FICTION

The Outer Cape

Holt. Jun. 2017. 304p. ISBN 9781627794671. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781627794688. F
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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.

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