Rating: 1.5 stars out of 5
Best friends since they were children, Mikhail and Solomon later took their friendship to the next level. But they have a falling out after a horrible mistake.
Seven years later, the men are reunited on a cruise ship in the Mediterranean where they both work as waiters. The animosity between them runs deep, but the close quarters at sea bring them back together, with a little help from a fellow shipmate.
Can Solomon and Mikhail move beyond the mistakes they made in the past and rekindle what they had? Or are they fated to only being friends?
How many ways can a author sink a story? Let me count the ways….
In Safe Harbor by David O. Sullivan the author’s choice of adjectives in describing his characters looms as number one. Sullivan’s favorite word when it comes to Mikhail is whimpering. Mikhail enters a meeting late whimpering, he whimpers upon encountering Solomon, he just whimpers all over the place. Is the author just not aware of the imagery he’s projecting onto his poor character? Unfortunately, I just ran across another author with a similar bent who kept describing his main character as sniveling. Smh! Do these people not own a dictionary? Who does that to main characters and why do they think readers will then find them attractive? Questions, questions. Plus why didn’t an editor catch that?
Anyway, while poor Mikhail is whimpering away, Sullivan has done an equal injustice to Solomon. Both men are of the Jewish faith which is clearly of deep importance to them now and growing up. However, in bringing into Solomon’s dialog some Jewish or Yiddish slang the character comes across more like a 50’s comic or character from a Borscht Belt comedy act or an actor in the plays in the summer resorts of the Catskill Mountains in the 50’s and 60’s. It’s a constant rain of ‘Schmucks’ from his lips. You’re a Schmuck, he’s a Schmuck, everyone’s a Schmuck. Talk about tiresome. Everyone here is a cardboard character of little to no depth.
Some authors can and have beautifully folded in the Jewish culture, language, religion, and, yes, phrases, into a story effortlessly. This is not that book. Here it is jarring and one-dimensional.
Even a rabbi, a fire, and Hanukkah is used, poorly, to illustrate a “miracle” on board and to bring the men back together. It’s actually cringeworthy.
Often when I say I couldn’t get to the end quick enough, I mean that in a great way. I raced to the end because I was so in love with everything that the story flew by.
Here it’s the exact opposite. I just wanted it to be over.
Cover art is adorable. How I wish the book reflected what was going on in that cover.
Kindle Edition, 53 pages
Published September 29th 2018 by JMS Books LLC
Edition Language English