The author’s focus rests—as the subtitle promises—as much (or more) on the living as the dead, and on the days and weeks and years that both preceded and followed the loss of the Wind Blown off eastern Long Island in a March 1984 nor’easter ... The Lost Boys begins its revolutions, looping in time back and then forward and then back again as its spotlight moves from one family to another and returns ... The conspicuous turmoil of the Stedman and Connick families—where both Mike and Dave rebel against powerful, imperious fathers and also the moneyed world they represent, and where other issues come to light as well—dominates the narrative ... The bedrock of this story, though, lies in the shared grief that transcends the distinctions of class and the grievances of personal history, and that makes each of the characters in this tale—which, yes, is riveting—sympathetic ... This is a book eloquent with the sorrow and the beauty of being on this earth, and no less expressive of the love. After all, the author writes, 'grieving is the last way we get to love someone.'
Fairbanks has dug into this tragic episode, reconstructing these lives that ended unexpectedly soon, interviewing relatives, friends, and other fishermen. She also relates her own life journey from Manhattan to the Hamptons, then California, and back again to Long Island.
A deeply reported and moving account of how a tragedy has affected a Long Island fishing community ... Fairbanks skillfully folds the socioeconomic issues into her narrative, and brings her subjects, especially Stedman’s widow, Mary, to vivid life. The result is a memorable portrait of loss.