After being feted as Sag Harbor's Citizen of the Year, Dr. Robert Hart should be riding high. But everything he holds dear may be thrown into jeopardy when his son, Jonah, brings his college roommate, Nick, home for the summer.
Walker’s debut novel compellingly captures Robert’s interior monologue, riddled with bitter doubts. Can he really trust his wife Elizabeth’s fidelity? After all, they both cast off former spouses to marry each other. Can he trust his son’s love? Indeed, why would Jonah love the father who abandoned him when he was just a child? Can he trust his houseguest, Nick, the young stud? Even his neighbors, the same townspeople who voted him Citizen of the Year, give Robert pause, for aren’t they all phony posers just waiting for him and Elizabeth to show their true colors and commit adultery again? With a mother who died of ALS when he was just 14 and a father who died by suicide soon after, Nick has become self-sufficient, but he welcomes the chance to join the Hart family, if only for a while. Once Nick is ensconced in the guesthouse, Robert becomes convinced that their guest has designs on Elizabeth, and he embarks on a convoluted plan to keep Nick away from her, a plan that may well endanger his own career. Meanwhile, Elizabeth and Jonah have their own troubles, including Elizabeth’s conviction that the other women in town will never forgive her for her first broken marriage and Jonah’s struggle to care for a previously absentee father. When Nick disappears, all that lurks beneath percolates up, triggering a few very surprising twists.
A darkly beguiling summer mystery that exposes the shaky foundations of a complicated family.