Review by John Campbell - Feb 2017. The book, 'Bold Journey' - by Clancy Tucker -
I have read all of Clancy's books to date, and enjoyed every one of them. This, his latest publication, 'Bold Journey', is no exception. As an evening reader, I do lose far too much sleep reading his books. I always find myself wanting to read just one more chapter. Fatal; five chapters later, out come the matchsticks to 'prop up the eyelids'.
Truly an author who keeps you on the edge of your seat. You never know what shock he has in store for you on the very next page. So it was with 'Bold Journey'. Having read the back cover, I couldn't wait to get a copy myself, and find out more. I was not disappointed.
Clancy is a skilled artist with words, and he taught me the technique of writing brief and to the point sentences in my film scripts. His descriptive narrative immediately draws you deep into the story from the very first paragraph.
It was at dinner one evening, in their little Italian Village of Santorini, that Severino Angelli proposes to his family that they pack up and emigrate. "Where", gasped his startled wife, Anna Maria; "Australia!". Soon the Angelli family find themselves aboard the 'Achille Lauro' destined for a brand new life on the other side of the world. Waving goodbye to their relatives and friends, and severing his fond attachment with each of his brothers, Severino suddenly realizes the impact of his decision.
Life aboard ship soon dispels the initial shock, as the Angellis befriend the Ginellis, another migrating family, with whom they are to forge a close friendship for many years. Severino's son, "Fozzie" and 'Cat' Ginelli instantly become inseparable friends aboard ship.
Later, Cat and Fozzie go their separate ways, embracing very different careers in their new country, but each possessing a compassionate feeling for others. Much later, they do meet again, but under the most unexpected circumstances.
Cat is a nurse, working with the starving and dying masses in Ethiopia, caught in an impossible quest; Fozzie, a successful journalist, feels drawn to investigate their plight. Back in London, a severe, life threatening illness, brings Cat to the bedside of an unconscious Fozzie. Do they ever come together again?
I love the way Clancy weaves into his stories, the most complex and unexpected outcomes. All the usual joys and tragedies in life, beset his characters, but I recall in each of his works, he builds a passionate and lovable nature into many of his youngsters.
Some friends tell me that they feel Clancy writes his stories for young readers. Whilst heroically featuring the outstanding lives of some of the children and young teenagers in his scripts, he enthralls adults of all ages, and keeps everyone poised right to the very end.
So, 'Bold Journey'. A slow, but probably necessary beginning, steeped in the historical detail of a city I know well. I loved it and give it an A1. rating, Clancy. As you say, it would make a great movie. I agree!
John Campbell. Film Director, Victoria, Australia.