Nantucket Daybreak

James Sulzer, Author Walker & Company $17.95 (242p) ISBN 978-0-8027-1013-0
Sulzer's first novel falls short of the mark, with flat characters and a simplistic plot, facilely resolved. Bringing trouble, off-islanders Kevin and Sheri, his lover, arrive in Nantucket and work for scallop fishermen Russell Grady and Frank Hussey. Hussey's improbably noble wife Suzanne suspects that he's attracted to Sheri, and she's right: on a night when his boat is grounded far from home base, Hussey is easily seduced by Sheri. Russell finds them in the morning, and the plot thereafter segues into a series of unconvincing emergencies that provoke the characters' reconciliation and redemption. Instead of revealing character through thought, action and dialogue, Sulzer relies on straightforward descriptions that do not engage the reader, and though he offers some appropriate background information (the rising costs of housing on the island, etc.) and fully describes the tricky task of the scallop culler, this material is interesting but hardly atmospheric. (April)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1988
Release date: 04/01/1988
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