On Wahoo Reef

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In On Wahoo Reef, Wally Breight suddenly decides to make his vacation home a permanent one. He gives up his boring PR desk job and buys an old dive shop on Blacktip Island. After he sells his condo and car and learns the ins and outs of the local Blacktip commercial laws, how hard can it be? Well, pretty hard, it turns out. Every time something good happens, some kind of trouble comes up. But Wally remains optimistic. On the bright side, his life isn’t boring; he can dive whenever he wants, and he gets plenty of vitamin D riding around on his bicycle—his only means of transportation. Not to mention, there’s a beautiful woman who enjoys his company. Suffice it to say, only something along the lines of a huge disaster will make him throw in the towel and head back to the States.

In this book, Tim W. Jackson creates an environment that has the reader rooting for Wally throughout the whole story. Even though Wally is braver than most, taking on a dive shop in disrepair and a boat to match it, he is a relatable protagonist. His tale is a semi-realistic story of what many dream to do—leave their corporate job for a life at the beach. For the most part, the book strikes a good balance between believable and unbelievable, meeting in the middle. However, Wally can be a little too trusting at times.

On Wahoo Reef is lighthearted and has interesting characters and funny dialogue, with an occasionally realistic response. For example, Jackson writes an amusing scene of Wally rejecting the local innkeeper’s offer of mystery soup: “He held the big spoon out to Wally, its bowl filled with a green, oily liquid smelling of low tide.” Wally responds, “No, thanks . . . I’m . . . no.” and “kept the door between him and the spoon.” Jackson also likes to weave humorous names of characters every now and then to keep the story from falling into any lulls. A couple of these characters’ names are “Smackie Bottoms” and “Peachy Bottoms.” These are very childish, yes, but they do add something to the story’s framework.

Jackson has done a great job of making Blacktip feel like a real place, with well-thought-out locations, local joints, cool dive sites, and a shady person or two. Overall, it’s a story that, once you start reading it, you have to see the end of it.

Reviewed By:

Author Tim W. Jackson
Star Count 4/5
Format Trade
Page Count 260 pages
Publisher Devonshire House Press
Publish Date 17-May-2024
ISBN 9781735113654
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue May 2024
Category Humor-Fiction