Ferry to Cooperation Island

“Cronin has built a world that you won’t want to sail away from!” —Juliette Fay, USA Today bestselling author


In RI? Pick up an autographed copy at Curiosity&Co in Jamestown, Island Books in Middletown, or the Savoy Bookshop and Café in Westerly. Fuller Gallery and the Conanicut Ship’s Store in Jamestown also carry my books.

SPECIAL OFFER: Email me your sales receipt and I’ll send you a free customized bookplate.


Loner James Malloy is a ferry captain—or used to be, until he was unceremoniously fired and replaced by Courtney Farris. Now, instead of piloting Brenton Island’s daily lifeline to the glitzy docks of Newport, Rhode Island, James spends his days beached, bitter, and bored.

When he discovers a private golf course staked out across wilderness sacred to his dying best friend, a Narragansett Indian, James is determined to stop such “improvements.” But despite Brenton’s nickname as “Cooperation Island,” he’s used to working solo. To keep rocky bluffs, historic trees, and ocean shoreline open to all, he’ll have to learn to work with other islanders—including Captain Courtney, who might just morph from irritant to irresistible once James learns a secret that’s been kept from him for years.

This salt-sprayed fourth novel by 2004 Olympic Sailor Carol Newman Cronin celebrates wilderness and water, open space and open-mindedness, and the redemptive power of neighborly cooperation.

Read (or listen to) Chapter 1

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What Inspired the Story

As an escape from the real world, I wanted to write about a place where people are rewarded for working together and land owners believe their property doesn’t need to be “improved.” I also had an imaginary earful of a curmudgeonly ferry captain, complaining that he’d just lost something really important. Stir into my mental melting pot the memory of cruises to some remote New England islands, and soon I was populating a brand-new piece of coastline with a few quirky characters (like the feisty female who “steals” that ferry captain’s job). Several years later, the result is a novel that Sailing Magazine calls “A lovely bit of escapism.”

Just before the manuscript went to press, I discovered this quote and was able to drop it into the foreword: “I think having land and not ruining it is the most beautiful art anybody could ever want to own.” —Andy Warhol