Salty and Penina, the war torn, young couple from “Penina’s Letters,” return to Refugio in “Coconut Oil,” a sequel.
They come home to Refugio (the fictional beach town located north of El Porto and south of Grand on Santa Monica Bay) in an attempt to retire a bit early. So forty or so years have passed since the close of “Penina’s Letters.”
Salty is again our first person narrator. But “Coconut Oil” continues an experimental narrative form, and Sal hands the mic off to several other characters as we are brought up to date on Refugio.
The themes of “Coconut Oil” include aging, housing and homelessness, gentrification, and how we occupy ourselves over time. The form is experimental in a way a common reader might enjoy.
The paperback version of “Coconut Oil” is available now, and the electronic version should be up next week.
The back cover photo for “Coconut Oil” was taken from the northbound Coast Starlight train as it passed by the point at Refugio Beach, California, a campground about 26 miles north of Santa Barbara. The photo was taken sometime in the late 70’s.