The Second Home by @christi_clancy #Book #Review


A debut novel set on Cape Cod that centers on a beloved family home and the summer that changed the lives of three siblings forever, perfect for readers of J. Courtney Sullivan and Elin Hilderbrand.

After a disastrous summer spent at her family's summer home on Cape Cod, seventeen year old Ann Gordon is left harboring a secret that changes her life forever, and creates a rift between her sister, Poppy, and their adopted brother, Michael.

Now, fifteen years later, her parents have died, and Ann and her sister Poppy are left to decide the fate of the old Wellfleet home that's been in the Gordon family for generations. While they both love the house, they decide to sell it and move forward. But then Michael re-enters their lives with a legitimate claim to a third of the estate. He wants the house. But more than that, he wants to set the record straight about that long ago summer.

Reunited after years apart, these very different siblings are forced to decide if they can continue to be a family--and in the process, they'll discover that the house might be the glue that holds them together.
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble 

My Review:

The story begins in the past, when Ann, Michael, and Poppy are in high school.  Michael's mother passed away and instead of being tossed around, the Gordon's take him in.  His second summer with them, he learns that they aren't as "perfect" as everyone thinks.  Everyone has their secrets, everyone.  When Connie and Ed pass away, the kids reunite after fifteen years.  These kids, once best of friends, are now like oil and water.  So many secrets has kept them apart, can they finally clear the air?

I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel.  It was riveting, emotional, and thought provoking. I liked the toggle from past to present as each character reflected on their past.  This book had me tearing up as the things they had been through were brought to light.  This is a fantastic beach or rainy day read, just be sure to kleenex nearby.

About the Author: 

Like the characters in THE SECOND HOME, I spent the summers of my youth on Cape Cod in the rugged and artsy town of South Wellfleet, MA. The outermost Cape is a place of steep sand dunes, pristine fresh water kettle ponds, salty air, scrub pine and oak trees. It's a place that has stayed with me everywhere I go.

My grandparents lived in a simple cove-side house that has been in our family since the 1890's. Writing this book has allowed me to imagine how other families spend their time in a place I feel I uniquely adore. It has also provided me with the opportunity to think about our fierce attachments to second homes -- from tiny, bat-filled cabins in the woods to grand seaside estates. These places we go back to again and again often define us, just as they define our families. When families change and the homes are passed down from generation to generation, these memory-filled receptacles can stress relationships or bring us closer together.

In addition to writing, I teach spin classes (the sweating, not the weaving kind) and I taught English at Beloit College for almost a decade. I've been writing short stories and essays that have appeared in The New York Times "Modern Love" column, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Sun Magazine, and in literary journals like Glimmer Train Stories, Hobart, Pleiades, The Minnesota Review and on Wisconsin Public Radio. I have a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

I live in Madison, Wisconsin with my very tall husband. We have two children, Olivia and Tim. 


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