Title: Walking the Wrack Line
Author: Buck Rish
Publisher: E-Booktime, LLC
Genre: Suspense Thriller
First Publication: 2020
Book Summary: Walking the Wrack Line by Buck Rish
From his medical files, the author relates the poignant story of Mary Beth, a young mother who suffers a catastrophic brain hemorrhage causing disastrous mental consequences. She endures many years of treatment in a mental asylum during which time she is divorced, loses her children to adoption, and becomes a ward of the state.
Discharged by a judge to a halfway house in her hometown, Mary Beth re-enters society with mental incompetence, a personality disorder, lack of social behavioral restraints, no moral guidelines, memory loss, abnormal sexual behavior, and a seizure disorder. This is overwhelming as she is victimized by the street people with whom she associates. After a record number of recidivisms in the local jail, the court places Mary Beth on probation and arranges employment for her as a housekeeper for the mayor. With her lascivious sensuality, Mary Beth becomes the mistress of the mayor, but the situation ends in the mayor’s beach cottage in a disaster. Mary Beth then becomes the maid for the mayor’s son, a young marine, who inherits the beach cottage. Seeking peace, she walks the wrack line of the beach and, by serendipity, reunites with her original family.
Mary Beth’s life is validated when her children use an inherited trust fund to endow a Neuropsychiatric Rehabilitation and Research Institute which offers support, treatment, and rehabilitation for patients with brain dysfunction such as Mary Beth’s.
Book Review: Walking the Wrack Line by Buck Rish
Walking the Wrack Line by Buck Rish was an entertaining medical thriller drama revolving around Mary Beth Munden. This book is a beautifully written, compelling read that is full of heart touching moments. Author Buck Rish shows us how relationships evolve and grow overtime, so much so that when lives become intertwined, lifelong friendship can prevail and even the worst betrayal can be forgiven.
Mary Beth Munden was enjoying a date night dinner with her husband Larry at the Country Club. During their dinner, she abruptly griped of a penetrating headache. Standing up, she knocked down on the floor. Larry got her and brought her to their car. Once outside, she recovered and wanted to return home. After leaving her in bed, Larry went to drop the babysitter to her home. At his return, he discovered unconscious Mary Beth passed out on the washroom floor. She had suffered a catastrophic, ruptured cerebral aneurysm, and life for the Munden family would never be the same again.
We travel from the present to the past in revolving POVs exploring life of Mary Beth. There’s a perfect combination of realism (lots of medical vocabulary) without it becoming cumbersome. I felt Buck Rish struck a precarious balance and maintained it throughout the book. Erudite and clever without being dispassionate or smug – he found that place that pulls a reader in without smothering them.
You’ll know immediately that the author is a physician by all the details he brings to this story. From medical terms to the struggle medical school, residency and beyond can be. I drank it all in and was riveted by Mary Beth’s story. The characters in Walking the Wrack Line were very realistic in both the bond they have and the lives they have created for themselves. Undoubtedly, Mr. Buck Rish’s insider perspective of the medical profession is one of the best things about this novel. He nails the camaraderie, energy, humor, pressure, heartbreak, and connection that experiencing the human condition in all its base and most miraculous forms yields. Walking the Wrack Line opens up a fascinating world and makes it both accessible and riveting.
Author Buck Rish displays not only his medical chops, but keen wit and superlative word craft. The story is laced with emergency room snapshots and surgical terminology, creating a colorful backdrop for the domestic drama at play between characters – challenged not just by the responsibilities of holding someone’s life in one’s hands, but by toddler temper tantrums and bad decisions from the past that reappear and threaten everything.
Buck Rish does a tremendous job expressing the depth of each character and I loved reading about every single one of them despite their flaws and mistakes. The story, the writing style, the characters and the exchange between the past and present day, all combined beautifully into making this novel remarkable and unique. It’s obvious that the writer took what he knew and worked wonders with it. Although the novel is fictional and I’m sure some elements were made more dramatic than reality, everything about this novel and these characters felt real. The romantic parts of the story are balanced and not over the top. I would recommend this to someone that likes stories that unfold in a well paced manner, but which you are eventually able to solve and for someone that can see both the good and the bad in characters and not hate them for their failings.