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a thought-provoking, compelling and memorable story...
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Once in a Blue Year by Michael Durkota is one of the most mesmerizing books I have ever read. Without looking up Michael Durkota before I started, I knew straight away that he must have been a submariner himself. The descriptions inside the submarine are exquisite to the tiniest detail. Without a doubt I felt like I was there, experiencing for myself: the coffee, the films, the banter, the heat, the lack of fresh air. Really, the author does a tremendous job of drawing you in to the life within a submarine, and more importantly… into the minds of the men on board. Focusing on the mindset of four friends, Michael Durkota spins a delicate depiction of men grappling with life and their need to be loved. Once in a Blue Year is therefore, more than a wonderful psychological drama, it is also a love story. Our main man Dan is not enjoying his life (I felt like he’d lost his way) and ends up being honorably discharged on medical grounds. A blessing and a curse. He now has eight months to find ‘himself’ and start a new life. When his lifelong buddy Nathan, goes to war, Dan moves into his house and helps take care of Heather and baby James. For all to see – it’s a disaster waiting to happen. A man lost and lacking love wraps his heart and soul around a woman who is angry, frightened and lonely. My heart also went out to Trevor, a man with a fortress around his emotions who surprises me at the end with his speech of his perfect understanding of human nature. We don’t get to see his life unfold but I sure hope he got a happy ever after. Jags, the fourth friend, made me laugh out loud on several occasions with his one-liners and I enjoyed the light relief. Michael Durkota is a brilliant writer who has created remarkable characters and a thought-provoking, compelling and memorable story which kept me absorbed from start to finish. With polished writing that ebbs and flows with the grace of the tide, Michael Durkota presents us with his début novel with flourishing finesse. Once in a Blue Year is highly recommended by Artisan Book Reviews. BOOK AWARDS Top Medalist – Military – New Apple Book Awards Top Medalist – Psychological Suspense – New Apple e-Book Awards Finalist – IAN Book of the Year Awards. 
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