Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Red Hook Road by Ayelet Waldman

A day of celebration ends in tragedy when just-married Becca Copaken and John Tetherly are killed in a car accident on the way to their wedding reception. Becca's family have summered in Maine for generations, while the Tetherlys are year-long residents. Another notable difference between the families is that the Copakens are upper-class while John's mother, Jane, is in charge of her own cleaning business. The deaths of the couple deeply affect their immediate families: Becca's parents Iris and Daniel, her younger sister, Ruthie, John's mother, Jane and his younger brother, Matt. Becca's grandfather, Mr. Kimmelbrod, a famous violinist suffering from Parkinson's, has already known lots of suffering in his life, having lost many family members in the Holocaust. The novel takes place over the four summers following the accident, exploring all the survivors subsequent lives. While I have enjoyed Waldman's previous novels, the main characters were, at times, not that likable. Red Hook Road does not suffer from the same problem. It's her best book, by far. For readers who like books about family relationships. It will be published next month.

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