Saturday, November 18, 2023

#BookReview of Water Music: A Cape Cod Story by Marcia Peck

Water Music: A Cape Cod Story

By: Marcia Peck
Publisher: Sea Crow Press
Publication Date: May 5, 2023
ISBN: 979-8-9865676-8-6
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Review Date: November 15, 2023
Marcia Peck’s latest offering, Water Music: A Cape Cod Story, is written like a beautiful memory...rife with the innocence of youth and the harsh realities of life.
In the summer of 1956, just like the summers before and most likely the many that lie ahead, the Grainger family packed the family car to the hilt and set out once more for their annual trek to Cape Cod. Their home was New Jersey, but the Cape was their escape from the stifling heat of city streets and no ocean breezes. The Grainger’s ’53 Pontiac was virtually busting at its seams; leaving the slightest of space for Lily and her sister Dodie to wedge their way in amongst the endless chaos of ‘things they would need’ for a summer on the Cape. With memories yet to be made, Lily would lament about what adventures would unfold. One thing was certain, she would celebrate her twelfth birthday in August which was also the indicator that once it arrived, their time at the Cape was winding down to its end once more. This would also be the summer of a catastrophic event; the sinking of the opulent cruise ship Andrea Doria.
The Grainger family’s little slice of Heaven was a plot of land that fronted a salt pond. It was home to a bounty of clams and young crabs and directly across the pond from Uncle George and Aunt Fannie’s summer place. Lily looked forward to seeing her cousins, Nicole and Digory, again this summer. Digory was a strange bird and Lily opted more often than naught to avoid him whenever possible. Nicole, on the other hand, was closer in age to Dodie and sometimes Lily felt like a third wheel when the three girls were together. Uncle George was gregarious, and Aunt Fannie was quirky. However, Aunt Fannie and Lydia Grainger (Lily’s mother) were like sisters—Aunt Fannie being the sister Lydia never had. This would be the summer that the Graingers would build their summer cabin. No longer would they have to sleep in the old tent or clean the dinner dishes in the pond. It wouldn’t be stately, but it would have four solid walls, a fireplace and roof and they would finally have shelter from the outside elements come summer’s end. There was so much more in store for the Grainger family during the summer of ’56. What they couldn’t possibly know as they welcomed their summer, was the events that would unfold would change their lives forever.
Marcia Peck instantly sets the tone with her fantastic storytelling ability. Having lived on the Cape for a summer, it was such a treat to relate to and recognize places that are signature to the Cape, thanks to her eloquent descriptions. She weaves beautiful passages with adept word placement of vivid sceneries chapter upon chapter. There is a distinct moment when the Graingers arrive to their summer destination that captures the essence of the beginning of a summer on the Cape: "...Finally, I felt the air soften to that saline sweetness that cushioned the cries of the terns, which carried the tantalizing scent of something distant and wonderful, which caused the cormorants to lift off and wing slowly out to sea. We had all summer..." (pg. 16) She dances across the pages with a melodic, storyteller’s voice which is tantamount to an author’s ability to not only establish voice, but to show her audience how to experience what it feels like to be in the moment. There is a perfect ebb and flow between bittersweet as much as there is heartache when capturing family dynamics in fleeting moments of life that portray it truly isn’t perfect all the time.
Quill says: Water Music: A Cape Cod Story has the allure of another time… another place and welcomes the reader to absorb every moment and become a part of it throughout the telling.
For more information on Water Music: A Cape Cod Story, please visit the website:

No comments:

Post a Comment