stays ashore, she also needs to draw a huge catch to financially break even. Further, she must manage a diverse crew of five—most of whom start the journey with hangovers that have comatosed lesser men.

The story that follows is enthralling enough to get listeners through Greenlaw’s initially too-fast paced narrative. She soon settles into a more comfortable pace, which makes the story even more intriguing. There is plenty to relate: budding racial tension between two crew members, coping with a ship-threatening squall, equipment failure, an increasingly sick crew member and a frustrating search for fish with little result. Lies, treachery, boredom and threats both on board and off (from other ships) make for an exciting tale.

Returning to shore, Greenlaw concludes all but one crucial detail—she never reveals the mysterious cause of the ailing crew member. She also reflects on her now former occupation, describes a nostalgic and bittersweet reunion with her old boss and provides the current status of the former crew members.

This audiotape is an entertaining story—for the experienced fishing aficionado as well as those who have never hooked a line.

Patricia Voice