Synopses & Reviews
Family means everything to 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, Dan Berne's gripping debut novel explores the unpredictable fissures of memory, and how families can break apart even in the midst of healing.
"With a story as riveting as it is fresh and characters as profound and compelling as the water that surrounds them, Dan Berne's The Gods of Second Chances is a gorgeous plunge into the depth of the bonds of blood and belief."
Rachael Herron, bestselling author of Pack Up the Moon
"Every so often a novel comes along that feels like nothing you've read before. Dan Berne's The Gods of Second Chances is one of those, soulful and shattering in equal measure. Berne shines a light on rarely visited corners of both the world and the human heart in a page-turning story that stays with you long after you've reached the end. Be prepared to be amazed."
Karen Karbo, bestselling author of Julia Child Rules
"With The Gods of Second Chances, Dan Berne has created a world that is immediate and true, tender and tough as nails, with a protagonist, Ray Bancroft, to match. Ray's struggle to stay afloat, to keep his family safe, is a harrowing one, full of ominous portents, dangerous adversaries, and hard-earned triumphs. Through it all, Berne navigates the treacherous waters of the human heart with a deft but unsparing touch. The Gods of Second Chances is a terrific debut from a talented writer."
Rob Yardumian, author of The Sound of Songs Across the Water
"Can I just say... I loved this book. Rarely have I come across a novel that blends story-telling, drama, and great writing quite as well as The Gods of Second Chances. I confess
"Second chances abound throughout the story, from Ray raising his granddaughter in a second crack at parenthood to Jenny's attempts to get clean and Ray's multiple attempts to date a local therapist. Faith plays a strong thematic role as well, with Ray's sailor superstitions (the Buddha statue he rubs every time he takes the boat out, and the collection of deity statues he keeps around his home) and the conflict all this creates when his daughter returns as a born-again Christian."
Jeff Fleisher, Foreword Reviews
"The Gods of Second Chances is emotionally charged family drama, but it's never sappy or sentimental — it's Alaska, where Hilda's Pharmacy has a selection of birthday and sympathy cards but nothing of the Hallmark variety. You could try faith and forgiveness in a few lines of canned poetry, but it won't hit anywhere close to home. The Gods of Second Chances is another story." Brian Juenemann, Register-Guard
About the Author
Author Dan Berne has been an active member of a select writing workgroup led by author Karen Karbo for ten years. His short stories and poetry have been published in literary magazines. Dan owns a market strategy consultancy, and lives with his wife Aliza in Portland, Oregon. His debut novel was chosen for publication during Forest Avenue Press' 2013 open submission period.