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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Native Moments is a new adult coming of age novel written by Nic Schuck. Sanch Murray wasn't sure what he wanted to do with his life, but he knew he didn't feel at all inclined to follow in his grandfather, father and brother's steps and join the military. Look where it got them. Buck was dead, and his father seemed to lose interest in things after he left the service. While Buck had survived the attack on the destroyer he was serving on, unlike the 16 other sailors who lost their lives that day, he had never gotten over the survivor's guilt and ended up dying of a heroin overdose in his car. Sanch would never really know if it was an accident or if his brother had wanted to end it all. Sanch dutifully stayed at the house after the funeral and watched as family and friends chatted and picked at the food, then he slipped out and found his friend, Jake. Jake was more the older brother Buck somehow had never been, and when he brought up his idea to go to Costa Rica where you could surf every day and the costs of living were low, Sanch was ready to go. They bought their tickets that night and would be on a plane one week later.
Nic Schuck's new adult coming of age literary fiction novel, Native Moments, follows twenty-year-old Sanch and his friend, Jake, as they leave Pensacola, Florida for adventure and Costa Rica's surfing spots. The author's opening pages, which hint that the endless summer they experience down there does end and all too quickly, lend a nostalgic tone to the tale, but I still found myself delighting vicariously in their experiences. Indeed, their stay in Tamarindo and daily routines of surf, party and more surf had me wondering how I could get myself a bit of this paradise, even as Andrea and the other Ticos repeatedly caution the young tourists that life there is quite different without the money the tourists bring. Still, Jake has a chance to regain his status as a surfing legend, and Sanch's broken heart is subtly being mended by the gentle warmth and affection of Andrea, and what could go wrong? I loved this book. You can almost hear the surf booming and smell the salt air as you read this story, and the surf is always there, waiting, and that's a very good thing indeed. Native Moments is an outstanding debut novel and it's most highly recommended.