That Old Cape Magic: A Novel (Vintage Contemporaries)
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For Griffin, all paths, all memories, converge at Cape Cod. The Cape is where he took his childhood summer vacations, where he and his wife, Joy, honeymooned, where they decided he’d leave his LA screenwriting job to become a college professor, and where they celebrated the marriage of their daughter Laura’s best friend. But when their beloved Laura’s wedding takes place a year later, Griffin is caught between chauffeuring his mother’s and father’s ashes in two urns and contending with Joy and her large, unruly family. Both he and she have also brought dates along. How in the world could this have happened?
By turns hilarious, rueful, and uplifting, That Old Cape Magic is a profoundly involving novel about marriage, family, and all the other ties that bind.
sincerely hoped he was calling about a job. Money had been worrying him of late. Joy, who kept the books and wrote the checks, insisted they were fine, but if Laura got engaged, as she’d been warning them might happen soon, maybe even this weekend, there’d be a wedding to pay for, and a quick studio rewrite would be just what the doctor ordered. “When did he call?” “Last night. He wanted to know if you’d turned your grades in yet. It sounded like he meant for you to drop everything, hop on a
continued on the other side of the wall, and at some point it dawned on him that it had to be the lesbians, and shortly after that he was asleep. PART TWO Coastal Maine (Second Wedding) 8 Bliss How quickly it had all fallen apart. Even a year later, most of it spent in L.A., the speed of what happened after Kelsey’s wedding took Griffin’s breath away. For the first time in what seemed like forever he’d slept through the night and awakened to a sense of profound well-being, his funk, or
life, as singular? Joy’s relationship to the English language was not without glitches. She was forever mixing metaphors, claiming that something was “a tough line to hoe.” Row to hoe? Line to walk? Her sisters, Jane and June, were even worse, and when corrected all three would narrow their eyes dangerously and identically. If they’d had a family motto, it would have been You Know Perfectly Well What I Mean. In any event, his wife’s suggestion that he go on without her had seemed less than
surprised. He’d been willing, as an exercise in self-pity, to take full responsibility for the evening’s events, but he certainly hadn’t expected his wife to agree with him. “Where’s Dot?” Harve shouted. “Where is she?” “Our fault, I meant,” his wife clarified. “It wasn’t just you.” “Well,” he said, “I guess it doesn’t do much good to say I’m sorry, but I am. And …” He paused, not sure he could say the next part, though simple justice demanded it be said. “And?” “And if this Brian Fynch
part of his fiancée’s dissertation. But a week went by and she hadn’t returned, and then another, and the materials still sat there on the table (though he’d moved them to one side to make room for his take-out meals), and he just hated for her to fall further and further behind. Of course Claudia, again according to Griffin’s mother, had predicted all of this. She might be dumb as a plastic Jesus, but she was shrewd. After all, how smart did a woman have to be to get the best of a man so ruled