THE GIN AND CHOWDER CLUB
This story focuses on the forbidden relationship between an 18-year-old boy and an older woman who’s married to a very close friend of his parents. Putting aside the creepiness of the fact that their love was apparently kindled before he turned 18, the reader never really gets to see why or how the lovers came to fall so “passionately” in love, making the entire story not believable. Compounding this problem are bland and generally unlikable characters.
Asa grew up on Cape Cod, and is loath to leave his childhood home for college — nor does he want to leave the woman he loves, Noelle, who just happens to be married to his parents’ best friend. Asa and Noelle may openly acknowledge their feelings for one another, but their sense of ethics won’t allow them to consummate the relationship. Eventually, of course, they do sleep together. Even after Asa leaves for college, they continue the affair with heartfelt letters and illicit encounters over the holidays. The relationship finally ends in tragedy without either character really learning a lesson or mending his ways. (KENSINGTON, Jun., 288 pp., $15.00)