Teen Book Review by Carol C.

Thanks to Teen Advisory Group member, Carol for the following review:
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
Strikingly simple yet touching, The Old Man and the Sea tells the sad story of an old fisherman called Santiago who hasn’t had a catch for 84 days. On the 85th day, he sets out to sea and manages to catch the largest marlin he has ever seen in his life. However, the fish puts up a fight and pulls the boat out into the middle of the ocean for days. As the strong and determined man he is, Santiago holds on and endures the fishing line for the entire time – through pain and blood. When he finally wins the fight to kill the fish, he still has to face the battle of the sea on the way back to shore by fighting sharks and sleeplessness. In a mere 127 pages, this novel conveys the themes of persistence and the fact that satisfaction does not only come in material goods and accolades, but also from a shining character.

I really enjoyed the struggle between the old man and the creatures of the sea. Even though the old man was in such pain and weakness, he still managed to hold on and defeat the fish, which gives me ambition to overcome trials in my daily life. The ending, though sad, was quite realistic and beautifully depicted, especially with the theme of a paradise world. After reading this book, I began to truly appreciate the elderly people in this world who have gone through so many difficulties and trials; I feel like our generation puts so much emphasis on the young people, and not enough appreciation for the elderly. I also loved the connections to nature in this novel, and how the old man seems to talk and commune with the fish and the marlin. If you have a spare hour in your day, I would definitely recommend The Old Man and the Sea, a beautiful and heartwarming story about ambition and endurance.
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