Friday, October 9, 2015

Vacationland Book Review


Donny Coombs is a fifth generation Maine lobsterman, and he is getting tired of being pushed around. His new neighbors - from away - are on a crusade to save Maine from the Mainers. His girlfriend's upper class father is bent on killing their relationship. And an Islesboro lobsterman covets Donny's territory and isn't getting the message to back off. Ugly undercurrents and spring tight tensions lie beneath the pristine surface of white caps on blue bays and schooner sails on the horizon. Hostilities come to a boil and the results are not pretty. Welcome aboard.

About the author

Nathaniel Bowditch Goodale comes from a deep seafaring heritage. He is licensed to captain a 100 ton vessel, pilot a single engine floatplane in instrument conditions, and drive a big rig on the interstate highway system. He was a 40 year resident of Waldo County, Maine, where this story is set. He now resides in Cuenca, Ecuador, where he is writing his third novel. He is married and has four children.

Adventures (so far):

Four marvelous children - oldest daughter an Olympic Gold Medalist (Beijing) and now the author of my grandson Avery (, son Abe trekking up from southern Chile (visit, and my sweet and articulate freshwoman and sophomore girls in high school. Married to my childhood sweetheart and my favorite person in the whole world.

Organic sheep farmer before it was chic. Director to the American Sheep Producers Council, representing all the sheep (and shepherds) in NY, NJ, PA, CT, RI, MA, NH, VT, and ME). Founding member of the Maine Lamb Promotion Board.

Leader of a Libertarian Political Action Committee.

Charter Captain, 42' motor yacht, Soper's Hole, West End, British Virgin Islands. Dropped 700 king crab pots at the end of the Aleutian chain, off the Bessie M, a king crabber out of Homer, Alaska. On board as fifth hand and cook.

Cut 100 spruce trees and built a log cabin without hydraulics.

Aircraft salesman. Private pilot, land and sea (float plane and flying boats), instrument rated. Had privilege of flying in the navigator's nose cone of the Confederate Air Force's B-17 Flying Fortress. College religion major. Lettered in football and baseball in boarding school and college. Played in National Softball Championship, Green Bay, Wisconsin. Age 11 - saved a younger girl from drowning.

Head cater chef. Drove from Maine to Fairbanks, Alaska to Oaxaca, Mexico (and back). Hiked the base of the Annapurna mountain range.

#186 in 1972 draft into the military, Vietnam bound. Would have served but wasn't called. Voted for Nixon twice - no regrets. Motored down the Mekong River (post Vietnam).

President and major stockholder, Dark Harbor Boat Yard. Sole importer and dealer for Norwegian PIONER polyethylene boats.

Now riding horses deep into the Andes mountains of Ecuador. Cuenca is one of the settings in THE MAXIMUM MISTAKE, his third book which includes a breathtaking horse chase scene. Book due to be published in 2015.

Author and publisher of the present novel VACTIONLAND, and the soon to be available, ONCE UPON A NIGHTMARE.

For more information on anything, please come visit at

My Review:

 Vacationland by Nat Goodale
Wanted to read this book for a few reasons; it's about lobstering off the coast of Maine and sounded like a good read.
It was so much more than that! I am from an island off the coast and know exactly what the author means when it comes to dealing with the offislanders in your own way.
It's the code and they must abide by the rules. Newcomers come to live on the island and want things to go according to their new rules. Makes the whole concept of living on an island the opposite. you go there to get away from the mainland, noise, hubbub, etc.
They want to change it all. Donny is the local lobsterman and what I liked about him was that he uses his hands to do his career. Love all the real technical words for parts of his boat, traps, etc.  He has many obstacles in life: a new girlfriend, another lobsterman trying to fish on top of his own traps and the new neighbors who don't like much about him and his living area.
Each of the others get alternating chapters during the book so you're kept abreast of what's going on from their perspective. Past years are detailed that help with the missing pieces of the puzzle.
It all comes to a head one day and Shelly, his girl finds out things that make her put things into action. Never expected what happened next and the plan as it takes form. Just when you think you know how it will end, there's more twists and turns.
Hadn't expected the romance scenes either but were most welcome. Super read, all around, action, adventure, mysteries, romance, travel, everyday work of a lobsterman. Can't wait to read more from this author! Loved all the new things I learned in this book about lobstering and surroundings that matter when you're on the water.
I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

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