Reviews: Fishing in Foreign Seas

The following reviews of Fishing in Foreign Seas have been posted on the Amazon sites:

by Kitty – ‘Book Lover’ (4 stars)

In his first novel Mr. Peace has spun a tale of the moral dilemmas confronting his protagonist both in his personal and professional life. Jamie Morrison, a likeable, intelligent, up and coming young executive with his company’s power generation group has the opportunity for the biggest sale deal of his career. The intricacies and machinations of closing the deal make for exciting and absorbing reading. Lots of tension there.

In the meantime his wife, who has played the corporate gypsy as he climbed the corporate ladder, finds herself living in a town where she feels she doesn’t fit in. Caterina is a stay at home mom with two young daughters and a Downs Syndrome little boy who keep her busy, but she knows something is missing. Tension at home, too.

As the business deal reaches its conclusion, Jamie discovers that it will only become reality if he does something unethical. Tempted by the attractiveness and sexiness of his personal assistant, he faces another dilemma, as he considers cheating on his wife.

In a delightful way, the chapters move back and forth from the present business dealings and home life to the story of their personal life. These chapters tell how he met his wife when he was a naval officer in port in Sicily. Seeing this beautiful woman at an opera, he manages to engage her in conversation and she later agrees to lunch with him. Her family owns a winery and he visits there. Their relationship develops into love. As her mother observes their obvious attraction and feelings and scared that they will marry and go to America, she warns her daughter about “fishing in foreign seas.” However, to no avail, as the young couple do marry. He leaves the navy, goes to work for a large manufacturing company, and they first settle in the Boston area. Other chapters detail their early married life, birth of children, and his progression in the company. As an aside, for those readers who only think Mafia when they hear the word Sicily, it should be noted that the chapters in Sicily provide wonderful insights into the history, culture and people of this island with which many readers might not be familiar.

Mr. Peace has created two very appealing characters in Jamie and Caterina. We are rooting for him to figure out how to “do the right thing” in business and for him and Caterina to solve this temporary glitch in their relationship.

At times it was difficult to keep all the business personages straight (perhaps too many?) and the footnotes were sometimes unnecessary and distracting, but all in all Mr. Peace has given us a good read.

by A S Burns (4 stars)

Mr Peace’s first novel interweaves two stories, the efforts of a large company (read Siemans) to win a huge contract for power generation equipment and the cross-cultural love story between a young naval officer and a Sicilian woman from a wine-raising family. The stories are interwoven in such a way that the past steadily creeps up on the present.

The contract acquisition story will be recognized as very close to reality by anyone with experience in this field of business, although it may challenge casual readers because of the large number of characters who make brief appearances and the footnotes needed to explain technical matters. The love story is followed from the first meeting of Jamie Morrison with Caterina Lo Gado at an opera performance in Sicily throughout the moves of the couple around the United States as Jamie pursues his career in sales. The descriptions of Sicilian life are enjoyable, and the undercurrent of sex present in the book is entertaining.

The conflict between a demanding business career and a fulfilling family life lies at the center of the work. Mr Peace dramatizes well the crucial choices that Jamie has to make when confronted with venality at work and temptation in his private life.

by E Consalvi (4 Stars)

This is a very interesting read, especially as it pursues two particular themes – a cross-cultural relationship, begun in the Mediterranean; and the workings of big business in America. Inevitably there are clashes between the values of a traditional society, and the very different values of the corporate culture. Tension, anxiety and self-doubt surface, and put strain on personal and business relationships. The passionate romance, which is central to the novel, is interwoven with the ruthlessness pervading the competition for sales and contracts. Very much recommended as a great read.

(For more information about my novels, see www.williampeace.net.  This novel is now available in e-book format for about $9.99.)

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