Fiction - Drama
158 Pages
Reviewed on 08/30/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Maria Victoria Beltran for Readers' Favorite

Spindrift by Simon Bardwell is a coming-of-age story about a young man's journey of self-discovery. Narrated from the father's point of view, it's also about letting go of your children so they can spread their wings. The story opens inside a car at the side of a country road where pregnant Allie, assisted by her husband Adam, gives birth to the twins, John and Luke. Sadly, their mother passes away ten years later. Raised by their father alone, the twins turn out differently from each other. Luke is the dependable rock in the family, while John is the impulsive one. Unhappy with the prospect of working in the family business for the rest of his life, John writes to his father to ask for his inheritance in advance so that he can follow his heart's desire. Will he find what he is looking for?

Simon Bardwell's Spindrift is a modern-day parable with a very relevant theme. Similar to the parable of the Prodigal Son, John receives his inheritance and travels to a distant country. The similarity, however, stops here, and the path that he follows is entirely unexpected. From an affluent London suburb, he finds himself in a shady place in Melbourne. The young man's decision not only disrupts his life but also affects his family and the people close to him. The book is an enjoyable and easy read and is written casually. It's also very intimate and this can only be achieved if the writer knows his characters very well. Without being preachy and didactic, essential lessons can be learned from this narrative. Highly recommended!

Essien Asian

Adam loses his wife Alison to cancer and is left to raise their twin boys by himself. Years later, his sons have grown into men who are coming to terms with the added responsibility that manhood brings. Luke and John, though twins, are very different in looks and actions. John feels dissatisfied with the success he has become accustomed to in the family business and asks his father to grant him his share of the family inheritance so he may take a different path to success. It sounds simple enough until Adam realizes there may be someone else pulling the strings and John is being less than generous with the truth. What lies beneath the surface of a man's desire is often not as simple as it appears in Simon Bardwell's Spindrift: The Lost Son.

At first glance, Spindrift: The Lost Son shares a lot of storyline similarities with the famous Christian tale of the prodigal son. But that is where all similarities end. Every character in Spindrift has a skeleton in their cupboard they must inevitably come to terms with as the story plays out. The graphic nature of some of the scenes in the book adds an air of authenticity to it along with a certain degree of discomfort for those with a heightened sense of imagination. With an intriguing cast, a new take on an age-old storyline, and some very enterprising storytelling, Simon Bardwell delivers an entertaining book. Spindrift is everything it's cracked up to be and more.

Jon Michael Miller

Spindrift by Simon Bardwell (spindrift meaning spray from a storm wave) is a pleasant and heart-warming surprise. The authorial voice is relaxed and ordinary, with no stylistic flairs or flourishes, a bit like having a conversation with someone beside you on a long plane ride. The plot moseys along with the tension building slowly but steadily. The British first-person narrator has suspended a project he is working on to tell us this tale. He is a shipping magnate who in his youth married a famous red-haired folk singer with whom he had unidentical twin boys, Luke and John. His wife dies, and when the sons are of age, he brings them into his firm. The plot turns upon John, the second-born, deciding he needs to break away and do something on his own.

I read along as my plane-mate (author) told me of John’s developing relationship with Chloe, a professional escort, and Samantha, her daughter, whom he leaves to strike out on his own in Australia. This is where the plot thickens and edges into the surreal. The story’s theme now explores the issue of what happens when we diverge into an unstructured world. Is such divergence a joyous liberation or a destructive horror? Is it better to remain in the fold even if it is unchallenging and routine? John comes face to face with his internal demons, and my pleasant plane ride chat became an invitation to explore my own view of who I am and where I best belong. Before reading Spindrift by Simon Bardwell, be prepared to contemplate some essential questions about what it means to be human, questions we all need to answer, do we not?

Pikasho Deka

Spindrift is the story of a young man seeking his way out of his father's shadow to carve out something for himself. Written by Simon Bardwell, the book opens with Adam, a successful businessman and writer, narrating the lives of his two non-identical twin sons, Luke and John. One day, out of the blue, John announces that he wants out of the family business to explore other avenues for himself, much to the chagrin of his father and Luke. Meanwhile, John's relationship with Chloe -- a professional escort -- deepens further when she introduces him to her young daughter, Samantha. However, John's quest for an adventurous undertaking will take him to St. Kilda, Australia, away from Chloe and Samantha. As John forms a burgeoning friendship with another lost soul in St. Kilda, will he ever find his way back home?

Spindrift is a heartwarming tale about a son trying to make a name for himself by embracing the unpredictabilities of life. The narrative is a slow burn, and author Simon Bardwell takes his time setting up the characters and the plot as most of the scenes revolve around establishing the dynamics between John, Chloe, Adam, and Luke. It is primarily John who is the driving force behind the narrative. John's story takes him to another continent, where he meets a kindred spirit who finally makes him see his path back home. Apart from John, Adam is the second character with the most page time as we see how he deals with his son's decision. Recommended to readers who enjoy slice-of-life stories.

Trevor Otieno

Spindrift by Simon Bardwell is a story about a man who pursues his dreams only to discover that they don’t lead him in the direction he had hoped. Spindrift is told from the perspective of the father of the main character and describes how the protagonist’s experiences change everyone in his path, as well as the effects of his actions on those around him. The plot transports the main character out of the secure prosperity of London’s wealthy suburbs and introduces him to a rather different way of life in Melbourne’s more seedy neighborhoods. If he hadn’t had sympathetic family members and friends close by, the young man might have utterly fouled up his life by making one crucial decision. Grab a copy of the book for more information.

This prodigal son narrative with a touch of King Lear is reimagined interestingly. It’s difficult to comprehend why a son would ask to claim his inheritance before it was due. My journey through the depths of wickedness in Spindrift was like a merry-go-round, but I eventually came out the other side after meeting people who exemplify Christ’s love. Simon Bardwell’s strong sense of location helped me visualize the situations depicted in the novel, which flowed easily and comfortably. It resonated with me that the father of the main character remained understanding despite his son’s immaturity. I heartily suggest this book to all readers because of the thought-provoking lessons it contains. Simon Bardwell has left me wanting more, and I thank him for taking his time to produce such quality.