Cape May

Cape May

People Magazine Best New Book: People’s PicksChosen by Barnes and Noble Editors as April 2019's Best Fiction Named a Best Book Club Book of 2019 by BookBub“Deceptively relaxed and simple at first, the novel seems to be an easygoing trip down Memory Lane. It soon reveals itself as a swirling vortex of psychological suspense with insights about marriage that recall writers l...

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Title:Cape May
Author:Chip Cheek
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Cape May Reviews

  • Dannii Elle

    In the synopsis, this novel is described as a

    . The unputdownable nature of its contents and the speed with which I tore through the pages can certainly attest to that!

    It is 1957 and two newlyweds make their temporary home in New Jersey, for the duration of their honeymoon. The streets are deserted, the homes are abandoned, and this popular setting for summer escape lies in a silent and gloomy out-of-season solitude. Thrown in such close proximity, and with

    In the synopsis, this novel is described as a

    . The unputdownable nature of its contents and the speed with which I tore through the pages can certainly attest to that!

    It is 1957 and two newlyweds make their temporary home in New Jersey, for the duration of their honeymoon. The streets are deserted, the homes are abandoned, and this popular setting for summer escape lies in a silent and gloomy out-of-season solitude. Thrown in such close proximity, and without the reprieve of other individuals, Henry and Effie decide to cut their trip short. But on the cusp of disembarking, they find their first time together saved with the unlikely arrival of a trio of wealthy socialites. They soon discover that these saviours will also deliver them so much more.

    In amongst the sea of alcohol-infused debauchery this novel becomes unmoored upon, is an insight to 1950s American culture. The characters act either according to or purposefully against the accepted norms and the reader is introduced to the tricky social politics that governed this time. This isolated setting becomes the backdrop to this unburdening of these expectations and what resides underneath is a sexual and sensual awakening, a burgeoning awareness of the self, and many an erotic and gin-soaked scene that makes this novel both a riveting read as well as an unexpectedly profound one.

    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, Thank you to the author, Chip Cheek, and the publisher, Celadon Books, for this opportunity.

  • Jenny (Reading Envy)

    This is one of the first books from the new Celadon imprint, so I've had it for a while but was waiting to read it until closer to its publication date. A quick weekend trip to the rainy coast was the perfect setting.

    It's 1957 and Henry and Effie are newlyweds, headed to Cape May (NJ) in late September for their honeymoon. Of course they are practically the only people there in the off season and the weather is miserable. Effie grew up going to Cape May in the summers, but didn't realize what i

    This is one of the first books from the new Celadon imprint, so I've had it for a while but was waiting to read it until closer to its publication date. A quick weekend trip to the rainy coast was the perfect setting.

    It's 1957 and Henry and Effie are newlyweds, headed to Cape May (NJ) in late September for their honeymoon. Of course they are practically the only people there in the off season and the weather is miserable. Effie grew up going to Cape May in the summers, but didn't realize what it would be like in the fall.

    The narrative perspective is largely that of Henry, a somewhat naive goody two shoes kind of virgin, who assumes his new wife is as inexperienced as he is. When one of her old summer nemeses shows up down the street, all sorts of drama and shenanigans start to play out.

    I couldn't put it down, I read it all in a day. This reads like really gossipy dishy contemporary romance of the steamy variety but written by a man (this is really obvious because of the number of times bowel movements are mentioned, ha!)

    I would almost call it "women's fiction" but I think it has more sex than most "women's fiction" does. The author captures the complete awkwardness of brand new marriage when all of the sudden it's just the two of you with a lifetime ahead of you, and then uses that to the advantage of the story and the conflicts/encounters with the other people who show up. It was a very visual story and I could easily see it translating to film as well.

  • Roman Clodia

    This is a fun read but it feels ultimately a bit inconsequential to me: essentially a 'betrayal of innocence' tale, it follows two young newly-weds in 1957 - both virgins on their wedding night - and how they get sucked into the glamorous world of excessive drink, sex and hedonism on their two-week honeymoon. There are no surprises and the dynamics of the seduced and the seducers have been done before, arguably with more impact.

    Most of the book is focalised through Henry, the young husband, and

    This is a fun read but it feels ultimately a bit inconsequential to me: essentially a 'betrayal of innocence' tale, it follows two young newly-weds in 1957 - both virgins on their wedding night - and how they get sucked into the glamorous world of excessive drink, sex and hedonism on their two-week honeymoon. There are no surprises and the dynamics of the seduced and the seducers have been done before, arguably with more impact.

    Most of the book is focalised through Henry, the young husband, and his masculine desire for sex with as many women as possible. The sex scenes are fairly explicit but not porn-y. I was actually more interested in his wife Effie but we don't really get the opportunity to experience things through her eyes which is a shame: the dual standard that allows masculine sexuality to flourish while female sexuality is curtailed means that Effie has a higher hurdle to jump to overcome her upbringing and social moral standards - how she does this is left unexplored.

    The final chapter jumps from the honeymoon experiences to summarise how they impact the marriage over its entire life, something that doesn't quite work: it feels flimsy and an add-on.

    So I'd file this as a superior beach read (and the bright UK cover from Orion with its neon cocktail glass adds to the connection) - the writing is smooth and fluent, and it's an entertaining page-turner of a novel.

    Thanks to Orion for an ARC via NetGalley.

  • Liz

    The 1950s have always struck me as a dull, goody two shoes decade. And Henry and Effie certainly fit that mold. Newlyweds, just out of high school, they head from Georgia to Cape May for their honeymoon. And not height of summer Cape May, but out of season, everything’s closed Cape May. So when they notice a whole batch of cars parked outside the house a few doors down, they stop by. But the woman who answers the door is someone Effie has no desire to see. “She’s a snot nosed bully and a harlot.

    The 1950s have always struck me as a dull, goody two shoes decade. And Henry and Effie certainly fit that mold. Newlyweds, just out of high school, they head from Georgia to Cape May for their honeymoon. And not height of summer Cape May, but out of season, everything’s closed Cape May. So when they notice a whole batch of cars parked outside the house a few doors down, they stop by. But the woman who answers the door is someone Effie has no desire to see. “She’s a snot nosed bully and a harlot.”

    But these two rubes get drawn into the party atmosphere of the city slickers.

    Henry and Effie never seemed more than caricatures to me, on top of which Henry is not at all a sympathetic character. And the story just never engaged me. Other than lots of drinking and sex, not a lot seemed to happen. You could see where the storyline was heading. Moral of the story - don’t get married young. I soon found myself skimming the pages. And the last chapter just seemed totally unnecessary.

    Sorry, this isn’t one I can recommend.

    My thanks to netgalley and Celadon Books for an advance copy of this novel.

  • Judy

    The book opens in the 1950's with Henry and Effie who are newly married. They have arrived in Cape May from their home in Georgia during the off-season. The town is pretty much deserted - a beach town after everyone has gone back to their regular lives. They are both virgins and there is much time spent discovering each other. When they see some people have moved into the house nearby they stop by to say hello and get pulled into what seems like fun at first, but turns into a bad situation for t

    The book opens in the 1950's with Henry and Effie who are newly married. They have arrived in Cape May from their home in Georgia during the off-season. The town is pretty much deserted - a beach town after everyone has gone back to their regular lives. They are both virgins and there is much time spent discovering each other. When they see some people have moved into the house nearby they stop by to say hello and get pulled into what seems like fun at first, but turns into a bad situation for the newlyweds.

    Unfortunately I didn't like the characters nor the plot very much. The writing style wasn't bad though. Mostly the book was filled with sex and drinking.

    Thanks to Celadon Books through Netgalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

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