Book Review: Justin Cronin’s The Summer Guest

Justin Cronin’s follow-up to his short story collection Mary and O’Neil is a
q? encoding=UTF8&Format= SL160 &ASIN=0385335822&MarketPlace=US&ID=AsinImage&WS=1&tag=vishaalslair 20&ServiceVersion=20070822haunting novel that takes the reader on a journey to the deepest, most secluded parts of New England. The Summer Guest takes place primarily in a fishing camp in a remote area of Maine. A wealthy entrepreneur named Harry Wainwright who is dying of cancer visits the camp, which has been a special place of refuge for him. He has returned one last time to catch his final fish. The story also focuses on the camp owner, Joe Crosby, his wife Lucy and daughter Kate, and Jordan, Harry Wainwright’s favorite fishing guide. Cronin weaves the lives of the characters together, bringing the reader along on a fifty year journey that reveals the significance that this fishing camp has to each 20&l=as2&o=1&a=0385335822
The Summer Guest is skillful and guides the reader through several decades of family history with ease. The most interesting feature of the story is its point-of-view; each chapter is told in first person from alternating viewpoints. Harry, Joe, Lucy, Jordan, and finally Kate each get an opportunity to reveal their journey to the moment when Harry visits the camp for his final time. In this way Cronin slowly draws the reader into an understanding of the camp’s significance to the people who live and play there, and the place itself becomes the most important character of all.

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