The Kilbourn Public Library Book Discussion Group is reading That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo for July. Russo gives us the story of a marriage, and of all the other ties that bind, from parents and in-laws to children and the promises of youth.
Griffin has been tooling around for nearly a year with his father's ashes in the trunk of his car, but his mother is very much alive and not shy about calling him on his cell phone. She does so as he drives down to Cape Cod, where he and his wife, Joy, will celebrate the marriage of their daughter Laura's best friend. For Griffin this is akin to driving into the past, since he took his childhood summer vacations here, his parents' respite from the hated Midwest. And the Cape is where he and Joy honeymooned, in the course of which they drafted the Great Truro Accord, a plan for their lives together that's now thirty years old and has largely come true. But be careful what you pray for--especially if you manage to achieve it.
That Old Cape Magic is a novel of deep introspection and every family feeling imaginable, with Jack Griffin, a middle-aged man confronting his parents and their failed marriage, his own troubled one, his daughter's new life, and finally, what it was he thought he wanted and what in fact he has.
What does Jack Griffin want?
In reference to his parents' ongoing but fruitless search for a Cape Cod beach house, Griffin muses, "Perhaps...just looking was sufficient in and of itself" (page 9). Is looking enough? Which characters prove or disprove this point of view?
Why is Griffin so apprehensive of commitment? What is he afraid of losing?
Is Griffin afraid of being happy? Is being happy the same as "settling"?
Why does it take so long for Griffin to dispose of his parents' remains?
How does Griffin's relationship with his parents lead to the dissolution of his marriage to Joy?
Let us know what you think of That Old Cape Magic.
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Welcome to the internet home of the Kilbourn Public Library (KPL) Book Club. The KPL Book Club meets at the library once a month. A book is chosen for each month and then members of the book club meet the last Monday and Wednesday of every month for lively discussion and treats. While we can’t offer you treats via the internet, this KPL Reads blog was designed for those of you who would like to participate in the book club but don’t have time to join us at meetings. Each month KPL staff will post discussion topics and questions to get you “talking”. Join in the discussion by adding a post to the blog. Click on the word comments below the post you want to "talk" about and write your comment. Be sure to check back often to see feedback and comments.