Cover Image: Closer by Sea

Closer by Sea

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Member Reviews

I was drawn to this story because of where it takes place; Perigo Island, an isolated community off Newfoundland. Anyone who has been to Newfoundland and Labrador will understand the deep atmospheric character of the place. 

This is the story of Pierce Jacobs, a 12-year-old who has lost his father and is determined to find a missing girl whom he’d only encountered three times but who made a lasting impression on him. With the help of his friends, Pierce sets out on a quest to find Anna. This coming-of-age story digs into friendships, bullies, loss, and the wonders and power of nature.

Set against the backdrop of the cod fishery and a rapidly changing world, Pierce and his friends are experiencing firsthand the end of a way of life as the fishing industry dries up.

I enjoyed reading how Pierce reacted to situations he found himself in. He didn’t always make wise decisions and I think we cheered for him even more because of this. This was a delightful atmospheric read of life in a small island community.

I think readers who enjoy unique settings and coming of ages stories will embrace Closer by Sea.

Thank you to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for an advanced reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review.
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This novel is so gentle and heartbreaking and it sticks with you long after you read the last page. The characters are wonderfully full and vibrant including the setting of Newfoundland. The story is really interesting as told from the perspective of a young boy where we see the world through his eyes. It's magical, terrifying, powerful. His close friends become our besties too as we ride the high drama of the lives of pre-teens. There is so much to grab onto here including the depths of loss, love of friends and family and love of place. Thanks to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster for a chance to read this book. I loved it. It haunts me.
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I think this should be classified as a young adult simply because I found the language rather simple. Also, as a Newfoundlander, I thought the language would be a little closer to the Fogo Island dialect. Otherwise it does a decent job of romanticizing a way of life that has vanished.
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Closer by Sea is an endearing novel that takes place in Newfoundland. The author does an incredible job with the descriptions of the setting, making it easy to imagine being on the island yourself. The story follows themes of adventure, mystery, loss, friendship and even bullying, so it has a little bit of everything for everyone. While the story is relatively short, I found the story is wrapped up nicely in the epilogue and I was not left with unanswered questions (a negative in my view). While I found the story got off to a bit of a slow start, exploring the loss of Pierce's father and some background information about fishing in his community, the story quickly picked up pace and had me attached to the story wanting to find out what happens next.
I would highly recommend to anyone that likes mysteries and adventure stories.
Thank you NetGalley for the ARC.
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Thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for the ARC. I voluntarily read and reviewed this book.
What a lovely, beautifully written book. There is not a wasted word here. It's short, yet just the right length, and can be read in one sitting. The comparisons to Stand by Me are spot on yet Closer by Sea stands on its own merits. It's part mystery, part young love, getting to know 4 young kids during a summer of adventure. I loved every one of these characters and the writing is so descriptive, you can picture the island even if you haven't been to Newfoundland. Lucky for me, I've been there, including Petty Harbour, so the descriptions take me right back to memories of that vacation. I discovered Perry Chafe through Alan Doyle. While his TV credits are some of my favorite shows, I hope Chafe continues with novels because he obviously has the talent whichever form his writing takes. 
Would easily give this more than 5 stars.
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A modern classic! The character development and plot were both expertly executed. It is very difficult to believe this is a debut; Perry Chafe is already a master. I'm excited to recommend this to my future AP Literature students as a modern coming of age novel.
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This was a really nice book about a kid named Pierre in Newfoundland growing up and going on an adventure to solve some personal mysteries. It reminded me a lot of Stand by Me.

3.5/5, thanks for the ARC.
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Loved this coming of age novel which takes place on Fogo Island in Newfoundland. Pierce and his friends, Bennie and Thomas keep themselves busy on the island over the summer holidays, with Bernie's cousin Emily joining the pack in their adventures. A Heartwarming story before everything changes due to off-island schooling in the fall. This is a quick and enjoyable read, accessible to adults and younger readers alike. I give it a 5 out of 5, as I couldn't put it down. Loved the young protagonists in the backdrop of Newfoundland!
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A coming-of-age story set in small-town Canada that held my attention from the first page until the last. The setting was expertly crafted and I felt as connected to it, as I did the characters in the book. The characters were reminiscent of my childhood friends which speaks to how the author taps into the universality of growing up a rural Canadian in 1991.

The themes of community, friendship, family, and grief were fleshed out incredibly well. The author has writing experience in television but this debut novel was excellent and I hope he has more to come.
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Because of my close connection to Newfoundland (I have been there 35+ times with my Newfoundland born husband) I am always interested to read a novel taking place there. I was excited to have the opportunity to read Closer By Sea.

The author is a native of Newfoundland and has written and produced a couple of tv series set in Newfoundland. He does an excellent job of making the setting realistic and easy to picture in the reader's mind.

This is the story of young Pierce Jacobs. Pierce is still grieving for his father who was lost at sea a few years previously. Pierce and three of his friends set out to solve the disappearance of a girl from their community. This becomes quite the adventure or almost misadventure. Each of the friends has adifferent personality but together they were a team. There is also a group of bullies that rear their ugly heads. 

The story has many different elements. Mystery, adventure, friendship, overactive imaginations, bullies, and a mysterious stranger (possibly a mad scientist). The reader learns about different marine life. There is foreshadowing of the cod shortage and the cod 
moratorium that began in 1992. 

