"Literally, it was superb! I loved every single character, even the ones I tried not to love. I laughed out loud, and cried, too, with my heart breaking along with Cap'm Jolly when he wasn't so jolly - after the phone call from his son, especially. A cup of coffee will never be the same for me.
“I think the endearing and hopeful message for me was everyone's ability to survive, to be resilient enough to rise from so many different human hells - and then the ultimate happiness just to be alive, to realize the worth of life itself is actually to appreciate living, to be joyous - yes, even 'JOLLY.'
“Kudos, JR Ingrisano, to your excellent writing. Yo a good mon, JR Ingrisano … and a terrific writer!”
When I saw that Captain Jolly’s Do Over was set in the Caribbean, I knew I wanted to read it. What more can one ask for? Not much, but you get it anyway. Written in the first person, this novel is filled with some robust, yet odd characters who have earned even odder names, some of which not quite so flattering but most fitting.
In true island style, the story begins slowly, and is layered into three distinct timelines: the past, the recent past, and the present. At the start, I was a little concerned at the format, but I love the way all three are seamlessly woven together. JR Ingrisano pulls off a tightly-knit story that leaves us turning the page for a further chapter or two just to find out what happens. It is meted out in enticing portions.
Captain Jolly’s Do Over is not exactly your average Caribbean getaway, and it is all the better for it. This is a fascinating look at real life and interpersonal relationships. There is a great emphasis placed on human value. It’s a journey of self-discovery, and I think many of us can relate to the memorable characters in the book.
I’m not much of a sailor, but I know enough about boats to appreciate the author’s attention to detail. I was thrilled to read that the seemingly craziest solution was the best possible course of action for Captain Jolly and the ‘Do Over’. This is where the novel begins, but the author doesn’t give much away.
The descriptions are tactile and wonderfully true to life. Clearly, the author has spent enough time on the Islands to get to know the local culture, and has wisely not painted Jamaica as a fantasy, but rather a real ‘paradise’.
There is a subtle yet natural flow from a frivolous note to a serious tone as the story unravels. I like to read characters having an ‘ah-ha’ moment. The novel culminates in a rather emotional and theatrical climax. J.R. Ingrisano tells a magnificent story. We would all love a ‘do over’, and Captain Jolly actually got two!