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Ratings and Book Reviews (7 7 star ratings
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  • The Second Home

    The Second Home is the debut novel by Christina Clancy. At times The Second Home is a feel good story and at others it shows the reader how secrets can destroy a family. Looking forward to seeing what Ms Clancy writes next. I want to thank Net Galley and St. Martins Press for the early copy to review.

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  • Enjoyable

    I enjoyed The Second Home by Christina Clancy. It was a good story to pass the time during quarantine. It was entertaining and kept me interested. I love stories that take place at the beach and this one takes place in Cape Cod.  Clancy has a gentle approach to her writing style in this book. She is not in your face. She just lays out a nice story for your enjoyment. If you like stories about families with history and young love, you will like this one and I would definitely recommend it for your reading pleasure. This book warmed my heart.  I grew to like her charecters and had several chuckles over Ed and Connie who were the parents of Ann and Poppy. They still had a great love for each other and I admired them. Have you ever had a teacher that was on the hippie side? Now, imagine them as your parents and going to the same high school where they teach. I received a copy of this book from the publisher for a fair and honest review. 

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  • Beautiful novel about love and family

    Two siblings and two educator parents in Milwaukee bring a teenage boy into their home, eventually adopting him. Ann and Poppy love Michael and are thrilled to have him be a member of their family, until one disastrous trip to the family’s second home in Cape Cod. Michael, Poppy and Ann will live the next 15 years of their lives estranged, until a family catastrophe brings them all back together in that second home. I loved the concept of this book at first sight. What would it take for a “perfect” family to bring another child, no less a teenager, into their home? How would two teenage girls react to a new member of the family, especially a boy? How would this teenage boy assimilate and feel comfortable being a member of a firmly established group? Christina Clancy does an amazing job of weaving these five people into one coherent family group. Even though Ann and Michael are the same age, and Poppy is younger, no one feels left out of the family unit. Ed and Connie, the parents, do everything they can to keep the family together and functioning normally. Until that summer in Cape Cod when the family splinters irreparably. Or is it? Because of Clancy’s ability to write this story in three voices, we see each sibling’s side of the story and how their lives were changed. Honestly, this was absolutely a “can’t put it down” type of book. I wanted to find out how the pieces would or wouldn’t come back together. Excellent book. 4.75 stars

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  • Emotional and touching

    Despite the pretty pastel cover this is not a light, fluffy beach read, rather it is quite dark and gets downright disturbing. This emotional family drama centers on the Gordon’s, parents with two daughters Ann and Poppy and their adopted son Michael. They are a seemingly perfect family spending their summers at their beloved old house in Cape Cod. They live an idyllic privileged life until one summer a terrible man commits a heinous crime and the traumatic event tears the family apart. This crime and the lead up to it are explored in depth and it is very uncomfortable to read. I was so incredibly livid about the crime and even more by the gas lighting that occurred afterwards. While the offence was terrible and upsetting it is the gas lighting that breaks this perfect family and it was heartbreaking and infuriating. This is one of those cases when you will be screaming at the characters to just communicate and talk to each other but of course the drama comes from miscommunication or complete lack of communication. I wanted to shake them to make them see the truth. I don’t really understand why they were so willing to believe someone they both knew was a bad person and untrustworthy. The family is irretrievably broken and it isn’t until 15 years later with the death of the Gordon parents that the siblings are brought back together to divide up their inheritance including the beach house. The story alternates between the past when the sisters were teens and the present in which they are adults and we see the consequences of the crime and their decisions around it. While the past timeline was tragic, sad, and made me angry, the timeline set in the present surprised me more than once. A few things happened that I did not see coming, one in particular was especially shocking. There were some very heart-warming moments both in the lives that the characters built for themselves separately and also when they finally come together and talk about what happened. For the most part things work out and the story didn’t always take the expected path to a HEA ending. In the end I feel like this was a touching and positive read but it sure puts you through the emotional wringer to get there! Thank you to St. Martin's Press for providing an Electronic Advance Reader Copy via NetGalley for review.

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  • charming and gritty

    Christina Clancy’s debut novel explores the concept of home through a kaleidoscope of three perspectives. Ann, the eldest and most responsible of the Gordon siblings, is nicknamed, “Ann with a Plan.” Conflict swirls around an insidious and conniving antagonist, Anthony Shaw, a rich Cape Cod summer resident who employs Ann one fateful summer. Teachers in Milwaukee, the Gordons adopt Michael as a teen, after both his parents die. The family’s summer house in Cape Cod expands Michael’s tragic world to one of independence and possibility. Poppy, the youngest Gordon, is a free spirit. In Cape Cod she discovers surfing, drugs, and a taste for travel. When the Gordon parents suddenly die, these three confront the fate of the Milwaukee and Cape Cod houses, and with them, the fate of their family. Ann, Michael and Poppy each take turns as charming and gritty stars of each chapter. As no one character is dominant, a fourth voice emerges: the connections and disconnections between characters. Estrangement and belonging become restless bedfellows the characters are able to navigate due to this resilient fourth voice. Ann’s fraught relationship with Anthony, Michael’s protective nature and Poppy’s escapism balance out in an always evolving creation: Home. The democratic writing style betrays the Midwestern flavor of the novel. In the tradition of the Midwest’s stoic Northern European inhabitants, feelings are aired yet not romanticized. Dialogue is straight forward, not analytical. Descriptions of natural beauty are functional, not ancillary, contributing to the plot’s movement toward stability and resolution. Through sturdy prose and thoughtful characters, home comes across like a hearty meal with just enough realism to fill the belly as well as mystery to leave a tantalizing hunger for more. The Second Home is a stalwart, trustworthy book, a feel-good read, perfect for summer satisfaction in the midst of global chaos.

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