filled star filled star filled star filled star star unfilled
bridgettem Avatar


Cape May gave me serious Great Gatsby vibes! My expectations were not disappointed by this sensual debut novel.

Newlyweds Henry and Effie are on their honeymoon in Cape May in the 1950’s, staying at a family member’s beach house. It’s September, so the town is almost empty. Effie and Henry get a bit bored and plan to go home to Georgia early until they run into an interesting, glamorous group. Clara is the effusive socialite, Max is her wealthy lover, and Alma is Max’s enigmatic half-sister. As Henry and Effie become more and more drawn into their new friends’ unrestrained lifestyle, Henry becomes more and more attracted to Alma. Cape May is an exploration of love, adultery, and the consequences of falling in with such a hedonistic crowd.

Cape May is a quick, steamy beach read that I thoroughly enjoyed. Both Henry and Effie are unlikeable characters, and for a while I was troubled by their disastrous choices. By the end of the book, however, I decided that their debaucheries are what suffuse them with humanity. Quite honestly, the last few paragraphs of the novel shifted my view of how people come to know and love each other and the role hurtful actions and words play in this intimacy.

I feel like I have to give this warning: some of the male characters in this book are blatantly sexist. It was maddening. I believe the portrayal of male chauvinism is intentional; I think it’s supposed to disgust the reader. So although I did not like it, it didn’t lower my opinion of the book. Other readers may not be able to overlook it, though.

The next time you are headed to the beach or the pool, make sure to pick up a copy of Cape May to bring with you! Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.