by: Chip Cheek
When the summer reading program began, a bookcase of books was offered to readers. On the bottom shelf, I spotted a book titled Cape May, and imagined a delightful story set in summer in lovely Cape May. I was wrong! Cape May is a dark and disturbing story about a very young, innocent couple who journey to Cape May for their honeymoon. It is the end of summer and the town is desolate and uninviting. The couple decides they will leave in just a few days, but they alter their plans when down the street there is an occupied home, and soon they meet Clara, Max, and Alma who steal their innocence and change their lives forever. The five spend the following days with an unending supply of gin, food, risque games, sex, infidelity and the life-changing consequences that follow. The reader is drawn into this sordid world of five immoral individuals in the novel’s first 200 pages.The final 40 pages cover the couple’s next 50 years, impacted negatively by the Cape May days. I found this ending superficial, too anecdotal and a jarring contrast to the detail of the first 200 pages.