Book Jacket


rank 1493
word count 85606
date submitted 20.04.2012
date updated 30.05.2012
genres: Fiction, Literary Fiction, Christia...
classification: moderate

How Well the Sailors Run

Samuel Cronin

The story of the Prodigal Son retold as a sea adventure.


In cozy Springwick Harbor, Wade’s desire is to follow in the footsteps of his adoptive father, Abner, and become the Lighthouse Keeper. But Abner has chosen his natural son Jeshurun as First Assistant and successor. Wade is so jealous of Jeshurun’s favor that he decides to do what no sailor in town is brave enough to do: sail away on the cursed vessel Vermillion Mourning to become the Keeper of the Hostel Sound Lighthouse. It’s a mythical, diabolical place—rumored to cast bent light. Wade knows he shouldn’t stray, but Dion tempts him with its lure. Dion, a landlubber, is more jealous than even Wade. He wants to destroy him, as well as every other sailor in Springwick Harbor, before they fulfill their dreams asea. As they embark, they are joined by Jeshurun, who will stop at nothing to ensure Wade’s survival—even at the risk of his own life. Along with a loopy captain named Captain June, the three deckhands must brave severe winds and waves, leaky holds, heat exhaustion and starvation as they round Cape Horn on a sail that will determine not only Wade’s identity, but also the fate of an entire generation of Springwick Harbor sailors.

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adventure, boating, christian, christian fiction, father, grace, jesus, literary fiction, love, nautical, ocean, prodigal son, sailing

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Tod Schneider wrote 683 days ago

A very interesting opening chapter, with a strong protagonist on a mission. Great descriptions and dialog.
Critique-wise, if I was to tinker with one main thing it would be to condense the opening 13 paragraphs of narrative, and get us into the dialogue quicker. Other than that there were just a few lines in chapter one that caught my eye as maybe needing attention:
"He set his eyes on grasping her helm" sounded odd to me, like the eyes would be grasping.
"it will happen here on the coast of Oregon" didn't sound like natural dialog. I live in Oregon, and when locals refer to it it's more likely to be "It will happen here on the Oregon coast."
"the vessel uninhibited" I think is supposed to be "uninhabited"
There's my brilliant insights. Ignore them if you'd prefer -- they're just my opinions.
Overall, good dramatic storytelling!
Best of luck with this!
And if you have any interest in children's literature, do come visit the Lost Wink.

Kerrie Price wrote 721 days ago

Samuel, looks as though you have a good story here, with a strong message. Well written, with beautiful descriptive passages and well developed characters. High stars, and I wish you every success.

KMac23 wrote 730 days ago

I read your first chapter and am watchlisting this and going to read more later. I love the pictures you are able to create, and your characters who emerge immediately as people of interest. Wow, such rich, descriptive scenes and suspenseful action. So far I've given you 5 stars, but I think as I read further, it will be a 6 star book for me! You've caught my interest...

A Gate Called Beautiful

Wanttobeawriter wrote 733 days ago

This is an interesting story. I like the myth of a cursed ship (altho I’d like an explanation of why it is cursed up front). You have a good character in Wade; he’s likable because he’s trying so hard to improve his lot in life; sympathetic because sailing a haunted ship when he can’t even swim may be a harder task than he envisions. Best of all I like your writing style; I think it’s just right for this. There’s an overall ominous tone to the story as well as a feeling of suspense about what will happen when Wade manages to get the cursed ship away from the dock. I’m starring it and adding it to my shelf. Wanttobeawriter: Who Killed the President?

David Olawoyin wrote 735 days ago

Your book idea is indeed brilliant and you right well. Your pitch, however, seems a bit complex and rather long for the genre. You might want to look for a way of simplifying it and highlighting the core of your story. You sound like someone who has truly been at sea, or at least is well informed about such. It is indeed my hope that I would be able to back this work very soon. Thanks very much for the opportunity to look at this. Many blessings and best wishes.

Margaret0307 wrote 735 days ago

A very well-written gripping story. I know very little about the sea and the sailor's life which made it even more interesting for me. I particularly like the conversations between the different characters showing your very great talent as a writer.

