From Publishers Weekly
Ford (Full Circle; Last Summer) bridges the gap between gay romance and mainstream fiction in his latest. Ben Ransome, a 40-something marine biologist living modestly in Monterey, Calif., is anxious about his 16-year-old daughter's summer stay. It's been nine years since they've seen each other, and when Caddie arrives, she's a bit icy toward her wayward father. Ford explores vividly and honestly a teen girl's longing for love and a place in the world. He then furthers the theme of finding one's self when Ben meets Hudson, a Ph.D. candidate in town to investigate an unfinished Steinbeck manuscript. The men bond over stories of Steinbeck's Monterey and instantly become pals. As Caddie finds a man of her own and a heretofore straight Ben grapples with his feelings for Hudson, Ben also learns a few things about fatherhood. A deft sense of place and a handle on romance—both Ben's and Caddie's—that's neither sappy nor shallow will help set this one apart.
Single parenting, even for a summer, can be challenging, as divorced dad Ben Ransome, a marine biologist less in tune with drylanders than with those in the ocean, learns when his 16-year-old daughter gets reacquainted with him in Monterey, California. Named for the first species Ben found on his own, Cadlina—Caddie—has been sent by her exasperated mom for an attitude readjustment, sans pot, sans cell phone (lest she plot an escape with her friends), but not without pills to dull the pain of staying in an isolated, dilapidated beach house that reminds her "of a diseased tooth." Grad student Hudson Jones is in Monterey, too, writing a thesis on a presumably lost, homoerotic Steinbeck manuscript. When Ben surprises himself by falling for Hudson, lives and worlds entwine and collide in a moving tale of multiple comings-of-age. Including beautifully detailed descriptions of watery depths—clearly heartfelt labors of love—Ford's latest should delight armchair scuba divers as much as the usual gay readership.