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Posted August 29, 2011
While the story get off to a slow start, once you get past the information dumps (there are three or four, I think), the story really takes off.
The main character is a young woman who makes this huge journey to get back to her and her husband's families in the North after being almost literally flooded out of Florida. I have to admit by the end of the story I was so emotionally invested in her and her husband that I was crying. Not that the ending is necessarily bad, it is just a little sad and good at the same time.
Donna Callea is on my list of authors to watch for.
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Posted February 27, 2011
In the beginning it isn't clear what has happened although from the conditions the narrator, Mia, finds herself in, we could guess it's the aftermath of a hurricane. When the book takes place is also vague, I believe purposely. Although it has to be in the future, we can easily surmise it isn't by much. The world Callea describes is credible given the underlying assumption of the string of natural disasters and the repercussions that would stem from them.
Mia is likeable and sympathetic. The other major characters are believable with a realistic mix of good qualities and human foibles. How Mia and everyone she meets have adapted to the new world is the crux of the book. Some become better people despite the hardships they endure while it brings out the worst in others. The development of the characters - how they change over time, is where New Coastal Times shines.
Through much of the book it isn't clear where the story is going - what is Mia's ultimate goal? Compare this to a typical mystery, thriller, or romance where that goal is obvious early in the book. With New Coastal Times you're guessing as Mia aims at a series of intermediate goals. Initially it is to survive and reunite with her husband. As each goal is met Mia aims for something a little bit better. In retrospect, the logical story arc takes Mia to a point at which she settles in a life as comfortable as she can find given the circumstances of the vastly changed world. In the beginning, what that is or will be is a mystery to Mia, just as it will be to the reader. We have to discover what that is along with her.
**Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog.**
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Posted January 29, 2011
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