Now busy finishing (hopefully!) a novel about whales
After book tours in France in 2018, the newly translated Before the Wind and The Highest Tide were both finalists for national awards in France. Before the Wind (Face au Vent) was also a national bestseller there.
Picked as among the best novels of 2016 by The Wall Street Journal, American Library Association and Canada's National Post, Jim's fourth novel is now available in paperback.
Before the Wind is a funny, big-hearted story about a gifted and volatile family. It's also about sailing, online dating and Albert Einstein. Set in Seattle, Victoria and Olympia, much of the novel unfolds on the water in this entertaining two-decade odyssey of the Johannssen family.
“A veritable feast for the senses. ... Before the Wind can’t help but leave you enthralled, inspired and thirsty for more.” –The Huffington Post
“A breathtaking, emotionally satisfying and genuinely surprising piece of work. ... Lynch … writes powerfully and naturalistically, plunging the reader into an alien world, all the while concealing, like the best of magicians, what is really going on. Before the Wind is a magical, heartbreaking book.” –The Toronto Star
"An affectionate and very funny tribute to the gentle madness of sailing diehards." - The Wall Street Journal
"A brilliantly crafted family story ... An exhilharating read." - The Washington Times
“This is an incredibly robust evocation of the sailing world of Puget Sound.” –The New York Times Book Review
“Jim Lynch is an extraordinary writer. … In `Before the Wind’ he captures the essence of it all. … A story of family, fortune and change that critics have justly compared to Ken Kesey’s classic `Sometimes a Great Notion.” – The Florida Times Union
"From the first paragraph I was hooked by Jim Lynch's language, his humor, his wisdom. The characters are marvelous, the storytelling confident and rollicking; the whole book a delight and a surprise." --Maria Semple, "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?"
“Lynch writes about the science of sailing and the grandeur of Puget Sound with a Melville-like attention to detail, but in the very concreteness of those details a kind of poetry emerges that speaks of the transience of life in all its terrible beauty and exhilarating terror.” —Booklist
"Not just any writer could weave a story about sailing, speed dating, dysfunctional family dynamics and Albert Einstein into an emotionally resonant novel, but Jim Lynch is the man for it." -- The Seattle Times
"Jim Lynch does for sailing what "A River Runs Through It" did for fly-fishing." -- Luis Alberto Urrea, "Hummingbird's Daughter"
"In Before the Wind, author Jim Lynch tells the engaging tale of the Johannssens, a sailing family that's like a distillation of all the eccentric, funny and cranky sailors you've ever met. All too many writers have failed to convey both the technicalities and the spiritual joys of sailing in a manner that will engage the uninitiated without alienating the experienced, but lifelong sailor Lynch carries it off with this enjoyable read."—Sail Magazine
"Glorious. Put a rambunctious family clan of misfits and genius sailors in Jim Lynch's masterful hands, and what you get is a gorgeous, full-bodied novel that contains pretty much all of life, from the agonies of online dating and boat repair to Einstein's sublime quest for a `simple and beautiful' unifying theory of everything." --Ben Fountain, "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk"