Synopsis: Seven summers ago, Marcella Atkinson fell in love with Cecil McClatchey, a married father of two. But on the same night their romance abruptly ended, Cecil’s wife was found murdered. The case was never solved, and Cecil died soon after, an uncharged suspect.
Now divorced and estranged from her only daughter, Marcella lives alone, mired in grief and guilt. Meanwhile, Cecil’s grown son, Jed, returns to the Cape with his sister for the first time in years. When he finds a woman’s bathing suit buried in a closet – a relic, unbeknownst to him, of his father’s affair – he decides to confront Marcella on a hunch.
When, to their deep surprise, they fall into an affair of their own, passion temporarily masks their shared pain. But as we are left to believe on the last stunning page, the betrayals of the past cannot be ignored and will have a ripple effect on these two families for years to come.
In this scintillating and intensely powerful debut, Holly LeCraw delivers a sensuous narrative of such force and depth that you won’t be able to put it down.
My Review: I really liked this book, and with that in mind, I’m not entirely sure what to say about it. I’m always surprised when people make a point to mention a novel is a debut, because it doesn’t necessarily take multiple novels to finally create a great one. Some authors just have talent, it’s likely why they started writing to begin with, and this author definitely has talent.
The story is told both from the present perspective of many characters, and segments of the past as well, often covering the point of view of several characters in the same scenario. We get to see the entirety of this story unfold just as the characters themselves are learning the truth about what really happened. It was so interesting to watch how each set of actions spirals out and can affect so many other people, no one intending on the consequences that ultimately come from those actions.
I found myself wondering throughout much of the story “Would (insert character) have been doing this if (incident) hadn’t happened?” We all come into this world with a personality, and that is irrevocably altered depending on our interactions with each other. And to see a story filled with so much tragedy, you can’t help but wonder how different these lives could have been if things had gone differently. To me, it’s a parallel for our own lives – recognizing potential that may have been lost because of things completely out of our control. Wondering what to do with ourselves once we experience these changes.
This was a quick book to read, the writing is so engaging that you can’t help but continue to turn the page. It’s not only a great summer read, it also makes you think about your life and actions, how nothing is really kept to yourself and you never know what will happen when you make one tiny decision.
Read this book if: You want a great read that contains romance, thrills, and a lot of things to ponder. I would also love to see a sequel to this book, it left me wondering what is next for all these characters.
Full disclosure: I received this book as an advanced reading copy from the publisher, DoubleDay. This has in no way affected my review, and I was not compensated for this review in any way.