Unemployed doorman Thomas Soles has had it. Sick and tired of watching so many families lose their "dream" because of corporate America's insatiable lust for profit, he sits in the kitchen of his rented tenement and writes a book about the tragedy.
After big-time Hemingway fan Jack Phelan falls into a coma following an accident, he somehow finds himself in Key West, Florida, rubbing shoulders with his longtime hero. The legendary author has been sent down by "the main man in the clouds" to find out if Jack has what it takes to write a book for him. And though Hemingway knows his decision may very well determine whether or not Jack comes out of his coma, he doesn't have a clue that the book is going to be about him.
Frank Giles, a world-weary Key West Conch, has gotten on in his years and doesn't like it one bit. Nothing seems to matter anymore. He's lost all hope for what little future he might have left. But then, when he revisits the favorite fishing spot of his youth one morning, all that changes. From atop the Shark Key Bridge, Frank hooks an enormous fish. And during the titanic tug-of-war that ensues, the old man learns new lessons about defeat, triumph, courage, and the will to go on.
With nothing left to lose, and little in his pocket, Sonny chucks it all and drives his aging van 1500 miles to the lower reaches of the Florida Keys. All he wants is to get over his recent losses and simplify his hectic life, and that's exactly what he thinks he's doing when he settles on a paradisiacal speck of an island known as Wrecker's Key. While surrounded by the warm aquamarine waters of two tropical oceans, he not only falls in love with the key but also establishes a close bond with the free-spirited locals who call it home.
"Great Characters But Light On Storyline-Beach Read"
Successful author and all around nice guy Dean Cassidy has lived with the misfortune of loving two women for far too long. Although he deeply loves his wife of 22 years, he just can't shake his haunting memories of his childhood sweetheart, Theresa Wayman. Never has the sun set on a day when images of Theresa haven't raided his mind - images gilded with the golden memories of youth. But now, things are getting worse.
Dean Cassidy looks back on a life filled with hardship and remembers Theresa Wayman, the bright spark that lit up his world when he was 18. As an adult, many years later, Dean becomes a successful author but still can't move past his betrayal and loss of Theresa. Beyond Nostalgia is a poignant story about growing up, making choices, learning to forgive, and moving on.
Coming of age in a cramped New York tenement, with a mentally-damaged mother who continually threatens to kill herself, is not easy for 19-year-old Dean Cassidy. Having a hot-headed father who goes berserk every time he throws one of his frequent maniacal tirades doesn't help either. Nevertheless, Dean is deeply in love with his girlfriend, and he wants so badly to show her off to his parents. Twice he brings her home, and both times the two kids witness scenes they will never forget.
A common man of modest means, world-weary George McLast decides to forget all his problems and take the trip he and his beloved wife had only dreamed about before she passed away three years earlier. Despite all the unnerving feelings he's been getting in his chest, his son's disapproval, and his precarious financial situation, he sets out across America following the same route John Steinbeck took in 1959 with his pet poodle Charley.
Chris wants to leave Manhattan - walk away from his job and the apartment he and Elyse once shared. He dreams of moving to New Hampshire, where he feels he just might have a chance of finding peace. But, in his grieving mind, breaking away from those memories would be the same as abandoning Elyse - an unforgivable act of betrayal he could never live with. Then, on the fourth anniversary of Elyse's death, Chris makes two shocking discoveries, and a part of him begins to believe that she would want him to go on with his life.
February 1958. The Worley's, a family of four, are on the way down to Florida. They're moving there in a last-ditch effort to try to save the dysfunctional parents' all-but-shattered marriage. But the two small sons in the back seat have their doubts. They've seen Walter and Wanda fight too many times. They know all too well that when they really got going, they could make Stanley and Stella Kowalski look like June and Ward Cleaver. And being true to form, they start fighting again shortly after leaving their New York apartment.