cover image The Second Home

The Second Home

Christina Clancy. St. Martin’s, $26.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-250-23934-1

In Clancy’s florid, beach-ready debut, an inheritance dispute kicks up long-buried memories and secrets for a pair of sisters and their estranged adopted brother. Ann Gordon is in her mid-30s and dealing with the painful process of selling her family’s summerhouse in Wellfleet, Mass., after her parents’ death in a car accident. Unable to find a will, she tells what she assumes is a harmless lie, that besides her and her younger sister, Poppy, there are no other heirs to the title. Clancy then jumps back to when 17-year-old Ann arrives in Wellfleet for a summer, accompanied by Ann’s classmate and new addition to the Gordon family, Michael Davis, who has been adopted by the Gordons after losing his parents. Ann gets a job babysitting for the Shaw boys, their neighbors, and becomes entangled with the boys’ overbearing mother and their father, who has a wandering eye. By summer’s end, a rape and a miscarriage of justice set in motion a chain of events that will change the course of Ann and Michael’s lives. While the Shaw characters can be disappointingly flat in a way that borders on cartoonish, Clancy’s affectionate descriptions of Wellfleet are transporting. This is sure to be a favorite with book clubs. (June)