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Cape May

By Chip Cheek
Author: Chip Cheek
ISBN: 9781250297150
ON SALE: 04/30/2019

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Cape May is a raw, provocative portrayal of a young 1950s couple on the cusp of a sexual awakening, and the temptations that upturn their honeymoon and reshape their marriage.

In this erotic and intimate debut novel, a naïve southern couple is exposed to a group of raucous, debauched urbanites. Arriving for their honeymoon in Cape May, New Jersey, during the off season, Henry and Effie are startled to find the beach town deserted. The abandoned homes and desolate beaches make them shy of each other, and, isolated in their new marriage, they decide to cut their trip short.

But before they leave, they encounter their glamorous, sensual neighbors and become swept up by 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, mysterious, and evocative half-sister, to whom Henry is irresistibly drawn. Slowly, agonizingly, these deeply-flawed, profoundly human characters pull Henry and Effie out of themselves and expose them to a side of desire they never expected.

While they discover new truths in each other and in their marriage, the empty beach town becomes their playground. And as they sneak into the vacant summer homes, go sailing, walk naked under the stars, make love, and drink an enormous amount of gin, Henry and Effie slip from innocence into betrayal, with irrevocable consequences.

Seductive and moving, this is a novel about marriage, love, raw sexuality, and the ways in which desire and betrayal can reverberate endlessly throughout our lives.

Chip Cheek
Chip Cheek’s stories have appeared in The Southern Review, Harvard Review, Washington Square, and other journals and anthologies. He has been awarded scholarships to the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, the Tin House Summer Writers' Workshop, and the Vermont Studio Center, as well as an Emerging Artist Award from the St. Botolph Club Foundation. He lives in El Segundo, California, with his wife and baby daughter.

Praise for Chip Cheek

This remarkable debut novel offers a sobering reminder of how the possibilities of life, when first encountered, often carry their own riptide.
Booklist, Starred Review
Cheek’s strong debut is a psychodrama that shows just how easily people can be manipulated. Cheek does a good job with his cast; Henry and Effie are finely drawn and their slide from innocence starkly depicted. The novel’s ending is particularly startling—a memorable final note in this cogent examination of marital infidelity and betrayal.
Publishers Weekly
If you can’t get enough of women’s fiction novels with a twist, Cape May will be your perfect book club read.
Parade
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.
Bret Anthony Johnston
Author of Corpus Christi and internationally bestselling Remember Me Like This
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.
Whitney Scharer
Author of The Age of Light
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.
Paula Hawkins
#1 New York Times bestselling author of The Girl on the Train

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