Review: That Old Cape Magic

Richard Russo (2009)

I really wanted to like this book. Unfortunately, I never engaged with the story or the main character, a man named Jack Griffin who suffers much life change and is forced to examine his past.

Griffin has spent his life believing he’s outrun the legacy of his less-than-idyllic childhood. Cape Magic begins and ends with a pair of weddings, a year apart, that pull Griffin back to his old stomping grounds. And what a difference a year makes: a separation from his wife, his daughter’s wedding, and the death of his parents, whose ashes he carts around in the trunk of his car in an amusing attempt to unload the emotional baggage off the coast of New England.

Alas, Griffin’s story missed the mark for me. It wasn’t so much that I disliked the guy, I just didn’t care. While Cape Magic was well written, it didn’t have enough of the humor I’ve come to enjoy in earlier Russo novels.


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