Wednesday, September 12, 2007

New Release Spotlight: Starting at Sea Level

Starting at Sea Level, a memoir by Terry Noble

Throughout his memoir, Terry Noble imparts to readers what life was like as a young boy growing up near the Chesapeake Bay during the 1950s-1960s. The novel immediately lures you in with a lighthearted story of Terry and his father out on the river; however, there is obvious conflict between father and son, and a hint that Terry’s adventurous spirit may have gotten him in more trouble than he expected.

Noble grew up at a time when oyster wars afflicted the Bay and his dad was Captain—a true hero who protected the oyster beds and risked his life to save others. Surrounded by men who were either watermen or farmers, Noble talks in depth about the oyster and agriculture industries. Reading this book will definitely extend your knowledge on (and increase your appreciation for) these industries.

Nearly 300 pages long, Starting at Sea Level is a fairly quick read due to its short chapters and its ability to keep you wondering what will happen next. The novel is full of vibrant characters, yet the focus is primarily on the men of the community and how they affect the kind of man Noble will become. Noble respects and learns valuable lessons from these men, but the person he tries hardest to impress is his father, a man who doesn’t give compliments easily and believes in tough love. Noble writes, “From the time I was nine, Dad seemed determined to accomplish two things: teach me to work so I would become a productive member of society and keep me under control to prevent me from embarrassing the family.”

Will Noble rise to the challenges he’s up against or will his daring nature ultimately land him in prison? Noble will have you eagerly turning the pages to see whether he follows in the footsteps of the men around him, and if he will finally win his dad’s approval. Though his dad teaches him the value of working hard and being self-reliant, Noble continuously rebels against him and manages to have fun at the same time. The novel is rich with humorous tales of Noble’s boyhood, such as setting his dad’s motorboat engine on fire, using gasoline to get rid of rats eating his corn, and pulling pranks with his friends. And though he constantly finds himself in trouble, he also manages to redeem himself—and win your admiration.

Review by Valerie Zogas, Indigo Editing, LLC

Starting at Sea Level
Publisher: Foggy River Books
ISBN: 978-0-9793603-0-5
Hardback, $24.95; Paperback, $16.95


  1. Anonymous7:40 PM

    Yes. I loved this book. Hope it
    will be made into a movie!

  2. Anonymous9:27 PM

    great book