I was the host for this round of my book club, so I chose That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo. Russo is one of my favorite authors, and I have been meaning to read this one (his newest) for a while now. I thought it was a good pick for book club, and I didn't want to pick anything too fantasy-ish, afraid that that would not go over well at all. This was not my favorite Russo book, but I did really like it a lot. The story is about a marriage that's on the verge of collapse. The main character, Griffin, is tasked with attending two weddings and also spreading the ashes of both of his parents. The story takes place mostly on the New England coast and Cape Cod. I thought it was interesting how a couple members of my book club didn't understand why a place like Cape Cod would hold such a stigma and cause people to care a lot about what other people think about their lives. If you've been out there on vacation, or lived around there, you'd get it exactly, and that feeling is definitely something I thought everyone had about a place like the Cape or the Hamptons. It makes me feel really glad that I live out here now, and that the people that live here, for the most part, place emphasis on their own lives and happiness instead of constantly comparing their lives to others. Here, Griffin in stuck in a crazy prison that he built for himself, and in the process alienated his family and everyone close to him. His challenge is to shake the heavy influence of his parents and come to terms with the fact that he doesn't have a crappy life. This story and the characters here are a bit darker than other Russo books, but I thought it was certainly still an enjoyable read. Russo is such a master of character development, that you can't help but feel for the them, even though you may not necessarily like their personalities.