Catching the Sun – by Tony Parsons

Catching the Sun Synopsis: When Tom Finn is almost jailed for confronting two burglars in his own home, this taxi driver takes his young family to live on the tropical island of Phuket, Thailand.

Phuket is all the Finn family dreamed of – a tropical paradise where the children swim with elephants, the gibbons sing love songs in the jungle, the Andaman Sea is like turquoise glass and this young family is free to grow.

But both man-made disaster and the unleashed forces of nature shatter this tropical idyll for Tom Finn’s family.

Title: Catching the Sun
Author: Tony Parsons
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9780007327812


I really wanted to love this book, like really love it – the cover is beautiful and I had gotten raving reviews from a good friend. Unfortunately, after reading it I found I liked it, but it didn’t give me that great book rush.

Catching the Sun is a very ‘comfortable’, even somewhat un-challenging book to read. The plot has a easy pace that allows you to relax at the end of a hard day to the depiction of a beautiful Thai sunset.

The most gripping part of the book involves the Tsunami of 2004; it took a while to get there (at least 100 pages) but as the events unfolded, I was hooked. Proud that I hadn’t given up on the book, I continued at lightening speed and really enjoyed the family facing up to their fight or flight responses. But as I continued reading, the pace died and the plot changed direction and focused on, in my opinion, an irrelevant character.

Don’t get me wrong, Catching the Sun is really well written and it’s a lovely story with life lessons and believable, if somewhat stereotypical characters; it just felt a little inconsequential for me. I think this would make a great film but, as a novel, I was left wanting.

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