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Marina Melee Paperback – June 1, 2011
From the Inside Flap
"Fast-paced, rum-laced, but certainly not strait-laced--and you won't be straight-faced as you turn the pages of this hilarious comic romp."
-- Bob Sanchez, author of When Pigs Fly
"I just put down Lynne Hinkey's new book--and can't stop laughing. She's got a great comic ear fo' de island riddims, me son!"
-- Cap'n Fatty Goodlander, Editor-at-Large, Cruising World magazine, and author of Chasing the Horizon.
About the Author
Lynne Hinkey is a marine scientist who spent "donkey years" in the Caribbean, hanging around marinas and boaters. She currently lives in Charleston, South Carolina, with her husband, two cats, and a dog. Her short stories, essays, and travel articles have appeared in The Constellation, The Petigru Review, Stars and Stripes, and other online and print publications. She is also a nonfiction/science reviewer for The Internet Review of Books. When not writing, Lynne is an adjunct professor of biology at Trident Technical College and the University of Maryland - University College.
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Top Customer Reviews
The setting in this book is extremely well done. This book will make you feel like you’re on an island in the same way Rudyard Kipling’s “Kim” will make you feel like you’re in India. I’ve rarely felt so submerged in a setting by a work of fiction.
The cast of characters is good and keeps getting progressively more real.
As for the story, well, George has a lot of business problems. If the various real-life issues of running a marina interest you (permits, fines for violations, hurricanes, deadbeat boaters, personnel issues, and more) then you will love this book.
If not, you can still enjoy the romantic angle, because a love interest eventually shows up. For me, this was the best part of the story. Do I need a spoiler alert? The essential problem with any “guy meets bitchy woman” tale is that everyone knows what’s going to happen—he’s going to fall for her, right? The trick is to make things unfold in a way that holds the reader’s interest. The author did a nice job with this. We see a lot of George’s thoughts and feelings here.
Overall, this is a very solid novel. Get a copy today!
We perceive the malodorous fruit through the jaded senses of Tracker, the owner of a failing marina. He's mis-managed the marina and is trying to dump it on some dolt. We learn that Tracker once found the mangoes fragrant and exotic, but now they've become a metaphor for his whole stinking island experience. Until he finds a patsy to buy it.
The question is, will the patsy, the lovable loser, George, eventually find that everything he loves about the island at first will spoil eventually, just like it did for Tracker? Smart money would probably bet against him: his failures include three marriages and his entire career in the family business.
Seeking respite from the humiliation of his third divorce, George accompanies his friends to a Caribbean island prophetically called São Jorge, and falls into the trap set by Tracker when he signs the agreement of sale. Gullible George, a guy who has never taken a job seriously, surprises himself and everyone else by facing one disaster after another with heart and courage.
George surrounds himself with islanders and expats, all of whom are deftly drawn by the author. Her respect for the natives, in this case, West Indians, informs and colors the novel. Though the islanders appear to fit island stereotypes, they're full of surprises. We meet the Rasta mechanic, a guy who seems to be too busy chasing the ladies to work on marina equipment. There's a pregnant secretary who's never worked, a dockmaster who never shows up and a cadre of inspectors waiting to find violations.
Ms Hinkey gently raises the curtain on the underlying poverty and violence found in all third world countries without dwelling on the downside of life in the islands; denigrating either the natives or the expats; or passing judgement. She builds a humorous diorama of the pitfalls that await both tourists and expats, from the most seasoned to the least.
The writing is both lyrical and hypnotic. You won't want to put this one down, with it's fast-paced story and memorable characters.