A Distant Past: An Uncertain Future


Thomas Blake is a successful Del Mar, California mystery novel author.  When he unexpectedly loses his wife, he falls into a massive writer’s block and pit of grief. He eventually finds his way to a nearby café where he is befriended by a group of young surfers. He soon joins the small group on surfing outings and trips. The hope is he will beat his depression and writer’s block with the help of his new surfing friends. 

This book could best be summarized, due to its strong surfing theme, as a man who spends almost the entire story lost and adrift in his grief until he finally pulls himself out of the waves in the last few pages. This is not a romance; he is fifty-six years old and recently lost his wife. There is no other female protagonist. It is told exclusively in third person omniscient point-of-view which can read a little differently for some. The length of the book could have easily afforded deeper characters and a stronger conflict for Thomas beyond grief and writer’s block. The setting was poorly described and anyone not familiar with Del Mar’s surfing scene could be lost. Dialogue was good and shows hope for anyone trapped in the clutches of grief. The reader can clearly see the importance of a network of caring people to everyone regardless where they are in life’s journey. “A Distant Past” is a realistic immersion of one man’s expedition through loss.

Emerson Matthews