Intriguing book about a young man’s challenges

Jim Nichols new novel, Blue Summer, published by Islandport Press, is intriguing and will keep you reading right to the end.

The story is about a young man who has suffered a lot in his life, including an abusive step-father and the tragic death of his sister who fell to her death while reaching out for help from her brother.

I especially liked the way the story goes back and forth from the 1960’s to the 1990’s. And the young man, Cal Shaw, is a musician, and I loved how that was such an important part of his life. He carried his trumpet everywhere.

Jim, an eighth-generation Mainer, has written a very compelling story, with a wonderful ending. He has written four books, including Closer All the Time, winner of the 2016 Maine Literary Award for Fiction. I also loved that book.

On the front cover, Jaed Coffin captured Blue Summer very well, when he wrote, “A heartbreaking testament to youth, loss, love, and the painfully inevitable passage of time.”


George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.