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  • Writer's pictureMandy McHugh

The Midcoast, Adam White: A Review

As a lifelong Maine goer, I was really excited to start this one. My family has vacationed in Wells for decades, and I am a sucker for coastal settings.

From the publisher via Goodreads: It's spring in the tiny town of Damariscotta, a tourist haven on the coast of Maine known for its oysters and antiques. Andrew, a high school English teacher recently returned to the area, has brought his family to Ed and Steph Thatch's riverside estate to attend an extravagant reception for the Amherst Women's Lacrosse Team, where everyone's wearing an Amherst shade of purple. Back when they were teenagers, Andrew never could have guessed that Ed--descended from a long line of lobstermen--would one day send his daughter to a place like Amherst, but clearly the years have been good to Ed. Andrew's enjoying the party, if a little jealously--a part of him wishes he could afford for his own family even a fraction of what Ed's provided for his.

As Andrew wanders through the Thatches' house, he stumbles upon a police file he's not supposed to see. In the file are pictures of a burned-out sedan: a blackened trunk, a torched body. Andrew's confusion and envy turn to horror. And when the police arrive an hour later, the true story of the Thatches--a family Andrew thought he understood--begins.

A propulsive drama that cares as deeply about its characters as it does about the crimes they commit, The Midcoast explores the machinations of privilege, the dark recesses of the American dream, and the lies we tell as we try, at all costs, to achieve it.

I really enjoyed this book. This isn't a fast-paced, race-through-in-one-sitting read, but rather one you'd pick up and consume; so if you're the kind of reader who prefers an immersive, character-driven story, this will definitely be the book for you. White did an excellent job developing the narrative voices, creating a slow-burning tension and resonating conflict.

Big thanks to Hogarth and NetGalley for providing an eARC in exchange for honest review consideration.


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