Sec­ond Chances

By Greg Coppa (2018; Still­wa­ter River Pub­li­ca­tions; $15.95)

Cruising World - - Underway -

Sec­ond Chances tells of St.thomas char­ter-boat cap­tain Skip Thorn­ton and his wild ride to­ward sel­f­re­al­iza­tion. The novel has the rich tone of Randy Wayne White’s Doc Ford mys­ter­ies: well-de­vel­oped char­ac­ters cop­ing with com­plex dy­nam­ics be­tween lo­cals, tourists and wa­ter­borne vagabonds.

White’s prose reeks of the Florida back­wa­ters and their cul­tur­ally threat­ened in­hab­i­tants; Coppa’s evokes im­agery of the too-free-an­deasy Caribbean life, and of quiet Wick­ford, Rhode Is­land, where Thorn­ton ul­ti­mately fetches up. Few pro­fun­di­ties will be found in Coppa’s Sec­ond Chances — just rev­e­la­tions of un­seen rhythms of sailing com­mu­ni­ties and those who carve out lives in them, bal­anc­ing care­free days on the wa­ter with those sim­ply try­ing to stay afloat. —Nim Marsh

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