Publication date: January 2016
Available from Glencannon Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble (Soon).
Oceans Apart is a story for anyone who’s ever been struck by wanderlust. Kevin McCarey's memoir portrays the life of a young man who, armed only with his own youthful intrepidness, finds himself sailing on American merchant ships to adventures beyond his wildest imaginings. It’s the characters he meets that ultimately illuminate what it means to explore the world: the Portuguese street girl he “weds” for a day -- the Italian villagers who steer him from certain danger-- the surly stevedore with a soft spot for Puerto Rico’s poor-- the bookseller in war-torn Vietnam who lives only for poetry. Just as revealing are the flashbacks to the author’s home turf, the Hudson River Valley. The stories of his flamboyant, half-cocked Irish-American family are as fraught and funny as the adventures overseas.
McCarey shipped out during turbulent times, and his voyages range from delivering high explosives to Vietnam in floating rust buckets, to weathering a ferocious Atlantic hurricane in a dilapidated tanker. But for all the terrifying dangers, McCarey writes with a deep passion for the blue majesty of the ocean world. Oceans Apart: the Wanderings of a Young Mariner is a warm and compelling memoir; equal parts a rollicking sea yarn, an exotic travelogue and a classic coming-of-age story.
Praise for Oceans Apart
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"The terrifying dangers of loose munitions in the hold during a roiling ocean, his encounters with colorful characters both at sea and in ports of call, his telling observations of human nature, the mindless routine life aboard ship that McCarey finds amusing - all of this the author recounts with humor and an uncanny ear for speech...rendering the stuff of life on the ocean in vivid and telling prose. A swashbuckling maritime reminiscence with picaresque edges crafted by a gifted writer."
- Kirkus Reviews
“From the boisterous anarchy of his hardscrabble home in the Hudson Valley through his far-ranging exploits as a young seaman in the merchant marine, McCarey’s tales are festive adventures, lively and mischievous, soulful and sincere.”
- Geoff Luck, Executive Producer, National Geographic
“There is more to Ocean's Apart than wonderfully written sea stories, McCarey manages to convey the eternal youthful optimism, the sense of wonder and adventure that has seen many a boy go down to the sea, only to return a man.”
- John Kretschmer, NY Times best-selling author, Flirting with Mermaids
“Using the philosophical lessons of poets, song writers and veteran mariners, Kevin McCarey helps us to understand the vagaries of life at sea. At times this compelling story is an emotional rollercoaster ride.”
- Gary Jobson, America’s cup winner, author, An American Sailing Story
“A pretty damn stunning read geared for a big audience.”
- TC Boyle, NY Times best-selling author, The Harder They Come
“Crammed with situations both wildly funny and at times acutely dangerous, McCarey's enthralling story will capture his readers' hearts and minds as they travel with him through exotic sightings and harrowing experiences they will never forget.”
- Rosemary Daniell, NY Times best-selling author, Sleeping with Soldiers
“It certainly kept me on edge. It’s a brutal take of conditions on a cargo ship loaded with explosives and trying to find a place to land in the Vietnam War. I kept waiting for the worst to happen and was grateful I was not aboard.”
- Hal Holbrook, actor, author, Harold: the Boy Who Became Mark Twain
“McCarey is a natural story teller. His pacing, spot-on characterizations and tender wit make Oceans Apart an engrossing read.”
- James Lough, author, This Ain’t No Holiday Inn
“McCarey brings the journeys and the ships and the seamen to life with a good sense of humor, adventure and superb literary narrative.”
- Robert Frump, author, Until the Sea Shall Free Them
“The stuff of high adventure - thrilling and poignant, humorous and tragic all at the same time.”
- Bill deYoung, author, Skyway