A fun and quick read!
10/18/2008 - Rambles.NET
Family vacations can be fun times to remember, especially when the distance of years softens even the most stressful calamities from the past. Sunsets & Shooting Stars documents the Cape Cod adventures of a Pennsylvania-based family over the course of the last 35 years. Author Rick Seidel is quick to remind us that he's grown up to be a doctor, not a writer. But his passions for both his family and for that special sandy Massachusetts peninsula come through loud and clear with his well-chosen words.
For four generations of Seidels, the annual one-week summer destination has been the town of Truro, just south of Provincetown. The men launch their boats into Cape Cod Bay from Pamet Harbor and settle in for some fishing. The women spend time sunbathing and going shopping/people-watching in Provincetown. The kids go one way or the other, or find their own interests to pursue.
But they have to get to the Cape, first. When Rick and his younger siblings (Rob, Kristen and Kim) were growing up, they rode in the back of their parents' capped pickup, all the way from northeastern Pennsylvania to the easternmost edge of New England, usually in the wee hours of the morning to beat the infamous U.S. Route 6 traffic. Yikes! This arrangement made for some shenanigans amongst the two boys and two girls, especially with Rob's penchant for practical jokes and for tormenting everyone around him. Ah, for the joys of childhood, before any safety seat laws were enacted!
As time passes, Rick and the rest get immersed in the recreational opportunities of the area. So his stories here include details of fishing, boating and other beach-oriented activities. You'll witness the maiden voyage of The Watermonkey in the bay waters, learn who was responsible for "the squid incident" and appreciate the pleasures of the uncracked lobster. It's the history of one extended middle-class family; and yet, these are vignettes we can certainly all relate to. Each chapter begins with an appropriate pencil drawing by talented artist Lonna Emerson, who adds a creative and casual beach feel to the text. The volume itself concludes with 26 pages of black-and-white family photos that give us a chance to see in person the main characters who appear in the rest of the book.
The storytelling eventually comes to an end, but the Seidels' visits and connections to Truro continue. Rick and his siblings are passing the vacation traditions along to their children -- even though Rick's home base is now in Texas with his wife and three kids, and Rob's family lives in California. These days, both have to fly in, which is a far cry from their first trips to the beach, when they were stretched out in the back of the pickup. The Seidel men now make an extra trip in June, sans women, to bond and get in more uninterrupted fishing. And plans are afoot to finally buy a property that everyone can share. (Gosh, the money they would have saved if they had only bought one of those cottages back in the 1970s!)
Sunsets & Shooting Stars is a fun and quick read that should appeal to Baby Boomers, fellow Cape Cod vacationers and anyone who loves the beach. It's the kind of memoir that makes you want to write your own.
Delightful! This book would make a good family movie with Graig T. Nelson playing "Captain" Dad!I'm sure I will never get to see Cape Cod; however, after reading Rick's book, I feel I have been there. Thanks Rick!
"Aunt Marge" Robicheaux
This one is a keeper.
8/9/2008 - epinions.com
mjhollingshead's Full Review: Rick Seidel - Sunsets and Shooting Stars: A Cape C...
Opening the cover of Sunsets and Shooting Stars: A Cape Cod Memoir I had not turned many pages before I new I would love this book. The page facing the table of contents has a lovely, hand drawn lighthouse. I really like light houses. And with that mind set I began to read, and to chuckle.
Dr/Writer Seidel has a charming writing technique sure to please those who enjoy family, and nostalgia and happy times.
With chapter titles reading –Our Evolving Relationship with the Bluefish-, -Fishin’ George- and –Anyone Seen Uncle Neil’ it is obvious Author/Dr Seidel has a bit of a sense of humor.
Rather than try to present something from each chapter, -The Squid Incident- is of particular note, and is typical of the enjoyable reader that awaits the reader.
The writer takes the reader along on Little Skipper’s beach when during low tide off Mary Lou’s beach Uncle Tom and the writer’s dad learned sea clams and quahogs had taken up residence. Out the men went armed with clam rakes. Snorkeling, land adventures, kites, sand castles and forts, danger when –burying alive- almost became a reality, traps to trap one another, and THE SQUID move the reader forward in the chronicle.
