Book Review on GONE TO DRIFT by Diana McCaulay

Published: Monday, 13 February 2017 Written by Thais Jno Baptiste

Book Review on GONE TO DRIFT by Diana McCaulay

Done by Thais Jno Baptiste of the Convent High School Fourth form Literature class.


GONE TO DRIFT is a simple but interesting story about a young fisherfolk named Lloyd from Jamaica. Lloyd is not your ordinary, everyday, silly, little boy. He is on a mission. This mission is to find his fisherman grandfather, Mass Conrad, who is lost at sea or as everybody says has ‘Gone to drift’. The story is full of reminiscent memories from Lloyd who misses his grandfather. Despite his age and size, Lloyd goes all over, speaking to anyone he can find-be it powerful folk or madmen- to get someone to help him to get his grandfather back. Though most of these people are hardly of any help to the young boy, he puts the little information he gathers together and perseveres. Driven by pure love in his heart, Lloyd even stands up to bad men and defies his parents who do not support him. Look out for dramatic stories told from Mass Conrad of his past as he fights death and the almost unbelievable extents Lloyd goes to to find him. 

This story does not have many main characters as it is mainly about Lloyd’s adventure; but of the few presented, my favourite was Lloyd’s grandfather Mass Conrad who actually has a section after each chapter from his point of view. Mass Conrad though he was old, showed what it means to stand up for what you believe, even if it means standing alone and perhaps losing your life at the hands of family. The old man truly had a love for the sea and according to Lloyd’s memories, was not afraid to speak of the disgusting way humanity treated the sea. His genuine love for dolphins was my personal favourite aspect of him. Readers should try to emulate his bravery.

I have never done anything like what Lloyd did in this book but I do believe that his situation can be relatable to others. Both he and Mass Conrad were in a state of loneliness as they stood alone for what they believed or really wanted. Everyone has experienced something like that and Lloyd teaches us to stand strong and that just because we shed tears while enduring our hardship does not mean that we are weak. We can walk out stronger and even feel more alive as long as we keep our eyes on our goal.

GONE TO DRIFT was a fairly nice book to me. It may seem almost dull at first  to people who like high-action books like myself but if you keep reading you definitely will not regret giving this book a chance. The parts I liked most were those nearing the end where the action increased and many questions were answered. If I were to describe these parts I would give too much away so I will not say anything. My least favourite parts were when Lloyd’s father handled him roughly (It is safe to say that I detested Lloyd’s father- the son of Mass Conrad). If one is not familiar  with the sea like myself you may find yourself lost at certain instances so to prevent confusion I suggest keeping an electronic device close in order to research any unfamiliar terms. If you do so you will surely learn a lot about the sea and things that are associated with it. The tale is perfect as it is. I wouldn’t change a thing.

I would definitely recommend this book to people especially Caribbean readers. It gives a lot of information about human carelessness and how it affects sea creatures so I would like others to read and take heed of the situation presented. And since it is written by a Caribbean writer, the Caribbean region should be the first area to consider what is written in the book. Fisherfolk and people who enjoy adventurous novels will surely find it worthwhile to read GONE TO DRIFT. If you’re one who would rather extremely violent or morbid books I’m pleading to you to at least give GONE TO DRIFT a chance. It can touch your heart (I almost shed a tear). It is a beautiful story.

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