The following is excerpted from Twelve Unending Summers: Memoir of an Immigrant Child:
I woke from a deep sleep in a frenzied panic, for a moment uncertain where I was. Cooking utensils flew across the cabin. Waves crashed over the deck and beat against the glass panel between me and the violent winds outdoors, and I half held my breath, waiting for the water to breach the cabin—surely if not this wave, then the next?
I was stuck inside a forty-foot single-engine boat in the middle of a raging tropical storm on the Atlantic Ocean on my way to America. And this was not supposed to be happening.
I had never witnessed such a force of nature. It was raining terribly hard with wind gusts of twenty knots or more, and the sky was dark gray, even though it was morning. I stared up at the tallest wave I had ever seen, close to twenty feet high and foaming angrily. The boat heaved between the waves, which loomed above us like giant, windowless skyscrapers from all sides. I was almost surprised each time the boat crested a wave.
At the very top, the engine would sputter as if it were about to cut out and die—and then I thought we might die too. Then came the rapid descent, as if I were free falling from an elevator. I was not sure if we would ever reach Miami.
Twelve Unending Summers: Memoir of an Immigrant Child is due out May 22! Click here to preorder.
For another sneak peek (read the first chapter for free), click here.