A SURVEY OF THE ATLANTIC BEACHES by

A SURVEY OF THE ATLANTIC BEACHES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A blithe, richly textured tale of fantasy, tourism and philandering along the Atlantic seaboard. Swaggering 41-year-old Devereaux Hoopes has the unlikely mission of ferrying his son Cad, a prep-school teen, from Massachusetts back home to Alabama. Unlikely, because father (like son) has a boundless sexual curiosity matched only by his surveyor's eye for topographical beauty that makes this journey south a zig-zag of carnal delights. Hopping from beach town to beach town, Hoopes and Carl dip into brief, madcap encounters with such types as Barry Kessler, an automation nut, and Hoopes' former sister-in-law Jessica, with whom he enjoys a risky tryst. But reality, and monogamy, are at the end of the Hoopes line. Back at last in Alabama, Hoopes finds that his lover Tessa Dixon, sensing his infidelity, has deserted him--and in the book's closing pages a dizzying network of affairs and counteraffairs in the name of love and revenge nearly sinks the plot. It remains afloat just long enough for Hoopes and Tessa to reunite, appropriately (in this book filled with water and water imagery) on an island--Cumberland in the southeast--where amidst a whacked out crew of fellow hermits, the Vesuvio family, the couple swear off adultery and renew their vows of love. The various beach backdrops used here--Wellfleet, eastern Long Island, and St. Augustine, among others--are gorgeously rendered. Description is the book's strongest suit. Hendrie overwrites, and his story is slight, but this silly, pretty novel has a strange appeal.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1987
Publisher: Crown