Loner James Malloy is a ferry captain―or used to be, until he was unceremoniously fired and replaced by a girl named Courtney Farris. Now, instead of piloting Brenton Island’s daily lifeline to the glitzy docks of Newport, Rhode Island, James spends his days beached, bitter, and bored.
When he discovers a private golf course staked out across wilderness sacred to his dying best friend, a Narragansett Indian, James is determined to stop such “improvements.” But despite Brenton’s nickname as “Cooperation Island,” he’s used to working solo. To keep rocky bluffs, historic trees, and ocean shoreline open to all, he’ll have to learn to cooperate with other islanders―including Captain Courtney, who might just morph from irritant to irresistible once James learns a secret that’s been kept from him for years.
This salt-sprayed fourth novel by 2004 Olympic Sailor Carol Newman Cronin celebrates wilderness and water, open space and open-mindedness, and the redemptive power of neighborly cooperation.
All of my novels share three common elements: a coastal setting, boats, and a happy ending. In other words, #coastalfiction! I’m represented by April Eberhardt Literary, and my next book, Ferry to Cooperation Island, comes out in June 2020.
I’ve also written several award-winning stories about boating adventures and waterfront personalities. To learn more, and to receive a weekly post about Where Books Meet Boats, visit http://www.carolnewmancronin.com. Thanks for reading!
Cronin characterizes her genre as “coastal fiction,” and while Ferry to Cooperation Island is definitely a fun, breezy summer read, there was more to it. First of all, I was intrigued by Brenton Island, which was invented by the author. The details and location were very realistic, and I’m disappointed that I can’t visit and chat with the locals while enjoying a coffee at the “Bean.” All of the details of the ferry, the tides and the terrain were well-researched, and I could smell diesel each time the tired ferry left the pier.
There was some predictability as to who would end up with whom, but how that eventually happened was a lot of fun. It was also fairly clear early on who the “good guys” and “bad guys” were, and I would like to have experienced more depth of the characters, which can be hard to achieve with a multi-viewpoint structure.
What I loved the most was how Cronin envisioned and incorporated the Narragansett history and relationship between the few remaining Narragansetts, the local white population and the tourists on the island. Her portrayal of the evolution of this history from the days of a literal dividing line to a literal and figurative fading of that line were fascinating. That aspect added depth that took this beyond a beach read for me, and made me eager to learn more. I recommend Ferry to Cooperation Island.
2.5 The world building was very convincing but I didn't get drawn into the characters at all, and this was a fatal fact for a character driven book. However the only major fault I can find was that it was moderately predictable.