The Shore

Scribner. May 2022. 304p. ISBN 9781982180171. $26.99.
DEBUT Summer is heating up in Seaside, NJ. The beaches are open, the sun is shining, and the boardwalk is filled with tourists with cash to spend. Brian and Margot Dunne’s summer rentals are filled with Airbnb guests, and they are busier than ever. Their 17-year-old daughter Liz is busy renting umbrellas on the beach and flirting with Gabe. Their younger daughter, 16-year-old Evy, is selling candy and falling in love with a girl named Olivia. Then a cloud passes over the Dunne family. Brian begins to decline and is eventually diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Words start to fail Brian, even as he writes them on slips of paper throughout the house: enter, embark, embarrass. Margot, Liz, and Evy contend with loss: of normal, of family, and soon of Brian. Over the course of the summer, they must come to terms and find a new way to go on.
VERDICT Runde’s debut is a heartbreaking family journey; a summer read that is at once sad, hopeful, frustrating, and ultimately uplifting.
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