The Wanderer makes its readers think about what “time” really is—if it exists “out there” in the world, or if it’s just something we make up in our heads. For example, when the crew has docked at Block Island soon after setting sail from Connecticut, Sophie says that, even though she’s on land again, the world around her already feels more fluid. She wants to get out into the open ocean soon, though—for out in…(read full theme analysis)
Sophie constantly battles the otherwise all-male crew’s perception of her as a female throughout the book. Because she’s a girl, they think she’s somehow unfit for the hard work demanded by sailing across the ocean, and that she’s too weak to face the potential hardships they could face along the way. Though the rest of the crew seems determined to discourage Sophie from joining them in their trip, she refuses to back down. She’s…(read full theme analysis)
At the core of The Wanderer is an exploration of family relationships—particularly the father-son relationship between Mo and Cody and the relationship Sophie has with her foster family. The book explores how individuals—particularly Sophie and Cody—partly form their identities based on the relationships they have with their family.
Though Sophie’s life seems to be at the core of the book, Cody’s log entries also feature prominently throughout. One of the main topics Cody’s entries focus…(read full theme analysis)
The Wanderer raises a lot of questions about the purpose and meaning of life, as well as the relationship between life and death—what death is really like, and whether it truly provides a path out of life.
Perhaps one of the most profound moments of the book is when Sophie and Cody discuss life and death after “The Wave” almost kills them. Sophie and Cody wonder if whether, when you almost die, you…(read full theme analysis)