Outerbridge Reach - Book Club Recommendation

by Chris
(Seattle, WA)

Outerbridge Reach is a book by Robert Stone, a classic author of the 1970's and 1980's, and winner of the National Book Award. His recurring theme is alienated American men in exotic places and their troubled relationships with women.

Owen Browne is an Annapolis graduate and veteran who is suffocating under the pressure of his home life with his wife and daughter and his far-from-challenging job selling yachts.

After his boss bails out, Owen takes up an opportunity to join a solo yacht race around the world. His beautiful wife, Anne, suffering from boredom and alcoholism, supports his decision despite her misgivings.

A third person enters their relationship: Strickland, a dissipated leftist documentary film director hired to record Owen's adventure.

After Owen sets sail into the challenges and isolation of solo circumnavigation, Anne is rather inexplicably drawn into a relationship with Strickland, who is angry and jealous at all Owen seems to represent.

This book is a gripping exploration of the ennui that arises in daily life when the future does not turn out as expected and the tragedies that occur if we are not careful when we try to rectify what is missing. It is also one of those rare books that interests both men and women readers.

Note from Megan, Editor of the Book Club Guide

Thanks Chris, for submitting this compelling book review. The complex themes in this book sound like they'd make great fodder for a book club discussion. We appreciate the recommendation!

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