Reviews

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

In An American Romance [BKL Mr 1 77], Casey wrote a widely applauded story of a love affair. Such a relationship appears in his second novel, which features the woebegone life of one Dick Pierce, a New England fisherman. Dick is a decent enough fellow, hardworking and wife loving. But he can't really make ends meet without completing the new boat he's been building. Securing the finances for finishing the project--and Dick's affair with a woman he's known since childhood--is the meat of this slow but deep novel. Exacting in its detail, perhaps too much for its own dynamic good, the plot sees Dick through several complications before he arrives at a workable level of personal security. Dick is an ordinary man; his life, his problems, his avenues of resolution all smack of real life. On the basis of the success of his first novel, Casey's latest will surely spark a readership. --Brad Hooper


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

In his first novel since his 1978 debut with An American Romance , Casey uses a simple, unadorned narrative style to create an evocative character study. Dick Pierce is a Rhode Island fisherman who has managed to support his wife and two sons but has always found bigger and easier money just one step--a bank loan, a sponsor, a bigger boat--out of his reach. Instead, he works alone, and occasionally takes rich couples out for fishing runs, although he can barely tolerate their arrogance and dilettantish behavior. Taciturn and restless in his 40s, he grows inward, nursing grudges and regrets, until the unexpected occurs: an affair with Elsie, a bright young National Resources warden who alone has the power to draw out and challenge her lover. Gruff and relatively inexpressive, Pierce might be an impenetrable central character in the hands of a lesser writer, but Casey's skills as a portraitist are considerable; he captures just enough of Pierce's private moments and lonely fears to make him touching and believable. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

A rare combination of lyrical prose and stark realism reveals the complex relationships governing a New England fisherman's life.


Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Rhode Island fisherman Dick Pierce's neighbors are mostly rich city people vacationing in luxury condos on land his family once owned. Pierce himself is chronically broke, and lately he has taken to poaching clams on state land in order to finance the Spartina , a 50-foot fishing boat he is building in a last-ditch effort to become his own boss. Elsie Buttrick, an officer of the Department of Natural Resources, suspects that Pierce is the poaching culprit, but in the course of her investigation they end up in bed together--something that Pierce has trouble concealing from his wife and kids. Casey's new novel, another addition to the recently revived genre of blue-collar fiction, reminds us that there is more to Rhode Island than the mansions of Newport. A well-crafted book that should have a strong regional appeal.-- Edward B. St. John, Loyola Law Sch . Lib., Los Angeles (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.