One morning many dead and dying squid lay on the beach where the writer’s brother found them. Squid were sold in bait shops, brother had a plan to collect and sell the squid for some spending money. Squid fetch a pretty good price as bait. With a large garbage bag brother collected every squid he could find, but before he could profit from his endeavor the squid began to decompose. Soon the neighbors were sure Fishin’ George must be the culprit behind the horrible odor permeating the whole area.
Grandma soon found the root of the problem, and soon all was back to normal.
Heartwarming anecdotes of happy family times to pique your own memories; Sunsets and Shooting Stars: A Cape Cod Memoir is a page turner just meant for summer reading.
Dr/Writer Seidel, today an East Texas Gastroenterologist, presents an in depth narrative of the reflective affection he holds for his family and the childhood vacation locale his family enjoyed as the lovely beauty of Cape Cod is described in loving and glowing manner.
The reader is drawn right into the chronicle through humor and ardent writing. That the writer continues to hold enormous affection for both his family and Cape Cod is very evident. Seidel's writing makes you feel as thought you were there yourself.
The writer's portrayals of family and settings is keenly detailed. Family members are folks we all seem to know and enjoy. The thirty five summers Seidel’s family spent in their favored vacation area is a charming read filled with all ups and downs as we all experience as we raise children, play with siblings and take our place in the world.
Filled with heartwarming humor and nuance along with delightful sketches sprinkled all through the work Sunsets and Shooting Stars: A Cape Cod Memoir is a delight to read. Happy to recommend.
I do not keep all the books I receive for review, this one is a keeper.
8/8/2008 - Mama Bear Reads / bookwormsballroom.com
For a non-writer, as Seidel refers to himself, he manages to take the reader on a journey with his family to the shores of Cape Cod. He reminds those of us who have endured family vacations with siblings, cousins, and multiple generations of the happiness and hazards involved in such events with both wit and wisdom. Sharing his thirty-five years of memories in Cape Cod is a trip down memory lane, full of little surprises. Many times I found myself laughing at antics that resembled a few from my own childhood vacations. He especially captures the relationship between father and son, as he shares tender and humorous memories about his father. The biggest impact that this book makes is that it reminds us, the generation that always seems too busy, to stop. It says don't forget the importance of a family vacation.
Sunsets and Shooting Stars: A Cape Cod Memoir
8/5/2008 - NJ
Rick Seidel is a gastroenterologist with a passion for Cape Cod. Though living in Texas now, as a child he lived in Northwestern Pennsylvania and often traveled for a week of glorious vacations with his father, mother, brother and two sisters in Cape Cod.
The delight he has found in his reminiscences transports me back to my own summers as a young child and then as an adult with my own children in Cape May, New Jersey. I did enjoy Dr. Seidel's account. His memories are very personal, with real names and places used.
His father had a lot of moxey to start out, at 3:00 am, with his family and a packed boat - that he hauled by a very old truck - to make an eight or nine hour drive to their destination in Truro. I think, from the doctor's account, that the truck kept going because it feared his father's wrath if it should ever break down.
As I read about the antics and endless fishing that was done, I wondered about the women involved. Did they ever yearn for a different kind of vacation – one that required a lot less elbow grease and allowed a lot more relaxation? If they complained, it is not mentioned in the memoir.
Overall, if you like fishing, this is the book for you. If you don't, perhaps you should give it a pass. Sunsets and Shooting Stars is quickly read but not quickly forgotten as readers' memories blossom forth to bring smiles to faces and questions such as: Do you remember when ...?
Fond Memories From Childhood
8/4/2008 - Athol, MA
Family vacations can be fun times to remember, especially when the distance of years softens even the most stressful calamities from the past. This book documents the Cape Cod adventures of a Pennsylvania-based family over the course of the last thirty-five years. Author Rick Seidel is quick to remind us that he's grown up to be a doctor, not a writer. But his passions for both his family and for that special sandy Massachusetts peninsula come through loud and clear with his well-chosen words.
