Thursday, July 9, 2020

The Second Home by Christina Clancy ~ My Thoughts #TheSecondHome #NetGalley

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The Second Home by Christina Clancy
Print and e-book, 340 pages
Published June 2nd 2020 by St. Martin's Press

After a disastrous summer spent at her family summer home on Cape Cod, seventeen-year-old Ann Gordon was left with a secret that changed her life forever, and created a rift between her sister, Poppy, and their adopted brother, Michael.

Now, fifteen years later, her parents have died, leaving Ann and Poppy to decide the fate of the Wellfleet home that's been in the Gordon family for generations. For Ann, the once-beloved house is tainted with bad memories. Poppy loves the old saltbox, but after years spent chasing waves around the world, she isn't sure she knows how to stay in one place.

Just when the sisters decide to sell, Michael re-enters their lives with a legitimate claim to 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 must decide if they can continue to be a family—and the house just might be the glue that holds them together.

Told through the shifting perspectives of Ann, Poppy, and Michael, this assured and affecting debut captures the ache of nostalgia for summers past and the powerful draw of the places we return to again and again. It is about second homes, second families, and second chances. Tender and compassionate, incisive and heartbreaking, The Second Home is the story of a family you'll quickly fall in love with, and won't soon forget.

My thoughts about The Second Home ~~ 

(I love to note the first lines of the books I'm reading. First lines can really grab a reader's attention and I love seeing where the author takes the reader after their first line.)

First lines—"Ann had never been to Wellfleet in February."

The end of the synopsis for this book says this is a 'story of a family you'll quickly fall in love with, and won't soon forget'. That is so, so true. I fell in love with this story from the start and with each of the characters as soon as I met them. And I'm still thinking about them. 

The Second Home delves into the lives of Ann, Poppy, and Michael. The dual timeline of the past and the present help us discover why these three siblings are estranged and what drove them apart. Can the past be reconciled? Or will the family lose their summer home, a home which meant so much to all of them? 

This is a very well written book with the words just flowing off of the pages and into my imagination. This debut novel by Christina Clancy is an impressive work of fiction and she is an author I'll be reading again. I can't wait to see what she produces next. The Second Home is a title you definitely need to add to your summer reading list. 

I received The Second Home via NetGalley and this is my honest opinion of the book.

 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. ~ Goodreads 

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