Closer by Sea

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A slowly building story, haunting in its evocative treatment of life on the island of Newfoundland of the 90โ€™s, as seen through the eyes of the twelve-year old son in a multigenerational fishing family.

Set in one long and poignant summer in 1991, Pierce, our first person POV narrator, at the start of the novel, is still mourning the sudden disappearance of his father at sea, three years ago. Suffering now from panic attacks when faced with open water, and bullied mercilessly along with his friends, Pierce is traumatized yet again by the sudden disappearance of a female friend. As the painful draw of the new mystery stirs up old and unresolved feelings, Pierce is compelled to do his part to help solve the case. Aided and abetted by Emily, a lively and beguiling visitor to the island, (who may also end up being our heroโ€™s very first crush) and two school friends, Pierce and his crew encounter danger, adventure, and a lifetime of learning as they face suspicious and cruel neighbors, storms and icebergs, and tantalizingly horrific sea creatures.

As he comes to recognize and face his own demons, Pierce learns about the deceptiveness of appearances, the burning drives that can fuel both bravery and destiny, and most of all, the inevitability of change, as lives, both individual and communal, move on, pulling those in its tracks along, as timelessly as the oceanโ€™s pull on the tides.

An absolute charmer, this book has the sweetness of a coming-of-age story, combined with a nostalgic look at life in a time, that although undeniably harsh and laborious, was also infinitely simpler.

@perrychafe @siminschusterca


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