Sunday, May 31, 2020

The Second Home

The Second Home by Christina Clancy
St. Martin's Publishing Group: 6/2/20
eBook review copy; 352 pages

The Second Home by Christina Clancy is a recommended family drama.

After an incident at their summer home on Cape Cod, the Gordon family was tore apart. Seventeen-year-old Ann Gordon had her life changed forever. The incident led to a schism between her and her sister Poppy and a complete estrangement of their adopted brother Michael from the whole family. Now it is fifteen years later and their parents have suddenly died. Ann is determined to sell the vacation home that leaves her with nothing but bad memories now. She's leaving Poppy out of her decision because she is always traveling and hasn't been back to the States for years. Michael is not looked for or even considered. When Poppy returns and they decide to sell, Michael re-enters their lives. Not only does he have a claim to the house, he also wants to set the record straight and has additional, correct information about what happened years ago.

The narrative is told through the alternating points-of-view of Ann, Poppy, and Michael. The beginning focuses on the summer that changed everything and their actions and reactions. The devastating event that sets into motion a change of events that change everyone's lives, but at its core it isn't entirely credible. The event happened in 1999 and something could have been said; it wouldn't have been unbelievable. Then, I just couldn't accept the premise of what happened to Michael. No spoilers, but you have to believe all of that is credible for the rest of the novel to be believable - and there are additional parts of the plot that are implausible. You have to firmly set your disbelief and misgivings aside, in a dark, dim corner, to finish the novel. Adding to the problem is that you are likely not going to relate to or like any of the characters.

What is believable are the descriptions of the Cape and their summer home. Since The Second Home is clearly written as a summer beach read (if that can happen) many readers will be able to overlook the gasping problems in the plot.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Macmillan.

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