A fascinating story of fish and their predilections...Messineo's memoir is also intimately personal ... Messineo's voice is passionate and she's an enthralling storyteller concerned about the environment and continuing the traditions of the individual fisherman. Humor, zealousness and adoration more than smooth some minor disjointed thoughts and repetitions, making this memoir a prize catch.
...spectacular...and illuminating ... Messineo wears her own feelings close to the surface and tracks her own emotional ups and down and her abuse of alcohol and opioids to which she had relatively easy access ... Messineo vividly describes [w]hat it feels like, and what it looks and sounds like, to stand alone in the darkness at the edge of a body of water hell-bent on catching a fish, no easy feat for a newcomer or a seasoned fisherman ... Readers who like to eat and to fish and who have enjoyed summers on Martha’s Vineyard might appreciate Casting into the Light. Messineo’s book is a great introduction to the island, its geography, topography, and history, including some of the history of the Indians who were the first humans to fish for striped bass ... It offers a compelling and candid story of an unrelenting pursuit for meaning and happiness.
Casting Into the Light is by no means literary. Its language is unadorned, and bits of its diverging chapters repeat themselves. But Ms. Messineo is always an amiable and entertaining storyteller who—much to her own surprise—has found a sort of bliss she would like more women to share.
Each anecdote will lure readers into the world of East Coast fishing and Martha’s Vineyard culture, making this a must-read for fishers, both hard-core devotees and recreational participants, as well as anyone interested in learning about the sport. An inspirational memoir of one woman’s self-discovery while pursuing the elusive catch.
Messineo (former president, Martha's Vineyard Surfcasters Assn.) takes a wide view of surfcasting in this unusual fishing memoir. More than an account of selecting lures, techniques for landing trophy fish, and tales of hard-fought tournaments (although this is certainly covered), the author brings readers into her world ... Although Messineo's voice is rough around the edges, it adds to the authenticity of her narrative. Readers interested in fishing and ocean ecology as well as women's memoirs will be drawn to this story.
She writes with a beginner’s excitement ... Messineo walks a tightrope of reporting...and memoir by giving great insight into the existence of professional anglers and the insular culture of Martha’s Vineyard ... Messineo’s captivating memoir brings a refreshing mix of vulnerability, accessibility, and joy to the fishing genre.
The author...doesn’t wax too poetic, at least once she moves beyond the introduction ... Comparatively, the rest of the memoir is more nuts-and-bolts description ... Whereas many fishing memoirs are often more literary, turning that time with nature into a spiritual pilgrimage and the art of fishing into a metaphor for life, this is more about fishing itself, written for readers who like to fish or think they might like to learn. A chronicle of a life in fishing by an author who seems like good company.