Thirty years ago, on their Cape Cod honeymoon, Jack and Joy Griffin made a plan for their future that has largely been fulfilled. He left Los Angeles behind for the sort of New England college his parents had aspired to, and now the two of them are back on the Cape—where he’d also spent his childhood vacations—to celebrate the marriage of their daughter Laura’s best friend. Sure, Jack’s been driving around with his father’s ashes in the trunk, though his mother’s very much alive and often on his cell phone. Laura’s boyfriend seems promising, but be careful what you pray for, especially if it happens to come true. A year later, at her wedding, Jack has another urn in the car, and both he and Joy have brought new dates.
Pages: 272 (hardcover)
Rating: 4 out of 10
I started this book in Maryland while I was riding the Metro into DC for a conference. It is the book club selection for my Partners of Professor book club. I would not have picked this book up on my own, but I thought that it was okay. The main character was arrogant and whiny. I had a hard time liking him or caring about his troubles. None of the characters in the book seemed to be kind to people with whom they were intimate. I wanted to see a romantic relationship where the parties were faithful and happy. It seemed like most of the relationships were being held together with fear and wrapped with doubt.
One person in book really loved the book and thought that it was funny. I missed a lot of the sarcasm. Maybe I would be amused by the confidence and rudeness of the New England characters if I was not around so many bloated egos everyday. Many people love Richard Russo and while I did not enjoy this particular body of work, I would be willing to read something else by him.