2.5 out of 5 stars
Published on July 7, 2015
This book reads like a quasi-literary (as in literary genre) adaptation of Desperate Housewives. In typical literary fiction style, it is bleak and unforgiving. It sheds light on the less than perfect lives of housewives in an upperclass Connecticut seaside community, with a focus on Cheryl and her stepson Teddy.
I’m starting to worry that there is a new-ish trend in the literary fiction world where an author starts a novel in one way and then takes a completely different turn towards the end. I’m sure that it works really well sometimes, but for the most part it feels gimmicky. I was left thinking, “what the heck is this crap?!?”. The character arc for Cheryl starts off one way and then takes a left turn. It makes the reader feel like most of the book was pointless because the first 75-80% of the book was disregarded anyway.
I really enjoyed reading the book up until the last 30-50 or so pages. I thought it was pretty insightful and the descriptions of seaside living were fantastic. I read most of the book in one sitting because it was an interesting read but then the ending and the events leading up to the ending were ridiculous.
The only issue I had with the book before the ending was the characterization of Jeffrey. I got it that he was a bored travelling business man husband but I thought that the author could have given the character more nuance. Everything he did was predictable like a typical bored husband from a TV movie.
I enjoyed reading from Teddy’s perspective and thought that he was probably the most drawn out character in the book.
I would recommend this book to fans of Hausfrau, though it is not as good as that book. It’s an interesting perspective on domestic life.
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I was really excited to read this book and I wish that I enjoyed it more.