Author: Rebecca Kauffman
Genre: General Fiction
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication Date: June 2, 2020
Book Description: A taut, page-turning novel of secrets and strife. When two families—one rich, one not—vacation together off the coast of South Carolina, little do they know that someone won’t be returning home.
Fripp Island, South Carolina is the perfect destination for the wealthy Daly family: Lisa, Scott, and their two girls. For Lisa’s childhood friend, Poppy Ford, the resort island is a world away from the one she and Lisa grew up in—and when Lisa invites Poppy’s family to join them, how can a working-class woman turn down an all-expenses paid vacation for her husband and children?
But everyone brings secrets to the island, distorting what should be a convivial, relaxing summer on the beach. Lisa sees danger everywhere—the local handyman can’t be allowed near the children, and Lisa suspects Scott is fixated on something, or someone, else. Poppy watches over her husband John and his routines with a sharp eye. It’s a summer of change for all of the children: Ryan Ford who prepares for college in the fall, Rae Daly who seethes on the brink of adulthood, and the two youngest, Kimmy Daly and Alex Ford, who are exposed to new ideas and different ways of life as they forge a friendship of their own. Those who return from this vacation will spend the rest of their lives trying to process what they witnessed, the tipping points, moments of violence and tenderness, and the memory of whom they left behind.
Rating: 5 Stars
Review: Let me start by saying that I could not put this book down, it was that good. I thought this would be a light summer read, but this is a pretty meaty story.
This story begins with a death from the very beginning. We do not know who died, but somebody has drowned in the opening prologue. This leads to a very intense at time family drama.
We meet the Daly Family, Lisa Scott, Rae and Kimmy and the Ford family, Poppy, John, Ryan and Alex. Poppy and Lisa grew up as best friends and their lives have drastically changed at least for Lisa who married a wealthy man. When Lisa and Scott win a trip to Fripp Island in South Caroline, Lisa believes this is the perfect opportunity to include Poppy and her family who would not be able to afford a trip like this.
This story covers a lot of territory, cheating, opoid addiction, LGTBQ, and a multitude of other issues. I for one was all in from page one. I have read Kaufman’s last novel, The Gunners (which I enjoyed), but this was on a different level.
Kauffman does an excellent job creating the perfect family drama. She gives you many perspectives from each of the characters, and she did a wonderful job giving each character their own voice. She provides a Literary Mystery that has you guessing until the very end. There are even a few laugh out loud moments that she was able to slip in here.
This is a great summer read, I personally wish I saw this on more lists of what to read. If you get the chance pick up what could be an underrated little gem.
Thank you NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.