I would echo the comments of others that this book should be published! A great read and highly recommended. I have given it 6 stars and a backing will follow when I have room on my shelf!

God Bless you
How do I know I know God?

JS Harding wrote 737 days ago


I started reading your book the other day and finished it this morning. I love it. What an amazing correlation you've assembled in this story with the parable of the Prodigals son. Your characters are interesting, intriguing and well placed throughout the story. The tale paces itself at a rate that keeps me turning the pages. I like how you've gone into such detail when drawing the mental pictures of the ships, the scenery and the atmosphere on board and in town. You designing the "prodigal" as being adopted seems to heighten that emotional hurdle of self esteem even more and seems to paint the importance of equality in love and compassion from a paternal standpoint as it pertains to children and siblings...something I find very endearing in your story. I will keep it on my shelf and keep backing your book, it is one of the special finds on this site in the category of fiction that still shares an adrenaline filled adventure that still invokes a moral lesson that appeals to everyone regardless of their faith or beliefs. Well done Sir!

Dianna Lanser wrote 791 days ago

Oh wow, Samuel!

This is a treasure waiting to be discovered. Rich in emotion and detail, as carefully and beautifully crafted as any ancient sailing vessel. You have a gift…

How Well The Sailors Run should not be sitting here wasting it’s time on autonomy. Instead it should find an agent and get sold. This is ready for the world to discover.

The craftsmanship of your writing, the deep undercurrents of your characters, the seasoned tone of voice and wisdom of the most revered old salt culminates in a wonderful voyage through rough seas and high winds that leads to truth and reconciliation. Six stars and a promised backing. Absolutely beautiful!

Dianna Lanser
Nothing But The Blood

faith rose wrote 805 days ago

Dear Samuel,

O wow. This is wonderfully written. I just had a chance to read your first chapter today, but I am already completely impressed. You have a marvelous way with words...truly, your language is amazing. From word choice to sentence variation to just feels so smoothly connected and so very readable. For example, your line: "She was dark. And rugged. Snarled in light." truly showcases your beautiful rhythm. The end of chapter one also was masterfully done. I love the story of the Prodigal, so I know I am going to enjoy the rest of this fine piece of literature. Very, very well done. I'm giving you many stars and holding on my WL for future reading.

All the very best,
Faith Rose
Now To Him

JamesRevoir wrote 812 days ago

Hello Samuel:

What a gifted storyteller you are! Not only do you weave an enthralling tale, but you incorporate wonderful diction throughout. You have taken a passion and turned it into a wonderful treasure.

This is a book of which you can be very proud.

Blessings to you!


Kenneth Edward Lim wrote 814 days ago

I could taste the salty spray, feel the breeze ruffling my hair as you shared your joy for the boundless sea and the sailing on it. Your phrasing is not only descriptive visually but also catches every nuance of thought and feeling as your characters struggle with the hardships of nautical life. I found Wade sympathetic and experienced his hopes and dreams, even as he veered in the wrong direction, and I realized that he had the strength of character to correct his bearings. Thank you so much for this grand adventure on the high seas.

Kenneth Edward Lim
The North Korean

Shelby Z. wrote 820 days ago

This is an action packed opener.
I think if flows well at it's fast paced speed.
You have a mix of things going on so fast in a few places that it is hard getting to understand what is happening.
Otherwise I like the title a lot.
Grand work with this.

Shelby Z./Driving Winds

P.S. Please take a look at my Christian pirate adventure Driving Winds.

scargirl wrote 820 days ago

great title. interesting premise. strong beginnings. really well done....
what every woman should know

mapleyther wrote 821 days ago


Intrigued by the title of the book, I decided to take a peek. My curiosity was well rewarded because I think this is a very interesting piece of work. Although the Prodigal Son has been reworked in a number of different ways, I haven't seen it in a nautical context.

I thought the first chapter in particular, was a good opening. Not giving a lot away about what this is all about at first and then ends with the fact that the man cannot swim. I loved the picture of the boats covered with refuse looking like boils ready to burst.

I wasn't sure what period this is set in, which is something I like to establish early - perhaps you could leave some early clues..

Overall a good effort and if I would have the time I would read more! 5 stars.

MP Jones
They Shoot Birds, Don't They?