Tag Archives: St. Martin’s Press

Review: The Second Home

The Second Home

The Second Home
By Christina Clancy
St. Martin’s Press, 9781250239341, June 2020, 352pp.

The Short of It:

The Second Home is the type of story you linger in for awhile. Full of nostalgia and set in a classic Cape Cod setting.

The Rest of It:

The Gordon family has spent many summers at their beloved Wellfleet home on the Cape and have made many good memories there. But one summer, seventeen-year-old Ann experiences something that changes how she feels about the beloved beach house and when reality hits her, there’s no way to ever go back to how it was before.

The story goes back and forth in time. To the past, with the events leading up to Ann’s change of heart and then into the present which finds the Wellfleet home about to be put on the market. The decision to put the house on the market is not an easy one for Ann but what she feels is best for her sister Poppy and herself. However, their adopted brother Michael, who has been estranged from the family for years shows up to claim his piece of the house which forces Ann and Poppy to revisit their past.

At first, I had a hard time connecting with these characters. It took awhile for the author to lay the groundwork for the story but once she did, I was hooked. Clancy did an amazing job at setting the tone for this novel. It’s warm when it needs to be and brimming with nostalgia at times which I personally love. It’s also a story of loss and tragedy. There are many bittersweet moments as I turned the pages but the sense of family is overwhelming in a totally good way.

I did not want this story to end. As I got to those final pages I wanted to experience them without any distractions so I  drew them out for as long as I could to ensure distraction-free reading. So good.

Have you read this one? Besides the awesome Cape setting, the house itself was so present and enjoyable even with all of its faults. The Second Home will be on my list of favorites at the end of the year.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: Make Your Home Among Strangers

Make Your Home Among Strangers

Make Your Home Among Strangers
By Jennine Capò Crucet
Picador, 9781250094551, July 2016, 416pp.

The Short of It:

A young woman is pulled between her family at home, her studies at school, and the political turmoil over the forcible removal of a young Cuban boy and his return to his father back in Cuba.

The Rest of It:

Many of you may recall the story of Elián González. He was the center of an international custody battle back in 2000. Make Your Home Among Strangers includes a fictionalized account of his story in the form of Ariel Hernandez.

Lizet is the first in her family to attend college but when she announces her acceptance, she is met with disappointment. Her sister just found out she is pregnant and Lizet’s mother was just left by her husband and the house has been sold out from under her. No one in the family is happy about this turn of events but Lizet is curious about a life outside of what she knows and goes, leaving some bad feelings behind.

At school, Lizet struggles. The schooling she’s had prior to college did not prepare her for the rigorous work that is expected of her. Her ties to home and the guilt she has over not helping her sister during this time, cause her to visit home often which confuses her more.

In the midst of all this, Lizet’s mother has joined with others to protest the removal of Ariel Hernandez. He lost his mother leaving Cuba and they feel that since he made it to the US, that he should be allowed to stay but the possibility of his removal looms large as the rest of the story unfolds.

This was a quick, one-two punch of a read. Crucet’s writing is genuine and thoughtful. Lizet is a very believable character. Not perfect, but trying. My discussion group chose this book for next week’s discussion. I had to go back to read up on Elián González because I had forgotten a lot of the particulars. Do you remember his story?

Source: Purchased
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.