Family means everything to widowed Alaskan fisherman Ray Bancroft, raising his granddaughter while battling storms, invasive species, and lawsuit happy tourists. To navigate, and to catch enough crab to feed her college fund, Ray seeks help from a multitude of gods and goddesses – not to mention ad-libbed rituals performed at sea by his half-Tlingit best friend. But kitchen counter statues and otter bone ceremonies aren’t enough when his estranged daughter returns from prison, swearing she’s clean and sober. Her search for a safe harbor threatens everything Ray holds sacred. Set against a backdrop of ice and mud and loss, this debut novel explores the unpredictable fissures of memory, and how families can break apart, even in the midst of healing.
When I read the summary of this novel I honestly wasn’t sure whether I would like the story or not, but I knew that I needed to keep an open mind about it and see how I felt about it once I was at least halfway through The Gods of Second Chances instead of already having a disliking of the story. By chapter fourteen I had mixed emotions about the story and the characters as well. I found The Gods of Second Chances to be a boring story and I didn’t feel like I connected with “Ray” or any of the other characters within the story. I read the entire book, but I kept looking to see how far I was from being done with the chapter I was reading. I was really happy to be done with this novel!
I do, however, like the way Mr. Berne put the book together; especially each chapter. I really enjoyed the way each page before the new chapter had a drawing/picture. I thought that was rather creative and a nice change compared to most books I read. I liked that Mr. Berne put the setting in Alaska instead of somewhere like Washington or Oregon; I feel like Alaska gets forgotten about as an area of civilization and this was a story that took place in that state. I think more men would enjoy this type of story and that perhaps some women may possibly like this story, but if someone who doesn’t read a lot or a reader is looking for an exciting book I don’t think this is that novel for you. I give Mr. Berne a “7” and The Gods of Second Chances a “5.”
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Tiffany