I’m deep into a severe blogging slump right now, but have to tell you about The Orphans of Race Point by Patry Francis. It’s the book you’re going to want to read this summer – in case you haven’t heard.
I was lucky enough to receive a review copy of The Orphans of Race Point, the second novel by Patry Francis (after The Liar’s Diary), and have been raving about it to anyone who will listen ever since. If you recently finished reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt and wondered what sprawling, Dickensian novel everyone would be reading next…this is it.
Instead of London, Las Vegas, or New York City, the tangled lives of two motherless children Gus and Hallie, and their friend Neil, unfold mostly on the beaches and narrow streets of Provincetown – on the outermost tip of Cape Cod – and in the seacoast city of New Bedford, Massachusetts, where there is also a large Portuguese-American community. Tragedies, misunderstandings, and missed opportunities pile up for the three young friends, after a violent act by Gus’ father brings them together, setting them on their course for life. Fate lies heavily on the characters, as the book explores true love, fatherhood, human behavior, the human spirit, and what about ourselves can be changed.
I think the cover design makes it clear that The Orphans of Race Point isn’t a thriller (although some of the promotion seems to me to make it sound that way.) It’s literary fiction with a strong story line that touches on big ideas but focuses on the personal. In The Orphans of Race Point, the characters and the story share center stage, giving it the heft you want in a long novel (over 500 pages) and events and action that keep you turning pages. The perfect summer read for the beach or the cottage! (Or for wintertime. Or anytime, really. But why wait, and risk hearing spoilers?)
It would also make a great book club book, and has a reading group guide included.
For anyone in the area of the Brockton Public Library, the author is going to be speaking and reading from The Orphans of Race Point this Saturday, June 14, at 2 p.m. Hope to see you there!
The Orphans of Race Point
May 6, 2014
Disclosure: I received an advanced reading copy of this book from Library Journal for review and gave it a starred review. I also met the author at a book signing in Brockton after the publication of her first novel, The Liar’s Diary, which is pretty different from The Orphans of Race Point, but also excellent!