When thirteen-year-old Aaron, his father, and two of his father’s friends and their teen-age kids set out on a sea-kayaking adventure off the central coast of British Columbia, they fully expect to come across the bald eagles, wolves, bears, and even killer whales that they encounter. But what they aren’t prepared for is a more sinister type of danger: human brutality in the person of a ruthless sea captain who is determined to become rich off smuggling illegal immigrants into Canada.
The characters who embark on this trek are those first met in the author’s Breakfast Serial story Desolation Canyon: Roger the Rogue, who knows the wilderness and meets it with strength; his daughter, Lisa, who has just the right doses of spunkiness and charm to tug at Aaron’s heart; Willie, a toughened veteran of the Vietnam war; Willie’s son, Cassidy, sharp and rough—and just this side of wild; and Aaron’s dad, who possesses not only an eye for nature’s beauty, but the gift of the words to express it.
Jonathan London’s keen, knowledgeable, and poetic prose captures the extraordinary beauty—and potential danger—of the natural world and masterfully contrasts it with the infinitely more complex world of human behavior.
An adventure story full of excitement, intense beauty, suspense and rich characterization, Bella Bella transports the reader, evokes teenage energy and emotion, and raises important moral questions.
The illustrations by Jon Van Zyle are brilliant evocations of this world. The artist’s lifelong knowledge of the area adds a rich dimension, capturing both the beauty and excitement of this remarkable coastal environment.