The Outer Cape

Holt. Jun. 2017. 304p. ISBN 9781627794671. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781627794688. F
In 1988, Robert and Irene Kelly move to Cape Cod, MA, in search of a stable suburban life for their two young boys, Andrew and Nathan. Irene's identity as an artist becomes buried beneath her roles as wife and mother, and Robert's career at his father's home-building company founders as the recession takes hold in the early 1990s. In desperation, Robert starts down a road that will tear his family apart and have lasting effects for the next several decades. Dacey's debut novel (after the short story collection We've Already Gone This Far) examines the American dream in the late 20th century. Robert's journey through successes and failures is a familiar one these days. As his sons navigate adulthood—Andrew in corporate settings, Nathan serving in Afghanistan—they must learn to reconcile a disingenuous vision of the past with the reality of who their parents truly are.
VERDICT This is a strong first novel with satisfying characters and a fresh take on familiar themes. Group with Rick Moody's The Ice Storm and Richard Yates's Revolutionary Road for a suburban-angst triad.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.

Get access to 8000+ annual reviews of books, ebooks, and more

As low as $13.50/month