Cape May: A Novel
'Glamorous and nostalgic and very sexy... One of those books that stays with you' Paula Hawkins
'The new Gatsby... With shades of F Scott Fitzgerald, Revolutionary Road and even Mad Men. It is so, so good' Stylist (The Top 10 Books of 2019)
September 1957 Henry and Effie, young newlyweds from Georgia, arrive in Cape May, New Jersey, for their honeymoon. It's the end of the season and the town is deserted. As they tentatively discover each other - walking on the deserted beach overlooking the vast, darkening Atlantic, clumsily making love in the dusty rooms of a distant relative's house - they begin to realize that everyday married life might be disappointingly different from their happy-ever-after fantasy.
Just as they get ready to cut the trip short, a light goes on in one of the houses on their street and a decadent and glamorous set suddenly sweep them up into their drama - Clara, a beautiful socialite who feels her youth slipping away; Max, a wealthy playboy and Clara's lover; and Alma, Max's aloof and mysterious half-sister, to whom Henry is irresistibly drawn.
The empty beach town becomes their playground, and as they sneak into abandoned summer homes, go sailing, walk naked under the stars, make love, and drink a great deal of gin, Henry and Effie slip from innocence into betrayal, with irrevocable consequences that reverberate through the rest of their lives...
'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, rendering a heartbreaking portrait of a marriage undone by betrayal' Whitney Scharer, author of The Age of Light