John and Rebecca were only a few hours into their marriage when they were killed in a devastating car accident. On their short and fatal journey from the ceremony to the reception, the car taking this couple to their celebration back home collided with another vehicle, killing everyone at the scene of the impact.
And that’s just the first chapter.
Set on the beautiful east coast of Maine over the course of four summers, Red Hook Road tells the story of two unlikely families that come together for a joyous celebration and are quickly ripped apart by a tragic end. The Tetherlys, a family of modest income and stature, feel almost intimidated by the wealthier Copakens, who have intimate ties to the east coast. When word arrives at their own wedding reception that John Tetherly and Rebecca Copaken were killed only moments ago in a car accident, both families must work together to heal, cope, and find the best way to honor the memory of a couple taken too soon.
Throughout this story, we’re introduced to the people who loved John and Rebecca, and we see them try to cope with the loss of a loved one. Music, literature, sex, and anger all help these characters try to make sense of what’s become of John and Rebecca, as they attempt to rebuild their lives over the course of four summers.
I fell in love with this book from the very first chapter. Author Ayelet Waldman tells her story with such prose and eloquence that I found myself completely absorbed in this tale of joy and sorrow. With the soft accompaniment of music and literature, the story told in Red Hook Road reminds us all that it’s often the little things, a cold beer, a favorite story, a freshly picked flower, or a simple song, that makes life so precious.
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