This week I finally got around to reading Ayelet Waldman’s latest novel, Red Hook Road (Random House, 2011). Despite 350+ pages of 7-point font, it was a quick read and a perfect summer beach book (which I enjoyed from the comfort of my living room in suburban Chicago).
I wasn’t sure what to expect, other than a story set around a tragedy in Maine. (I did attend Waldman’s paperback book tour for Red Hook Road and learned how she came up with the idea for this novel.)
The story centers around the families of Becca and John, who are killed in a car crash on their wedding day, just an hour after they completed their vows.
Everyone deals with loss in a different way and Waldman so eloquently shows this in her novel. Becca’s parents come to terms with their own marriage, John’s mother mourns stoically, and Becca’s and John’s siblings hook up.
An endearing side story is the budding mentorship between Becca’s elderly grandfather, a famous violinist who escaped Europe just before Kristallnacht, and Samantha, a pre-teen who was adopted from Cambodia by John’s cousin.
Red Hook Road doesn’t have a Disney ending (yay), but it also doesn’t end on a down note.
In case you missed it, here’s a photo of Ayelet Waldman and me back in June!