[dropcap]L[/dropcap]ast week, I opened a UPS parcel that had been left on my steps. Opening revealed a book by Bob Rich titled Looking Through Water. It was sent greeting-less from a Little Rock, Arkansas address with no name. It was well worn. I looked forewrd to reading it and was not disappointed in the least. I like Rich’s tempo, characters and that he is a skilled angler, as well as being able to speak fluent Hemingway.
Previously, I had been sent a copy of Bob’s first book, Fish Fights, to review. In it “Bubba” embarks on a quest: Qualify for the Metropolitan South Florida Fishing Tournament Hall of Fame.
Rich, in a Hemingway-esque way, probes the waters of south Florida and the Bahamas, searching for the ten species that will gain him entrance to the Hall of Fame.
Rich puts you in the boat, fighting each fish and well into thoughts all veteran anglers have had
Tim Borsk’s wife, Jill Borski, is a notable Keys resident with literary legit literary chops. And as a personal friend of Rich’s, she catches ALL the nuances of Looking Through Water.
Here is Jill’s overview of Looking Through Water
The great truths for a happy life are relatively simple: love your family; love your neighbor, live honestly and with honor. Yet, they are more easily said than done, and relatively hard to live up to, especially given so many temptations. And therein lies numerous tales, including a new novel by business magnate, Bob Rich, entitled Looking Through Water, sales of which benefit veterans through Project Healing Waters, which involves enabling veterans a chance to fly fish and learn to tie flies on their way to wellness.
As the proud owner of a few of Bob Rich’s entertaining books, this is another relatively quick and enjoyable read graced by fine illustrations by Florida Keys artist Craig Reagor. The prose will pull at your heart strings from time to time as you feel the universal truths of the writing and a full range of emotions, including how people close to you make you supremely happy and profoundly sad. Using water analogies and fishing tales, Rich weaves a multi-generational story of a great-grandfather passing on heritage, wisdom and a successful way of life to his son, who in turn passes it on to his son and finally on to the original patriarch’s great grandson, mostly while spending quality time together fishing.
The fishing scenes take place on lakes and in the ocean while pivotal scenes take place in impeccably-decorated New York City offices and ballrooms and in bars and waters in the Florida Keys. As a resident of the Florida Keys, it is easy to appreciate the author’s accurate information about fishing for the prized backcountry (or Florida Bay) species of bonefish, tarpon and permit.
Descriptions of the seemingly confrontational fishing guide humor, rural familiarity with one another, and how word of a great feat or big fight quickly spreads through a small town all ring true to Keys’ life.