Sunday, August 28, 2016

That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo

Griffin has come to Cape Cod for a wedding.  He came early, leaving his wife, Joy, to catch up to him when she didn't immediately fall in with his plans.  Griffin is a college professor and son of college professors.  His family came to the Cape every summer but it wasn't necessarily a good time.  His parents enjoyed looking at the negative side of everything; the places they would rent quickly categorized as either 'can't afford them" or "wouldn't have it as a gift".  They certainly weren't child-centered.  Griffin was pretty much on his own to find friends or play alone while his parents drank cocktails and talked among themselves.

Griffin is at a crossroads.  In his earlier years, he was a screenwriter in Hollywood.  Now that his own child is grown and his marriage to Joy grown stale, he wonders how his life would have been different if he had made different decisions along the way.  He doesn't know what he wants, only that something seems to be missing.  Should he throw everything away and start over?  Should he learn to accept what he has and be grateful for it?

Richard Russo is one of our premier American authors.  He outlines the decisions and contradictions that characterize people, showing us truths about ourselves.  He seems a wise man, able to show us what makes life really worthwhile as he gently skewers the posturings we all use to hide our inner angst.  This book is recommended for readers of literary fiction and for anyone getting older and wondering what life is really all about.

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