Life gives us many choices and it is on these choices that our future depends. If the choice we make is a bad one then the future is set accordingly. Paolo Bacigalupi gives the boy in the story the same kind of chance when he has to decide between two different things. One is the material wealth and the second is the life of a human being. America’s Gulf Coast is the place where the story takes place.
In that part of the world, big oil tankers were brought to get disposed of forever. Nailer was not one of the members of the squad rather he was the boy who used to collect pieces of copper from the scarp. Living from hand to mouth, one day Nailer hit a jackpot when he found a ship near the beach in a broken condition.
This was his opportunity to have the entire ship all by himself. Selling it piece by piece would have been quite beneficial for him but then he found the lone survivor of the ship. It was a girl and she required help, Nailer for a moment thought about the ship and then he concentrated on the girl. The girl was saved and she brought a miracle to the life of the poor boy. The girl was actually from a wealthy family and in just a single day she changed the life of the poor boy.
Joshua Swanson does not use a loving tone in narration right from the moment when the boy and girl saw each other because it was not love at first sight. The story is lovelier than The Windup Girl and the climax is equal to The Water Knife without any doubt. It is the selection of an opportunity that brings a twist in Nailer’s life if he had chosen the ship over the girl then his fate would have been different.