Today I’m sharing my first proper proper book review – how exciting! And a good book to start with I think – Cape May by Chip Cheek. A bit of a shorty at only 272 pages, it packs one sexy punch! I was kindly gifted a proof of this by Orion back in October so big thanks to them before we get into it!
Henry and Effie, young newlyweds from Georgia, arrive in Cape May, New Jersey, for their honeymoon. It’s the end of the season and the town is deserted. As they tentatively discover each other, they begin to realize that everyday married life might be disappointingly different from their happily-ever-after fantasy.
Just as they get ready to cut the trip short, a decadent and glamorous set suddenly sweep them up into their drama – Clara, a beautiful socialite who feels her youth slipping away; Max, a wealthy playboy and Clara’s lover; and Alma, Max’s aloof and mysterious half-sister.
The empty beach town becomes their playground, and as they sneak into abandoned summer homes, go sailing, walk naked under the stars, make love, and drink a great deal of gin, Henry and Effie slip from innocence into betrayal, with irrevocable consequences that reverberate through the rest of their lives…
As you can see from the blurb, the story starts with the arrival of two young newlyweds to Cape May, where Effie’s Uncle lets them stay in his cottage for their honeymoon. As a very Christian couple in the 1950’s, the honeymoon is very much about them learning everything about each other, in every way.
However, the town is completely deserted as it’s out of season and Henry and Effie soon find themselves bored and wanting to cut their trip short – UNTIL a light comes on in a house along the street and more and more cars park up outside. Needless to say, they get involved in a bit of party culture and decide to stay a bit longer after all.
(I didn’t realise how hard it would be to write a review without giving too much away…)
Cape May is full of partying, sex and mysterious personalities. It’s raw, it’s hot, it’s about betrayal, it’s about love, it’s about finding out who you are, who the people you choose to be around are.
I don’t want to say it’ll be a good summer read because as much as it’s full of gin and tonic and garden pools, it’s a story, an observation of people and relationships that works any time of the year, and when it comes out in April you all need to go and buy it and read it. With a gin and tonic. Or a cup of tea.
Oh and did I mention the AMAZING cover? Totally gets the vibe of the book – fun, bright, maybe hiding something a little more serious… Wonderful.
Cape May is out 30th April, published by W&N.
I’m going to use this opportunity to encourage you to pre-order it from your local physical bookshop (independent if you can) because you will make booksellers like me smile (and maybe do a little dance – depends who you get…).
Over and out,