Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Summer Reading

I just returned from a vacation in glorious Los Angeles. In between jaunts in the white Mustang convertible we rented and celebrity sightings (well, sighting, and it was only Kevin Connolly from Entourage), I read. I'm thrilled to report that the glowing reviews of Tom Rachman's blowup first novel, The Imperfectionists, are in no way exaggerated, and Us Weekly still does a bang up job of proving that celebrities are just like us.

My time in the sun and the nice weather that greeted me upon my return got me thinking about summer reading. It takes a special kind of book to hold your attention in the park. (Incidentally, can you imagine taking a Kindle to the beach? I can't. Last I checked, sand and water are anathema to electronic devices.) DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince know what I'm talking about.

This year's contender for #1 Summer Beach Read is Holly LeCraw's The Swimming Pool. Check out the publisher's description:

A heartbreaking affair, an unsolved murder, an explosive romance: welcome to summer on the Cape in this powerful debut.

Seven summers ago, Marcella Atkinson fell in love with Cecil McClatchey, a married father of two. But on the same night their romance abruptly ended, Cecil's wife was found murdered—and their lives changed forever. The case was never solved, and Cecil died soon after, an uncharged suspect.

Now divorced and estranged from her only daughter, Marcella lives alone, mired in grief and guilt. Meanwhile, Cecil's grown son, Jed, returns to the Cape with his sister for the first time in years. One day he finds a woman's bathing suit buried in a closet—a relic, unbeknownst to him, of his father's affair—and, on a hunch, confronts Marcella. When they fall into an affair of their own, their passion temporarily masks the pain of the past, but also leads to crises and revelations they never could have imagined.

In what is sure to be the debut of the season, The Swimming Pool delivers a sensuous narrative of such force and depth that you won't be able to put it down.

My only question is, where's the darn swimming pool? I'm sure it will come up, but they could be a little more forthcoming. I'll be sure to bring up my tiny quibble with Holly LeCraw when she reads here on May 24th.

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