Richard Russo has again written a winner. His Pulitzer Prize winning novel, Empire Falls was made into an HBO mini-series starring Paul Newman in his last live-action role. This latest story is again set in New England. That Old Cape Magic was the song sung by Jack Higgins parents as they crossed the Sagamore Bridge onto Cape Cod every summer for their long-awaited vacation. Now that Jack is again heading to Cape Cod with his wife he reminisces about those long ago summer vacations and realizes that he is turning into the person that he least wants to be, his father.
Russo examines the close ties we have to our parent’s way of life as we age and see ourselves doing the very things that we declared never to do. The moments of introspection are countered with hilarious looks at a fiasco of a rehearsal dinner for his daughter, again on Cape Cod, and the comedy of driving around with the ashes of his father and mother in his trunk and hearing them continue to give him their opinions.