Book Review: “Cape May” by Chip Cheek

Cape May Beach in New JerseyGeorgia newlyweds Henry and Effie arrive in Cape May on their honeymoon, as Effie has fond memories of youthful vacations there. Their trip was in September however, and they arrive to discover that in the 1950’s, the town was much quieter than it would have been during the Summer. They find themselves feeling a bit awkward being so alone with each other for the first time, and with little to do in town for entertainment they start thinking of heading home early. Before they can though, they stumble into a party of big city socialites and find themselves swept into their world. They now spend their days drinking, sailing, and exploring the empty houses around them. Being exposed to new behaviors and attitudes, the couple begin behaving more and more debauched, as Henry finds himself drawn closer and closer to one of their new friends. This book comes off like it thinks it has something important to say about relationships, or human nature, but falls a bit short. It was an entertaining read, and does become suspenseful as one wonders how things might play out; but ultimately they go exactly the way you expect them to, with a denouement that attempts to portray how meeting these scandalous urbanites affected their lives going forward, but instead only reaffirms my opinion that perhaps they weren’t really the best people to begin with. In particular, Henry is rather irksome throughout, which is a shame because he gets the majority of the ink here. This could be intentional, but it feels more like the author is trying to validate the old “boys will be boys” way of thinking. Overall the book was enjoyable enough, but it’s not likely to be something I will remember down the road. ★★★ – Sean Farrell

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★★★★★ = Excellent | ★★★★ = Very Good | ★★★ = Good | ★★ = Fair | ★ = Poor

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