Cheek's glamorous and nostalgic first novel is an atmospheric tale of sexual longing and loss in 1950s America that nods to classics like The Great Gatsby and Revolutionary Road
Cape May is a perfectly mixed cocktail of beauty, desire, and heady desperation. In his gorgeous debut novel, Chip Cheek offers his readers a portrait of mid-century America and the timeless allure of love on the rocks.
This is no soft-focus coming-of-age story... Mood drives the story-the empty beach town exudes a barely hidden sense of threat, of the unknown lurking everywhere-and, as Effie and Henry become closer to playboy Max; his lover, Clara; and his half sister, Alma, we feel the gathering storm in every aspect of the landscape, from the roiling ocean waves to the reverberating clink of the gin bottle. Yes, betrayals are at the core of what happens at Cape May, but beyond that, this remarkable debut novel offers a sobering reminder of how the possibilities of life, when first encountered, often carry their own riptide.
A swirling vortex of psychological suspense with insights about marriage that recall writers like Margot Livesey and Alice Munro. The 1950s setting, the pellucid prose, and the propulsive plot make this very steamy debut novel about morality and desire feel like a classic.
Racy... Cheek's lyrical portrayal of '50s small-town America, and the erotic tales of the gang's escapades are thoroughly sexy and engrossing
Gorgeous, seductive storytelling, martini-dry prose reminiscent of James Salter's finest. I loved it
The atmosphere of this torrid Fifties psychodrama lingers long after the final page...Southern honeymooners Henry and Effie [...] are sucked into a Gatsby-esque bacchanal that unleashes powerful, devastating desires... Cheek's deft way with characters and consequence makes for a heady cocktail.
What a treat. Glamorous and nostalgic and very sexy, Cape May is a novel about marriage, lust, shabby seaside towns and lots of gin. Brilliantly unsettling - one of those books that stays with you.
Earthy and sensual, raw and real, Cape May is an exquisitely crafted exploration of young love, the power of desire, and the lifelong ramifications of choices made in an instant. Cheek's virtuosic prose reads like a modern classic, piercing through the veneer of male sexual fantasies of the 1950s and rendering a heartbreaking portrait of a man-and a marriage-undone by betrayal.
The new Gatsby... With shades of F Scott Fitzgerald, Revolutionary Road and even Mad Men, this is one of those books that transport you to a different era and leaves you mesmerised by bad behaviour and human failings. It is so, so good.