That Old Cape Magic

That Old Cape Magic

by Richard Russo

Arlene Almas: Like Gail, I also enjoyed this book (I also did NOT like "Bridge of Sighs"). Although the subject, the breaking up of a marriage, is serious, there are so many funny set pieces that I was kept chuckling throughout. Jack Griffin and his about-to-be-ex-wife Joy are indeed wonderful characters - you can't help pulling for both of them. Get ready for a warm-hearted story of middle age with its hopes and dreams still alive.
Rating: ****

Gail Reid: This is yet one more story of a mid-life crisis. Jack Griffin and his wife have hit a rough patch in a 30 year marriage. He also plans to leave a tenured teaching job for a screenwriting stint in L.A. The crisis comes alive during a weekend on Cape Cod when the Griffins attend a wedding; for Cape Cod was the only place that his parents - midwest college professors -- loved and yearned to visit each year.

Jack's parents mentally torture him throughout his life with their constant bickering, difficult personalities, and academic snobbery. Even after his parents' deaths, his mother continues to talk to him and her snappy comments provide some of the most humorous dialog in the book.

Although I did not like Richard Russo's last novel, The Bridge of Sighs, I was pleased to find in That Old Cape Magic, the same contemporary issues, the academic parodies, and well developed characters that were portrayed in Empire Falls and Straight Man.
Rating: ****

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