That Old Cape Magic


One of the nice things about my current lifestyle is that I have time to read for fun (although I always read for fun as an undergrad, even though everyone around me complained that they never had the time. I probably didn’t either, but I made the time, because it was a priority, and the Smith library has some really great stuff). I could actually stand to read more and waste less time, so I’m going to try to do that while I can (and read quality stuff, not break room bodice rippers). Last night I finished That Old Cape Magic, but Richard Russo. My mom read it first, and I picked it up one day while she was still reading it, and leafed through the first couple of chapters (my family is full of book thieves- woe to whoever leaves their copy of Little Women unattended around Christmas, the whole family will pounce on it). The story follows Griffin, a writer/academic, and his relationship with his parents. His parents sound awful, crabby, vindictive, snobbish, but he loves them, even though he wants to keep them away from his wife and adult daughter as much as possible. This all made my mother very sad, which I guess I understand, as all of her children are growing up, and one of them is married and living across the country, but I don’t think she has anything to worry about. It isn’t a happy book, but it’s sort of entertaining in a Tolstoy way (all happy families are happy in the same way, but this book is filled with a sampler platter of unhappy families), and I liked reading it. I especially enjoyed how attached the characters felt to places, and how the Cape was such an important part of their lives, even though none of them lived there full time. We took a vacation on the Cape a few years ago, and it was very nice. I’m not really a beach person (sand is gross), but it was nice to go somewhere, and small amounts of beach are pleasant. My mom talks a lot about wanting to start a family tradition of going every summer, bringing spouses and children as they crop up, and so I can see why she would pick up a book about a family vacationing on the Cape, and why she would be disappointed when they all make each other miserable. That doesn’t seem to be the point of the story though, so I think we should be safe, and if anything this book made me want to pack another just like it into my beach bag and head towards the shore.


About turntowardsthesun

I'm a 23 year old Smith College grad, living in Buffalo, NY, and trying to figure out my life. I love to cook, and craft, and work out, and this blog follows my adventures while I do all of those things and more. Enjoy!

3 responses »

  1. I HATE Richard Russo. All his good characters are pure sweet candy-coated good, and all of his bad characters are utterly loathsome. And in Empire Falls, he has the quiet, picked-on kid turn out to be a school shooter – cliche much? ARGH, I put him on the list with John Irving of UNSUBTLE WRITERS I HATE.

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