Late September 1957. Henry and Effie, very young newlyweds from Georgia, arrive in Cape May, New Jersey, for their honeymoon only to find the town is deserted. Feeling shy of each other and isolated, they decide to cut the trip short. But before they leave, they meet a glamorous set of people who 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. Erotic and moving, this is a novel about marriage, love and sexuality, and the lifelong repercussions that meeting a group of debauched cosmopolitans has on a new marriage.
“Duplicity and transformation of the self is at the heart of CAPE MAY. Henry’s struggle to be a good man is immediately tested on his honeymoon at a moment of betrayal coinciding with his and Effie’s sexual awakenings. In CAPE MAY, Cheek shows that every couple encounters such a moment of their own–whether physical, emotional or some combination of both–and it holds the power to change a relationship forever.”–Shelf Awareness
See the full summary, review, and interview with Chip Cheek at shelf-awareness.com.