The Passage

The Passage

by Michael Hurley


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Jay Danforth Fitzgerald, known as “Fitz” to his few remaining friends, has learned from long and painful experience that there is no such thing as love that lasts. A failed an aging stockbroker full of angst and self-loathing, he fritters away his nights in Tiddly’s Bar and his days aboard a derelict sailboat stuck in the mud of Charleston Harbor. But when he meets a much younger woman named Gemma, his world changes forever.

Award-winning author Michael Hurley has crafted a tale for the ages about the love we leave behind and the longing that fills our hearts for what might have been. When Fitz resolves to make a reckless solo passage to Ireland in a last-ditch grab for salvation, Gemma secretly stows aboard. The story of Gemma and Fitz plays out on the dramatic stage of the North Atlantic, on a boat bound toward the past Fitz cannot forget and a future he cannot imagine.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780976127581
Publisher: Ragbagger Press
Publication date: 05/01/2016
Pages: 362
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.81(d)

About the Author

Michael Hurley is the author of three novels and several works of nonfiction. His debut novel, The Prodigal, won the Chanticleer Reviews Grand Prize for Book of the Year in 2013. His second novel, The Vineyard, won the 2015 Eric Hoffer Award for General Fiction. A memoir, Once Upon A Gypsy Moon, was published in 2013 by Hachette Book Group. His essay collection, Letters from the Woods, was shortlisted for Book of the Year in 2005 by ForeWord Reviews. Between 1995 and 2003, he published a quarterly literary journal on wilderness canoeing, now collected in a single hardcover volume entitled Hurley's Journal. He wrote The Passage while living in England and Wales. He keeps a journal and stays in touch with readers on his website,

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Passage 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
SheTreadsSoftly More than 1 year ago
The Passage by Michael Hurley is a very highly recommended novel of self-discovery. Jay Danforth Fitzgerald, "Fitz," is a failed stockbroker in his early 60's who has also failed at three marriages. He doesn't believe in love, certainly not lasting love. After his third and last divorce, he moved onto his sailboat. His boat has been in Charleston Harbor for the last three years. Fitz is slowly running out of money, but he still goes to Tiddly's Bar every evening for dinner and a beer. When a young, 34 year old woman, Gemma, sits next to him at the bar and starts a conversation, his life changes. He decides to attempt to sail to Ireland (or die trying), but when Gemma secretly stows aboard, his plans change. I'm going to be honest and tell you that I did not like The Passage in the beginning. I was not in the mood for Fitz's self-loathing pity party. I was not prepared to accept that a young 34 year old woman was intrigued by this guy in his 60's who is soaking wet and dressed like a bum. And when Fitz lies to her and says he's 44, well, I was not too keen on a protagonist who was, by all appearances, going to be a huge jerk, lie, and hit on a young woman. Nope, not too keen on old guys thinking they deserve younger women and not interested in reading any novel along those lines. But that's not quite what happens, and I should have given Hurley more credit based on his previous to novels I read and loved. Yes, this is a novel about love, failed love, and redemptive love, but it's also a novel about longing for what might have been - and that is what makes it a much stronger novel than my first impression allowed. When the twists happen in the plot and everything falls into place, I was totally enamored with the underlying themes and symbolism Hurley tucked into the plot so perfectly and tenderly. I went from strongly disliking The Passage to adoring it, a tough transition to make and certainly a change of opinion that is rarely traversed. Hurley is an exceptional writer and that helped me stick with The Passage until I reached the transformative part. As I have said before, Hurley writes with a depth, intelligence, and thoughtfulness that make you crave more - and made me want to keep reading. The settings are clearly described. Obviously, Hurley knows his way around a sailboat and can describe it. The characters are also clearly well developed and there is personal growth and change in the end. Disclosure: I received a digital advanced reading copy of this book from the author for review purposes.