Christina Clancy comes to the blog with her debut offering: a family saga in
The Second Home
Three siblings, two homes and the unexpected death of their parents are the kindling for this story. Ann is on the Cape looking to offload the ‘summer home’ the family owned in Wellfleet. Her sister Poppy is to manage the family home in Wisconsin, their adopted brother Michael is not a serious consideration in any of this. But many questions arise –where did the split come from, how are they moving forward with Ann as executor with no will, and why haven’t they contacted Michael?
Enter the deep dive into memories, lies, secrets and plenty of conveniences to move the plot forward with zero (and I mean ZERO) grounding in any sort of fact. One does not appoint themselves executor of a will – one first has to have a copy of said will. One does not simply spirit a child away into adoption without someone taking notice – one can’t bully the courts into ignoring documents and information found during probate – and these are just the ‘tips’ of the problems I had with the story. It was convoluted, convenient for the drama with little grounding in facts – and the genre and story require that some factual content is correct.
And sadly – the incongruencies here pulled me out of the story and made the read a difficult one. Sadly, because Clancy can create a character – a flawed, distasteful character and make you want to see more. Just piling on “bad things happened to __” and they are justified (or feel it) because of that doesn’t get to any sort of growth or recognition of the character problems, nor did it make any of the ‘connections’ feel more than ‘for convenience’ and to move the plot forward. It just didn’t work for me, as I want to see some changes that feel honest and not contrived. It’s a difficult read, despite the obvious talent of the writer – I just think that an editor should have taken away extraneous elements and ‘issues’ and focused the story, removing the ‘for convenience’ elements that served only to create confusion and drama that doesn’t serve the story.
Title: The Second Home
Author: Christina Clancy
Genre: Coming of Age, Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Family Saga, Friendship
Published by: St. Martin's Press
Published on: 2 June, 2020
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 9 Hours: 1 minute
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A debut novel set on Cape Cod that centers on a beloved family home and the summer that changed the lives of three siblings forever, perfect for readers of J. Courtney Sullivan and Elin Hilderbrand.
After a disastrous summer spent at her family's summer home on Cape Cod, seventeen year old Ann Gordon is left harboring a secret that changes her life forever, and creates a rift between her sister, Poppy, and their adopted brother, Michael.
Now, fifteen years later, her parents have died, and Ann and her sister Poppy are left to decide the fate of the old Wellfleet home that's been in the Gordon family for generations. While they both love the house, they decide to sell it and move forward. But then Michael re-enters their lives with a legitimate claim to a third of the estate. He wants the house. But more than that, he wants to set the record straight about that long ago summer.
Reunited after years apart, these very different siblings are forced to decide if they can continue to be a family--and in the process, they'll discover that the house might be the glue that holds them together.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.