The premise of this book is good, the execution is not. I felt like it was written by two different people. Gabriela seemed to be very mentally impaired in the first part of the book but by the third part she seemed coherent and hard-working, with not much evidence of mental handicap. One line in the book really struck me as odd. Galin, after picking his sister up from immigration, pinched himself to make sure he wasn't having a dream. The next line stated that a prick of blood appeared on his arm. Have you ever heard of anyone pinching themselves to make sure they were awake, drawing blood?
While I am grateful for the author's time in the Coast Guard, serving our country, I feel that there are too many issues in the story to give it a better rating. There was too much random background on Pat that didn't explain his actions later in the book. The ending was abrupt and Pat would have been more concerned about a court martial than a dishonorable discharge. The whole thing felt like a short story that had filler added to make it into a book.