By Karolina Waclawiak
Regan Arts, Hardcover, 9781941393291, July 2015, 240pp.
The Short of It:
No calm water here. This beach-front community is on the verge of ruin and the frenetic energy of its characters comes bursting out in strange and unusual ways.
The Rest of It:
The story revolves around the inhabitants of a country-club community located along the Connecticut shoreline. Beach-front properties, club houses, sparkling pools filled with forty-something-year-old women trying to look good for anyone who will look at them, and the disgusting tourists that force themselves upon the beach with their dirty little dogs and whiny kids. Yes, it’s a story of US versus THEM and although it’s a little strange to follow, it’s just so juicy to read.
The story is told in alternating points of view between Cheryl and her adult stepson, Teddy. Cheryl is married to Teddy’s father Jeffrey. Cheryl is Jeffrey’s second wife. Although she was a trophy wife when she first moved in, ten years has aged her and her relationship with Jeffrey is hardly a relationship at all. With him gone all the time for work, Cheryl spends her days gardening, taking long walks and paying far too much attention to what is going on in the so-called community.
Teddy, is Cheryl’s adult stepson who returns home after getting booted out of college. He’s hooked on painkillers, sex and seems intent on making poor choices but there’s a sadness to Teddy that you can’t ignore and when he and Cheryl begin to fall apart at the same time but in totally different ways, it’s impossible to know what will happen.
The Invaders puts you right in the middle of the story. I could smell the sea air, hear the water splashing and feel the tension of that tight-knit community along with all of its airs and affluence and yes, sadness. There is much sadness in-between these pages. There’s also, a rawness to the story that leaves you a little off kilter.
It’s hard to like anyone in this novel. Everyone is stripped down and flayed bare but the complexities between the characters and the struggles they have within their own lives is what makes them so interesting.
I’ve never read a book that I liked and hated as much as this one. I’d flip a page and hate it and then I’d read a paragraph and love it again. I kept going back and forth like that throughout the entire book! In the end, I think I’m safe in saying that it impressed me but that ending! Boy!
This book may have a beach setting but it’s not a lighthearted read. It’s filled with desperate people who really just want to be loved. It’s dreadful but at the same time, so good.
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19 thoughts on “Review: The Invaders”
Interesting how many contemporary books feature drugs, someone hooked on drugs, drug crimes, etc.
We live in a world that self-medicates so you are right, contemporary reads often do feature drug or alcohol use of some kind. Sad, isn’t it?
I’m always fascinated with books involving the “country club set.” It sounds like this one is good at evoking emotions.
Me too! Country-club settings always reel me in. No one is pretty here, though. Everyone is so desperate and nit-picky. The author chose to capture the less sparkling side of these people but it’s like a train wreck in that it’s hard to look away.
I borrowed this one from the library but, returned it unread. I do like the cover but, not sure I’d have the patience for the story right now. (Just posted my review of UNDER THE INFLUENCE.)
I haven’t written my review for Under the Influence yet. Can’t wait to hear what you thought.
As for The Invaders, it’s starts off a little rough and feels like it’s going to be too shallow but it wasn’t (thank goodness).
This is a new one to me. I’ll have to check the library for it.
I kind of liked this one a lot but it’s not your cup of tea. Instead, read Sebastian Faulk’s new book, Where My Heart Used to Beat. It comes out next week and so does my review. Now that one, is totally your thing.
This is my kind of book. You have made it sound yummy!
Oh this book sounds so good! I’ll definitely have to check it out!
The love/hate dichotomy sounds interesting…Does anyone have redeeming characteristics? Or maybe that’s giving too much away…I think I’ll put this on my “to read” list. =)
There is some hope within the story but only a glimmer. I still managed to enjoy it though. Maybe because I could relate a little to their misery, even though I’ve never been in their exact situations before.
On Sun, Jan 24, 2016 at 12:02 PM, Book Chatter wrote:
This is definitely the kind of book where I think I will love it and it’ll be like looking at all the cool stuff Veronica had in the old Archie comics I read as a kid. But they are more often pretty sad because money can’t buy happiness. Damn it, morals. :p
Exactly! Money can’t buy love either.
Wow. This sounds like it would be a book that I would absolutely love. You know me – the more sick and twisted/depressing and real a book is, the more I like it!
I do think you would like this one. The ending, weird as it was, sealed the deal for me.
I think I am becoming the queen of weird!
Um, I hold that title.