cover image The Prince of Nantucket

The Prince of Nantucket

Jan Goldstein, . . Crown/Shaye Areheart, $24 (239pp) ISBN 978-0-307-34590-5

Teddy Mathison, the hero of Goldstein's unabashedly cloying second novel (after All That Matters ), is an ambitious California senatorial candidate called home to Nantucket because his Alzheimer-afflicted mother, world-famous artist Kate Longley Mathison, is nearing death. Teddy reluctantly flies back east for one last visit with his estranged mother, and campaign manager Judith Mackey conceives of the reunion as a shot at increasing the divorced Teddy's family values appeal. Accompanied by his moody 13-year-old daughter, Zoe, Teddy arrives in Nantucket prepared for the ultimate confrontation with his formidable mother, but is shocked by her withered condition. Before long, Teddy blows off the campaign in favor of helping his mother paint her last canvas, bonding with a self-mutilating Zoe and romancing Liza Swain, a local waitress/photographer with a tragic past. When Judith shows up on the island to remind him of his campaign responsibilities, Teddy is forced to choose between becoming the senator from California or the "Prince of Nantucket." If you think you know how it ends, you're right. But if you think you won't get at least a little weepy, you're wrong. (May)