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Casting into the Light

Author: Janet Messineo  

A moving, inspiring portrait of making a dream come true--the (unsentimental) education of a champion surfcaster (catching fish by casting a line from the shoreline).

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Summary

A moving, inspiring portrait of making a dream come true--the (unsentimental) education of a champion surfcaster (catching fish by casting a line from the shoreline).

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Description

The midnight (and early morning) tales of a young woman hell-bent on following her dream and learning the mysterious and profound sport--and the art, of surfcasting on the small, legendary island of Martha's Vineyard, breaking through the strictly enforced male-bastion of fishing life to become a world-class sportsman at a time when few women fished. Janet Messineo writes of mastering surfcasting during the daylight and struggling with it on the beaches at night ... She writes of the Vineyard fishermen she's fished with and the fishing women who've forged the path for others. She describes the unspoken "fishing ethic" and the age-old secrecy behind fishing techniques, lures and baits, fishing locations, and writes of her own favorite spots on the island and on Chappaquiddick, of her Derby years and dreams of catching that prize-winning elusive striper; about acquiring, not only the skill of hooking and landing a big fish, but the skill of finding them. Full of adventure and daring--a rich portrait of following one's vision and heart.

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Critic Reviews

“"Delightful . . . great insight into the existence of professional anglers and the insular culture of Martha's Vineyard . . . Messineo's captivating memoir brings a refreshing mix of vulnerability, accessibility, and joy to the fishing genre." -- Publishers Weekly "A tackle box full of fishing tips, memories, histories, taxidermy, and even recipes from an angler who found focus and purpose for her life among her fellow fishermen on Martha's Vineyard . . . A chronicle of a life in fishing by an author who seems like good company." -- Kirkus”

"One of the chief pleasures of Casting Into the Light is its evocation of a collegial fishing community . . . warm-hearted . . . Messineo is an amiable and entertaining storyteller who--much to her own surprise--has found a sort of bliss."

--Richard Adams Carey, The Wall Street Journal

"A bright thread in the narrative is the sense of a social fabric binding the island at large and fishermen of every gender . . . lucid prose . . . sentences as natural as waves."

--Philip Kopper, Washington Times

"Eloquent . . . a remarkable book by a remarkable Vineyard bass fisherman . . . Janet Messineo's story is gripping; bright, funny, and illuminating. It has everything . . . more than a fish story, it's the story of a very remarkable human being, a person who refused to be shoehorned into a category society felt comfortable with and set out instead to create something truly unique--herself." --Rob Conery, Cape Cod Times

"Tells it like it is . . . real . . . authentic . . . [Messineo is] a natural storyteller . . . She effortlessly conveys the tangible and intangible elements of surfcasting. Her descriptions of the relentless hope that renews with every cast and drives hard-core fishermen to stay out long after it's stopped being fun are recognizable to anyone who has fished and enlightening to anyone who has not . . . Vulnerability is rarely on display in the male-dominated surfcasting community. How fitting that after having to prove she belongs despite being a woman, it's perhaps because she is a woman that she was able to write a memoir that deserves a spot among the best books ever written about surfcasting." --Kevin Blinkoff, On the Water Magazine

"Uniquely excellent . . . Sure, it's about fishing, but that's just one element in a memoir about [Messineo's] life inside and outside fishing . . . It's also a book about overcoming fear. In the early days, Messineo fished alone, often at night, standing in roiling surf in waterlogged waders, all she could afford then. She knew the dangers of the sea and the lives lost to wind and water on the Island. She conveys that feeling of experiencing the power of nature . . . Her book is full of fishing yarns, stories, quirks and superstitions, her own and others' . . . You can hear her voice on the page. If you don't know her, you'll want to . . . This is a great read if you fish, and an equally important book if you don't." --Jack Shea, Martha's Vineyard Times

"Terrific . . . affecting . . . categorizing this as a fishing book would be doing it a disservice. At its heart, this is a book about renewal. It will fill you with hope." --Steve Donoghue, The Vineyard Gazette

"A must-read . . . inspirational." --Booklist (starred review)

"How Janet Messineo, through sheer grit, managed to acquire her skills and gain acceptance into the boys' club of master fishermen on Martha's Vineyard reads like a fairytale in which a callow youth overcomes endless obstacles to realize a seemingly impossible dream. But be warned: Once you start reading this gripping and instructive saga, it's hard to put it down." --Lisa Alther

"Delightful . . . great insight into the existence of professional anglers and the insular culture of Martha's Vineyard . . . Messineo's captivating memoir brings a refreshing mix of vulnerability, accessibility, and joy to the fishing genre." --Publishers Weekly

"A tackle box full of fishing tips, memories, histories, taxidermy, and even recipes from an angler who found focus and purpose for her life among her fellow fishermen on Martha's Vineyard . . . A chronicle of a life in fishing by an author who seems like good company." --Kirkus Reviews

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About the Author

Janet Messineo was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts. She is a former president of the Martha's Vineyard Surfcasters Association, and writes a fishing column for the Martha's Vineyard Times. She lives with her husband in Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts.

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Product Details

Publisher
Random House USA Inc | Ballantine Books Inc.
Published
2nd July 2019
Pages
304
ISBN
9781524747640
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