Surfing, amnesia and a search for self by Michel Vimal du Monteil
Synopsis: Where There is a Will
A massive cyclone swell on Sydney’s beaches claims a big wave surfer, leaving his long-term partner without a body to mourn. His four adult godchildren from far and wide gather for the reading of his will. A mystery girl from Tasmania joins them.
Down the coast, a man is pulled from the water and abandoned to his fate with a head injury and amnesia. He sets out on an odyssey along the east coast of Australia in search of his identity.
Will he like what he finds?
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‘Compelling. Thought-provoking. Beautiful. The cover immediately drew me to this book—a great Aussie surfing tale… With an author name as intriguing sounding as Michel Vimal du Monteil I should have known the book would be so much more, and it is. Where There is a Will explores relationships: the bonds that link us, and those that disrupt us. Read full review.Cate Sawyer, Author.
‘I really enjoyed this book. Pacey, easy to read, it races along in a most enjoyable fashion, with good characterisation and plot. I’m normally not a fast reader but this one bore me along in an enjoyable speedy fashion. I particularly liked the surfing passages. I recommend.’Charles Pelham, former banker turned international food journalist
‘I received an advance copy from Hawkeye in exchange for an unbiased review. I can imagine this as a TV series, and it’s certainly one I would watch.’ Read full review.Jackie Morris, reviewer United Kingdom
‘My five-star testimonial. An enthralling fast-paced novel with strong character development, descriptive writing, and a gripping plot. It nicely dovetails & counterpoints the mystery of the past life of the protagonist with the rest of “his family”. They all embark on a journey of discovery and self-discovery in different but interconnected ways. The character, landscape, and action descriptions are excellent. The seemingly coincidental interlocking of relationships and friendships dovetail nicely with the flow of the story. Importantly the plot drags you along anxious to find the answers to the many questions that are raised in the early chapters. I normally only read non-fiction but this work of fiction kept me entranced to the very end.’Peter Donkin, Company Director
‘Where There is a Will’ is a good fast-moving read containing brilliant descriptions of surfing big waves, big game fishing, and diving written by an author who loves everything connected to the sea. The novel is part family saga built around a mystery that keeps the reader gripped right to the end. There is something for everyone; a road trip right up the east coast of Australia written with a deep appreciation of landscape, thrills, and even a little romance. Highly recommended.’John Rosley, Author of The Watson Conundrum, Tales of Murder Mayhem and Mischief and A Touch of Sulphur
“The ocean arched its back….” This line in the opening chapter of Michel Vimal du Monteil’s first novel makes it a winning read at the beach – or on a clifftop because there’s a catch. The line is compelling and terrifying. A cyclone has whipped up the sea and Paul Lambert, a man whose previous life in the finance industry means he’s no stranger to risk, is out there on a surfboard. Paul is a Frenchman, living in Australia. Surfing has become his passion since he retired. Facing ‘the rising, bulging wall of water,’ he takes his chances with a mountainous wave. The next minute, he’s gone. Immediately, the scene changes to the fevered atmosphere of a New York dealing room and traders under pressure. It’s a clever, masterly start to a story that revolves around Paul’s disappearance, although the tale is equally about the value of friendships, people’s true colours, and their corresponding morality. A sense of Australia and its coastline is one of the novel’s strengths. Another is the poignant ending – a poignancy owed in part to the simplicity of the final, three sentences, as well as to the echo left by one of life’s curveballs whose quiet entrance into the story had come just a short time earlier. ‘Nikki Barrowclough, Former Fairfax journalist, Walkley Award nominee, and author of Monsieur Frog.
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