Saturday 21 September 2019

Book ~ "Broken Man on a Halifax Pier" (2019) Lesley Choyce

From Goodreads ~ Fifty-five-year-old Charles Howard has lost his long-time journalism job and has been swindled out of his life savings. Standing by the edge of Halifax Harbour on a foggy morning, contemplating his dismal future, his ritual of self-pity is interrupted with the appearance of the mysterious and beguiling Ramona Danforth. And so begins a most interesting relationship. 

On a whim, Charles asks Ramona to drive him to his childhood home, Stewart Harbour, a fishing village populated by rugged individualists far down Nova Scotia’s remote Eastern Shore. Charles left the Harbour immediately after graduating from high school and never looked back. And now that he's returned, the past starts catching up with him in ways he could never have imagined. 

Charles is 55-years-old and unemployed.  He was a journalist until the newspaper shut down.  He has no money and no prospects.  One morning, he is standing on a pier on the Halifax Harbour and a woman starts talking with him.  Her name is Ramona and she is a former actress, now living off a trust fund provided by her father.  She invites him to breakfast.

Charles invites her to drive to his childhood home on the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia.  He hasn't been back since he left for university many years ago.  His parents are now dead and his brother lives in Alberta.  Things move rather quickly and Charles and Ramona end up staying his father's old fishing shack.  The longer Charles and Ramona stay in Stewart Harbour, the more they become involved in the lives of those Charles had left behind ... a old fishing buddy of his father's (who was also a fisherman), his old girl friend, his ex-girl friend's ex-husband, his ex-girlfriend's son and others.

I've read a couple books by this author and this was the first fiction.  It is written in first person perspective in Charles' voice.  I liked the writing style and I liked the story.  As a head's up, there is swearing.

I'm originally from Nova Scotia (as is the author) so have been to some of the places Charles and Ramona went to ... like The Bluenose, where they had breakfast.  I lived for a year not too far from "Stewart Harbour" on Nova Scotia's Eastern Shore.

I liked the characters.  I thought Charles and Ramona got together very quickly and it was a bit unbelievable to me that they would fall in love within days.  Though Ramona had lots of money and Charles had none, I thought it was weird that Ramona would be so generous so quickly and that Charles would be okay living off Ramona ... he didn't seem to have any ambition to make his own money or any qualms about accepting her generosity.

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