Wednesday, February 2, 2011

New Coastal Times / Donna Callea

Genre: Post-Apocalyptic / Literary Fiction

Approximate net words:

65-70,000 words

Kindle: YES   Nook: YES    DTB: NO


Donna Callea grew up in upstate New York and later moved to Florida. A former newspaper reporter, you’ll notice Callea has a few similarities to the narrator of New Coastal Times. She has one other book, The Haircut:A New Year’s Tale, available for your Kindle or Nook.  See the author's web site for more.

The worst hurricane ever recorded, Hurricane Walter, has hit the eastern coast of Florida, toppling buildings and leaving the area almost inhabitable. Twenty-something Mia Gionfreddo Fine, a budding newspaper reporter, and her doctor husband Aaron are among the survivors. Walter is just the beginning as additional natural disasters spurred by global warming disrupt both coasts of the US and elsewhere around the world. Follow Mia, Aaron, and a group of eccentric friends as they try to rebuild their lives in a world that will never be the same.


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.

Format/Typo Issues:

The Kindle version has an average number of typo and proofreading issues.

Ranking: ****4 Stars

1 comment:

Vicki said...

On my reading list. I like the idea of the reader "discovering" along with the narrator.