Free literary fiction Kindle books for 21 May 15

Tides Ebb as Islands Dream

by Brian English

As a Peace Corps volunteer, Sean struggles to gain acceptance into a small island community in the Philippines. Upon arrival on the island, Sean realizes that he is an outsider and must prove himself a loyal member of the community if he is to contribute to the island’s environmental initiatives. Although he gains the trust of many community members, no good deed goes unpunished. Jealousies and misperceptions sabotage his efforts and vilify his reputation.
The island’s fisherfolk face great challenges trying to attain their daily sustenance amid environmental degradation and abject poverty. By telling the story of this small island community, the novel describes the lives and dreams of a multitude of characters that Sean meets during his stay in the Central Visayas. Those characters include a snakeboy, a teenage girl with synesthesia, dynamite fishermen, a reformed poacher, scuba divers, environmentalists, an island medic, several benevolent foreigners, some shady expats, ladies of the evening, two schoolteachers, street children, boatmen, some drug addicts and a murderer.
Sean finds relief from the physical and psychological challenges of living on a small island by taking short trips to Cebu City. Although the excursions are under the pretext of Peace Corps training and duties, his absence further alienates him from the community on Gilutongan, his Peace Corps site. In Cebu, he befriends a group of expats from a local pub. They broaden Sean’s perspective of life in a country with seven thousand islands. Sean also meets Nick, a benevolent American that owns a modest beach-bungalow resort on Mactan. Nick introduces Sean to Rachael. His relationship with Rachael offers solace from the growing hopelessness and dejection he experiences on Gilutongan. However, his inner conflict intensifies as he tries to balance his commitment to the community and his time with Rachael. Just as he is falling in love with Rachael, Sean becomes entangled in a murder investigation.
On a deeper level, Sean’s experiences expose the complexities of how a community battles to find a balance between their immediate needs and those of their future generations. The line between need and greed comes into question. The line between taking control and being controlled comes into question. The line between good intentions and selfish motives comes into question. The line between reality and perception comes into question. And since this is a story about dreams, the line between carnal desires and love has to come into question.
The novel maintains an environmental theme while illuminating connections between environmental degradation and greed. The story emphasizes that it is the poor, especially women and children, who suffer the most when resources become scarce. The story also draws parallels between class domination and environmental degradation.
Tides Ebb as Islands Dream is literary fiction that offers some historical background on the Philippines. Although it is an environmental novel, it uses romance, humor, irony, pain, suffering and death to provide insight into the human condition.

Hard Bodies

by Justin Grimbol

Life isn’t easy for Eddie Grimboli. Marriage isn’t easy. Winter isn’t easy. Being fat isn’t easy. He can see up his dad’s nightgown. There is strange magic up there. If he stares long enough, he will see his future. This book is a celebration of sloppiness, marriage, grief, love, and being naked.

Saving Bill Murray

by Joshua Lorenzo Newett

Mr. Bronze is a self-loathing agoraphobic who writes for a seniors’ magazine, AARP Goldcoasters. Jonathan Rosenberger is heir to his grandfather’s fortune built on his invention, the paper plate. Ryan is an Evangelical Christian who believes God has called him to save the soul of Bill Murray. It’s a novel about post-modernism, religious zealotry, existentialism, and the absurd. It’s about coming to the edge of the abyss and peering in, about regeneration through destruction.

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