Return to Kaitlin
By Helen Yeomans
Tyler Hogan’s day doesn't end well. He gets drunk and almost has a serious accident. He's a first-year college engineering student and not doing well. Now he's got a breathalyzer device on his car, a lecture from his mom and is out $800 in fines. And his girlfriend dumps him. These are all good incentives to not drink and drive. He's not too different from his teenage friends especially his best friend, Barty. The college Dean calls him to his office and due to bad grades in all but engineering suggests that Ty come back and start over the next year. Ty’s life seems to have bottomed out. He drowns his sorrows in more beer.
Upon hearing of jobs in the North where the pay is great for hot oiler crews. Ty is drawn in immediately. He soon finds out that his dream job is demanding. He's a quick learner, likes the money, does the dirty jobs as a newbie and saves his money. He's beginning to see a future. While his bosses and his hard drinking, often bullying coworkers are tough on him, he does meet a few good guys who help him find his way. Tyler soon realizes that the high cost of living is eating up his savings. He moves up to working the oil rigs and enjoys the three-week on. One week off routine even after nearly getting killed from a fall.
Soon his luck turns on him again and Ty manages to gamble while drunk, losing thousands of his savings and having his car slide off an embankment while driving on black ice. The car is intact until the towing company smashes it while pulling it back up to the road. Ty is sliding downhill as well, working hard under harsh frigid conditions and drinking just as hard — much like the rest of his crew.
This is a coming-of-age story about a nice young man who is honest and tries to find himself in a harsh world. Author Helen Yeoman writes in great detail of the exacting toll that the oil rigging takes on its workers. For those who enjoy learning the intricacies of this formidable work, the author describes precise details involved in working the oil rigs in Canada.
Will Tyler Hogan be able to discover who and what he is and turn his life around? It's highly unlikely but he is not your average young man and he fosters impossible dreams. This book is loosely based upon a true event which makes it even more interesting. It is well-written with interesting characters, impressive descriptions and a fairly surprising ending.
Micki Peluso, author of . . . And the Whippoorwill Sang