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The Gods of Second Chances: 12/25/15
The Gods of Second Chances by Dan Berne is set in Anchorage, Alaska. Ray Bancroft is a fisherman who makes a little extra by taking out tourists for sport fishing. He's raising his grand-daughter by himself as his daughter has run off years ago.
Of course all of this goes to hell in a hand basket (no surprise there, given the set up). There's an accident with a tourist who doesn't want to take instructions. The wayward daughter suddenly reappears. And melodrama abounds.
The parts I enjoyed most were those dealing with the difficulties of being a fisherman and later with the lawsuit that springs up. Here the details are crisp and in tune with the surroundings. A novel about Alaska fishing that isn't about someone form the lower 48 coming up north with some romantic ideals was refreshing.
But then there's the whole "family is everything" side plot (plots, really). And it doesn't ring as true. For someone who is a widower, a father of a daughter, and now the grandfather of a granddaughter, he seems ridiculously clueless.
It's not that men and women are all that different, but in this book, they somehow are. And when he's after all this time of living around women, faced with the "unpleasant" task of buying supplies for his granddaughter's period, we're somehow expected to pat him on the back. Oh please.