A community at risk, a family in turmoil, and a young boy becoming a man... A death on Loyalty Island leads a 14-year-old boy to be swept up in a storm of lies and deceit that makes him question his family - and the limits of his own morality. A thrilling American debut.
Cal lives with his parents on Loyalty Island. Each winter, Cal's father - a captain of the island's trawling fleet - sets sail for Alaska; and though Cal is still too young to join them, he is old enough to know that everything depends on the fate of those few boats, thousands of miles north.
When the fleet's owner dies, not only is the town's livelihood threatened, but so too is Cal's family. With winter fast approaching, and the fleet on the brink of extinction, Cal starts to suspect that his parents both have secrets to hide. Plagued by doubt, his loyalties strained and his moral compass thrown wildly off course, Cal is forced to make a brave and terrible choice.
Dybek brings serious talent to bear... [The novel] finishes on a powerful note of moral murkiness... Evocative. - New York Times
Finely crafted . . . a taut novel juggling the sometimes conflicting impulses to do the moral thing, and to protect those we love - Los Angeles Times
Dybek has a gift for the atmospheric. - The New Yorker
An engrossing and exacting moral thriller.
A thrilling yarn, delivered as if by a scarred man by the consoling light of a fire. - The Economist
An authentic, atmospheric, coming-of-age story with a painful dilemma . . . A terrific debut.
[An] engrossing, often haunting thriller. - Washington Independent Review of Books
Dybek has created a superbly orchestrated and soulful drama of loyalty to family and an imperiled way of life and the fathomless forces that make a good man go bad. - Booklist
Nick Dybek's first novel, WHEN CAPTAIN FLINT WAS STILL A GOOD MAN, was the winner of the 2013 Society of Midland Authors Award, a finalist for the VCU-Cabell First Novelist Award and his been translated into five languages. He's also a recipient of a Granta New Voices selection, a Michener-Copernicus Society of America Award and a Maytag Fellowship. He received a BA from the University of Michigan and an MFA from The Iowa Writers' Workshop. He teaches at Oregon State University.