by Hayden Thompson
The novel's middle-aged protagonist, William Greenwood, leaves his country of England behind and takes work in the South Pacific. Looking for a fresh start, he gives up his longtime career as a sea captain and becomes a data scientist and then a development program manager. Told in a first-person narrative, the book's story portrays his six years in this region, intertwined with brief home visits, as an expedition in contemporary Pacific Island countries and a journey of self-discovery. He finds a world in which to evolve himself, a world of new learning through various landscapes, characters, social backdrops, and working environments. Amid all, something William seemingly cannot sustain is a solid intimate attachment. He has a broken past marriage and little chance for viable relationships alongside his volatile jobs across several islands.
Shapeless Summers is a tale of love, loss, discovery, and redemption. It illuminates what it is to be a man through Greenwood's mishaps and struggles to overcome his own adversities in foreign places, and what it means to become a loving human being finding personal happiness
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