Title: Red Hook Road
Author: Ayelet Waldman
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing, July 2010
Summary: A young couple is killed on the way to their wedding reception in coastal Maine. Red Hook Road takes the reader on a journey with the surviving members of their families over four summers. Iris and Daniel Copaken are the parents of the bride and they are native New Yorkers who summer in Maine; they are “from away”. Jane Hewins, the groom’s mother, is their cleaning lady who was never happy with the union of the young couple. Emil Kimmelbrand, Iris’ father, is a famous violinist who discovers that Jane’s adopted Cambodian niece is a musical prodigy. There are many layers to this novel but rather than being complicated and confusing Waldman manages to build each story gradually and thoroughly. The relationships between husband and wife, mother and daughter, father and daughter, mother and son, brothers and sisters are all so believable that you can relate to their tensions, their frustrations, their joy and their pain.
Waldman is a skilled writer whose descriptions of Maine and its inhabitants are so real that she had this reader yearning to visit this fictional place. Although a story of loss and grief it is also a story of possibilities and hope. This book is a quick read that will stay with you long after you turn the last page.
Whi will like this book? Readers of Jodi Picoult, Chris Bohjalian, and Anna Quindlen.
Recommended by: Claudia, Technical Services Department