Cape May by Chip Cheek


I have thought a long time about whether or not to post a review about Cape May by Chip Cheek. It was the worst, most horrible book I have ever read and I have so many problems with it. I don’t want anyone to see it and without reading the review think I am encouraging anyone to read it. The cover of this book gives the feeling that this would be a great, relaxing summer read and so I decided I wanted to at least let people know that that is not the case and hope they read at least a bit of this review and not just look at the picture. 

In 1957 Henry and Effie go to Cape May for their honeymoon. The town is almost deserted and there is not much to do. The story starts with them getting it know one another in intimate ways and trying to find things to do in this town where not much is going on. They discover some people in a house where multiple people are coming and going and there is a huge party every night. They are soon caught up with these people and their parties. 

That may sound like a nice enough plot but really all that this book is about is sex. It really is just the story of a horny guywho has sex with more than one other woman on his honeymoon and thinks this is ok. He says he loves his wife but his actions show he really doesn’t. I felt like this book showed a false side to what love is. Love is not wanting to have sex with someone. I thought maybe this would be a coming of age story and that Henry would grow up and learn about love. But nope, Henry spends his life thinking it is not only okay but also perfectly normal to continually cheat on his wife. I also had a big problem with the idea that boys will be boys and all men cheat on their wives. This story was only about sex and it was very explicit in showing this. I also thought this was totally unnecessary. I got the idea that Henry was a jerk who was more concerned about having sex than about the feeling of others.  I didn’t also need to read in detail about the sexual experience. I skipped through those scenes and would skip through pages and pages before there was something else happening. Henry often talked about how the feeling to cheat would rise up and take over and control him. I also did not like this idea being promoted. This is a completely false idea. We do have control over our thoughts and we do not need to act on every impulse we have. The last thing that really bothered me was that there were absolutely no consequences to Henry’s actions. He goes on to have a good life in his view. I don’t like the idea of people reading that it is ok to do what you want be be completely selfish without it ever affecting you.

I have tried hard to figure out why this book is called literary fiction. I just can’t come up with any reason and I don’t think anyone should read it.

My copy of Cape May was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

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