The Second Home by Christina Clancy, 4 stars

The library has officially been closed 7 weeks. 7 WEEKS! I mean, I get it. It’s necessary. But today I was thinking I better remember to return the books I have checked out when it re-opens. I’ve had some of them since late January.

And I seriously wonder how many people have lot track of their library books during that time? Mine have been sitting in my blue BOM tote since I finished reading them. But honestly, if I had kids books checked out, who know where they would be now. Especially since I gave up on telling them to clean their room weeks ago.

RIP all those lost library books. But moving on to something relevant, our review today. The Second Home by Christine Clancy was every bit the Summer Sisters, Maine-esch book I wanted it to be. Well, for the most part.

From the Publisher:

After a disastrous summer spent at her family summer home on Cape Cod, seventeen-year-old Ann Gordon was left with a secret that changed her life forever, and created a rift between her sister, Poppy, and their adopted brother, Michael.

Now, fifteen years later, her parents have died, leaving Ann and Poppy to decide the fate of the Wellfleet home that’s been in the Gordon family for generations. For Ann, the once-beloved house is tainted with bad memories. Poppy loves the old saltbox, but after years spent chasing waves around the world, she isn’t sure she knows how to stay in one place.

Just when the sisters decide to sell, Michael re-enters their lives with a legitimate claim to 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 must decide if they can continue to be a family—and the house just might be the glue that holds them together.

Told through the shifting perspectives of Ann, Poppy, and Michael, this assured and affecting debut captures the ache of nostalgia for summers past and the powerful draw of the places we return to again and again. It is about second homes, second families, and second chances. Tender and compassionate, incisive and heartbreaking, The Second Home is the story of a family you’ll quickly fall in love with, and won’t soon forget.

My Review:

The Second Home follows the story of Ann, Poppy and Michael, middle class midwesterners who make the trip each summer to Cape Cod to stay at their family home. Now, it’s not quite as swanky as it sounds. It’s off the main road and doesn’t have a clear view of the beach, but it’s enough for them. It’s got charm, it’s been in the family forever and it’s home.

I feel like those details alone are enough to make the story different from every single summer read about entitled East Coast millionaires who summer on the Cape. But add to all this the fact that Michael is a friend/foster child who isn’t adopted until the age of 17 and it’s a lot different.

I really enjoyed this one. I love books that take place on Montauk, or Nantucket or Cape Cod, even though I’ve actually never been to any of those places. But they sound idyllic. Modest cottages on a private or quiet beach. I can just imagine myself sitting there with a floppy hat, breezy cover-up and a glass of white wine. And of course, I’d be reading this book.

I thought the family dynamics were spot on and I loved the richly drawn characters-especially the hippy parents. The only reason this one wasn’t a 5 for me was mainly that I found some of the later details hard to believe. That the secrets that were kept would actually be kept and that in the age of social media, that people could stay hidden or disappear when they actually live basically around the corner.

Still, this is one to pick-up for your non-existent vacation this summer. So pull up a lawn chair by the baby pool in your backyard, pour yourself some ice tea and escape to Cape Cod! Special thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for an advanced e-galley in exchange for my honest review. This one releases June 2! Get your copy (and support your favorite indie bookstore!)


5 thoughts on “The Second Home by Christina Clancy, 4 stars

Add yours

  1. Love your review! I really enjoyed the book and the characters, and especially the location.


  2. I cut myself short 🙈

    I wanted to add that I LOVED the location, it sounded so authentic and realistic, I’ve never been but having a vacation home there sounds lovely. And I feel the same about the library closure as you. I haven’t been to one since it all started, I got myself a stack of books I still haven’t read, and I can’t WAIT for them to open again. 😀


    1. It’s funny because I feel like I’ve vacationed there. Probably because so many books and movies are set there. But the closest I’ve gotten is Virginia Beach.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve not been to the Easy Coast vacationing at all, besides Florida, and I don’t think Florida could give me the feel of Cape Cod 😀


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