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Adrift in the Sound: Kate Campbell
Some people cannot find their way in this world and often get lost in their own thoughts. Lizette witnesses a murder, which let her broken in more ways than one. Finding her way back home to her father only left her empty and more alone. Confronting him about his past caused him to send her away. Drifting about and going through the motions she winds up in a poor area, with other drug users and lives her life as if she’s in a misty or clouded fog.
The year is 1973 and the date is February 2. Lizette Karlson has been drifting through life for so long that when she reenters her parent’s home, her father, anthropologist, Einar Karlson, she brings along with her the past, her own package and memories of being attacked and raped. Lizette remembers her mother, the smell of the paints she used on her pallets, her art studio and the special cookies her mother made. Lizette has serious mental problems, which her father chooses to ignore or just cast aside and not deal with. Lizette is an outcast and leaving her father’s home she returns to the life she led before with friends like Rocket, Sandy and the baseball hopefuls the Dogs. Junkies, losers and castoffs create this powerful picture of people just trying to survive anyway they can. Lizette has nowhere to go and leaves for two different places.
One, where Norwegian fisherman lived n the past and this is where our story picks up when she reenters that world with Sandy and her friends. Although Sandy would prefer to her to leave she cleans her house, tries to help out but Lizette appears to be unstable and most would rather have her gone. Making noises and pretending to be a bird she eventually leaves and heads for the shack she mentioned to her father in the short period of time she was there. Her friend Marion offers her a place to stay and hopefully a way to reconnect with life. Lizette cleans the house of the Rocket and the Dogs but no matter how hard she tries her behavior is odd and they want her to leave. As a result she finds her way into the street, lives with some vagrants and then hides out in Rocket’s again before finding her way to Marian’s. Marian takes her in, cleans her up, feeds and hopefully will get her to take her meds and find her way back into the art world and away from the drugs and alcohol of Rocket and his friends. Concerned about her two closest Native American friends Poland and his wife Abaya finds their friendship a comfort and hopefully along with Marian will find her way back to her art and the world. This is the era when the Viet Nam War and the Hippie movement were often in the headlines and Lizette, lived between a delicate balance of reality and mental frailty. Lizette has her own opinions and which conflict with others and alienates her from her family and friends. Meeting Abaya and Poland you learn more about the Native American culture, their feelings and wanted a potlatch which is defined as: A ceremonial feast among certain Native American peoples of the northwest Pacific coast, as in celebration of a marriage or accession, at which the host distributes gifts according to each guest's rank or status. Between rival groups the potlatch could involve extravagant or competitive giving and destruction by the host of valued items as a display of superior wealth.” She wanted this after the death of several in their tribe.
An accident happens and Marian’s dog is injured and the true colors about her boyfriend and others are revealed as Lizette seems to be making her way back into the real world wanting to help out, working with Poland and his wife and then taking care of Tucker. Marian is a midwife and along with Lummi and the others Lizette works hard and needs to sort out her past and learn to understand her present. But, can she. Talking to the animals, making bird noises and acting crazy will she ever see the real light of life or day?
Lizette and the other characters each have their own issues, secrets and pasts to deal with. But, an accident takes the life of one person yet the others seem to move on. With Rocket and the Dogs staying with Marian, Fisher, Poland and his wife helping with a newborn named Violet, things seem to be coming together but not for Lizette. When her agent takes her work to a gallery and they make a huge offer why doesn’t she accept the fact that she’s talented and have the showing? Lizette meets with Dr. Finch to renew her medication and get it adjusted and comes full circle with her feelings with her father and makes them known to him at the same time.
But, when things start to spiral out of control and the welfare department comes looking for Lizette just how will she react? The people on Orca Island are a closely- knit family and then something happens to change her feelings about her father. Learning the truth about her mother, what she did with her paintings and the secrets that were buried when she died, Lizette has to decide whether to welcome her father back in her life, accept the fact that she just might be a success and decide what she wants to do with her life.
The Indian culture and their customs so vividly described as they all participate in the Potlatch and we learn more about their stories and legends that many tell as Lizette takes her first steps back into the world with Violet at her side. Just what happens to the Dogs, Rocket and the rest you will have to read and learn for yourself. Relationships ended and old one redefined author Kate Campbell give the reader many interesting thoughts to think about by bringing these unique and special characters into our lives in this outstanding novel; Adrift in the Sound. Lizette Karlson just might learn the true meaning of trust, friendship, and loyalty and learn to have faith in herself while she searches for you and what she is and where she wants to go.
Fran Lewis: Reviewer