I love how this story evolved. And most of all I think the Epilogue was excellent. It really gives closure to the book. All the lose ends are tied up.

This was a quick and enjoyable read. 

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the Advance  Readers Copy.
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Closer by Sea is @perrychafe debut coming of age novel. 
On a small island off the coast of Newfoundland lives a community whose lives are ruled by the sea and the fish. Three year’s previous Pierce’s father was lost to the sea. A girl in the community has gone missing and Pierce is determined that her family will get the answers he and his mother never got. With a long summer in front of them,Pierce and his friends will search their island for answers. 
My dad grew up in a small community in Newfoundland, blink and you’ll miss it. This book reminds me a lot of the stories he used to tell about summers running around with his friends. I was not born or raised in Newfoundland as the lack of jobs as the fishing industry went down sent him off to create a future elsewhere. This book captures the tipping point between Newfoundlands past the the present it has now created thanks to the resilience of its people. Full of friendship and adventure and the heartache of growing up. An emotional story that still manages to be fun. Definitely something to pick up for the pre teen reader in your life. This book hits shelves May 23 2023. Thank you to @netgalley and @simonandschuster for the advanced copy for review. #canadianbookstagram #newfoundland #newfoundlandauthor #canadianauthors #bookstagram #readersofinstagram #closerbysea #yanovels #book #bookreview #booklovers #bookrecommendations #read
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This coming of age story set in the Canadian Maritimes grabbed me instantly.  I’ve always been fascinated with the Oceanside life and this was a great look at growing up in that setting.  Characters were very well developed and an element of mystery was added.  Very enjoyable read!
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Closer by Sea is an endearing story with a nostalgic feel to it. 

Set on a small island off the Coast of Newfoundland in the early 90s, Anna goes missing, and 12-year-old Pierce is determined to find her. Though he's only spoken to her three times, those encounters held meaning for him as he grappled with the loss of his father. Along with his close-knit group of friends, he embarks on a search that will answer more questions than he thought possible. 

This book had a little bit of everything, in perfect balance. It was a short book, only 200 pages, which would usually leave me wishing for more. Yet Chafe managed to tell a complete story with well-developed characters, emotion, and a little mystery. He brought the setting to life, to the point where you could see the story unfold as clear as if you were watching a movie. I couldn't help but feel for the characters, and loved that he worked in education on the collapse of the fishing industry. 

My one small gripe is with the ending. He wrapped it up well, with an epic last line, but then also included an epilogue that did much of the same thing. I think it would have been more impactful to do one or the other, rather than doubling up. 

Closer by Sea comes out May 23rd and I highly suggest you grab it and go read by the water. 

Thank you to Simon and Schuster Canada, NetGalley, and Perry Chafe for this ARC.
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Thank you NetGalley, Perry Chafe, and Scribner Canada for the ARC of Closer by the Sea!

I absolutely loved this story from start to finish. The way Chafe wrote so descriptively transported me to their small Atlantic island where a boy named Pierce lived with his mom.

Everyone knows everyone on this island, as it is a small fishing community. Everyone's job helps the island function.

It's been years since Pierce's father went missing one morning. Now, years later, a girl he knew named Anna has gone missing. Pierce is reluctant to believe she's missing by choice and finds himself coming up with theories on what happened to her.

When strange behaviour can be observed of an island newcomer, Pierce and his friends decide to take matters into their own hands to get to the bottom of things. This involves some very not-safe decisions that ultimately had me at the edge of my seat. 

It'll take you on an incredible journey despite the small island setting, and will have you questioning what truly happened and if Anna will turn up alive.

An emotionally gripping journey that has me absolutely invested in the well-being of Pierce and his friends.
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Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada and NetGalley for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.

4.5 rounded up!

I love the way this book is written. A fresh coming-of-age story that I couldn't put down. It had a good balance of who-dun-it mystery mixed with adolescence vulnerabilities including friendship and young love. The descriptions used by the author made me feel like I was another character in the book right along side Pierce. The story moved at a good pace and I never felt bored. 

My only gripe is that I wish it was longer. I would have loved to read more about Pierce as a teenager, or more about the secondary characters. 

This was a breath of fresh air. I can't wait to read the next book that he puts out.
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A book where emotions are deeply entrenched in the main character Pierce. He feels everything intensely.  The death of his father seems to be the catalyst for these emotions to surface. His existence on this rugged but beautiful small fishing island in Newfoundland has many challenges . He witnesses how his mother must become the breadwinner and how unpredictable life is when a girl he befriends goes missing . The book also deals with friendships and first love as well as bullying and judging others unfairly. I felt a lot of sadness and despair in the characters in this book . The epilogue made me feel better .
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This book is incredibly charming. It is quiet and subtle while being atmospheric and vivid all at once.

The story is familiar, it resembles The Goonies or Stand By Me - a group of young kids spend the summer together with a mystery to solve but this story is so skillfully written it easily stands on its own.

Each of the characters are reminiscent of someone you used to know growing up and even if we don't get into heavy background for some of the supporting cast, they all feel genuine.

Plotwise there are a few mysteries that kept me interested but it was the island setting and day to day interactions of the characters that kept me reading.

Just a lovely novel. Perry Chafe has a multitude of experience writing for TV but my goodness, I hope he continues to write fiction, I will eagerly read anything he does I'm the future.

A heartfelt thank-you to Netgalley, Simon & Schuster Canada and Perry Chafe for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
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