For four generations of Seidels, the annual one-week summer destination has been the town of Truro, just south of Provincetown. The men launch their boats into Cape Cod Bay from Pamet Harbor and settle in for some fishing. The women spend time sunbathing and going shopping / people-watching in Provincetown. The kids go one way or the other, or find their own interests to pursue. And so, Rick's stories include details of fishing, boating, and other beach-oriented activities, like the best method for ordering lobster. It's the history of one extended middle-class family; and yet, these are vignettes we can certainly all relate to. The volume concludes with 26 pages of b&w family photos that give us a chance to see in person the main characters who appear in the rest of the book.
"Sunsets and Shooting Stars" is a fun and quick read that should appeal to Baby Boomers, fellow Cape Cod vacationers, and anyone who loves the beach. It's the kind of memoir that makes you want to write your own.
3/31/2008 - Ohio
I just finished your book, Sunsets and Shooting Stars. What a great read!! It’s full of memories that I can totally relate to since our family vacationed in Bar Harbor, Maine every summer in the 1960’s and 70’s. I loved every story from your fishing tales to the fear of Jaws!
After my sister & I outgrew our family vacations, our parents continued to travel to Maine, eventually purchasing a small cottage as a 2nd home, which is also available as a rental. After an absence of 20 years, I revisited Maine with my mom in 1999 and fell in love with the area all over again! The bond my mother and I shared that week is irreplaceable. Two years later I took my then 16-year old daughter & we stayed with my parents for a week…another irreplaceable time in our lives.
I’m so thankful that I made those trips because my mother was diagnosed with ALS in 2003 and passed away in 2004. When she was first diagnosed, every childhood vacation memory came flooding back. I took many notes during her illness in hopes of writing a book. I still plan to write, but I’m not sure the time is right….I guess I’ll know when it is.
Anyway, I now read a lot of memoirs and yours is the first that’s prompted me to write. I think just reading about your northeastern vacation memories caused me to remember some of my own memories that I had forgotten. I kept a tablet by my side as I read your book out under the warm sun in Cayman Islands, where we recently vacationed for our spring break.
Thank you so much for your beautiful memoir,
Made me smile
2/8/2008 - Pa
There was a smile on my face the entire time I was reading. I do not know what I enjoyed more, the authors detailed chronicle of the profound love for his childhood vacation spot or for his family. I can not wait until there are enough memories saved up for part two!
Laugh out loud
2/6/2008 - Mineola, TX
Laugh out loud funny! You will absolutely enjoy this book. A must read and so well written! It also warms the heart with the stories of family and brings back your own memories of family vacations past.
2/6/2008 - Kilgore, TX
I really enjoyed reading the book. I feel anyone that has any family ties at all can relate to this book. I often found myself laughing out loud.
2/1/2008 - Tyler, TX
This is a great book. It makes you feel like you were there yourself. After starting the book, it's really hard to stop. It's like youre on your own vacation without going anywhere. Super book!!!!!
2/1/2008 - texas
Such a great book! Very humorous and highly entertaining! I would definately recommend it!
1/24/2008 - Columbus,OH
Wow. I am impressed. Knowing you, I'm sure the work was created for purely unselfish reasons. It reads easily and is very thoughtful. You can almost predict what one's family is like by the quality of there offspring. Congratulations.
1/24/2008 - Duryea,PA
I absolutely loved this book! The author's descriptions of family and locations is so brilliantly detailed. This is a very lighthearted book with lots of humor. Definitely a "Must Read"!
1/23/2008 - Laflin,PA
This book is fantastic! It is a must read for all ages. It combines fond memories from childhood to present and takes family vacations that we all have experienced and puts those hilarious moments on paper for all to enjoy. I couldn't put it down until I was finished. In addition, this book describes the natural beauty of Cape Cod.
1/22/2008 - Texas
Great book! The author states he's not a writer but I beg to differ. He captured my attention from the get go. Reading this book reminded me of childhood vacations with my family (especially siblings). I laughed out loud throughout the book. Before reading this book I had no particular interest in vacationing at the Cape but now it is at the top of my list.
This is a great book!
1/22/2008 - Texas
This is a great book! I am the author's daughter and I think everyone should read it! It doesn't matter how old or young you are. This book is thrilling and humorous all at the same time! I recommend Sunsets and Shooting Stars to everyone who likes a little laugh and some adventure. I would read this book one-hundred more times because it never gets old!!!! I love you daddy!!!