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3.19 of 5 stars 3.19  ·  rating details  ·  237 ratings  ·  54 reviews
Spending the summer of 1928 in a big house on the Maine coast with his 10 older cousins and a gaggle of aunts and uncles seems like a dream come true to lonely 13-year-old Richard.

But as he wanders through the bustling house, Richard witnesses scenes and conversations not meant for him and watches as the family he adores disintegrates into a tangle of lust, jealousy, and b
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published July 23rd 2013 by Little, Brown and Company (first published 2013)
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Jaclyn Day
This felt like a close cousin (no pun intended) to Rules of Civility, but other than the obvious similarities—the cover art, the time periods, one big twist that I won’t reveal—it also had the same slow-burning (but intriguing!) plot and pacing.

Shorecliff is the name of a summer home in Maine, and in 1928, our 13-year-old narrator (Richard) travels there with his mother to spend the summer months with his aunts, uncles and 10 cousins.

Most of the book is about the family members and their inter
This is a story of a large family of aunts, uncles and cousins who decide to spend their summer at Shorecliff, a huge old house in New York, on the coast .The book hints at a big tragedy at the end of the summer ,so all along you know something big is coming .

It is an adult book, but seemed to me to be more of a Nancy Drew type mystery book. A big old house, a few family secrets ( nothing that exciting ) ,and a tragedy at the end, which to me, seemed far-fetched to say the least .

The writing wa
This book really tried my patience. It's a well-crafted story that will all solidify by the final chapter. However, in the interim you have to keep 11 cousins very close in age and 9 aunts and uncles straight in a summer house in Maine in 1928. I had to Xerox the family tree on the first page to help me attempt to keep everybody straight but I had a hard time nonetheless. The story is slow and told from the perspective of 13 yr. old Richard. By taking his point of view, I had to realize that his ...more
This story was close to a 5 for me. Its overall effect had me wrapped up in a nostalgic haze, and every so often I would put the book down just to lose myself in daydreams of Shorecliff or various tangents within the storyscape.

It’s a great portrait of what happens when you have a family, predominantly made up of a large group of teenagers, together in the middle of nowhere for a summer. Lusts, feuds, friendships, and general shenanigans ensue that may seem petty to an outsider, but take on sign
Joann Garrido
Would give it 4.5 stars if I could. Really enjoyed this book!
There was something about this book that felt familiar, and comforting, nearly until the end, when things take a turn for the worse among the Hatfield cousins. Maybe it's because I have a large extended family, and because when I was younger I always yearned to spend an entire summer with my cousins. In any case, this is a story of family tragedy that has left me feeling beautifully haunted.
Carol Ann Jellison
In the summer of 1928, 13 year old Richard is very excited to spend the summer with his crowd of older cousins, aunts, and uncles in a huge vacation house on the coast of Maine. He is a lonely only child and wants badly to be a part of everything that is going on. But as the youngest he is often left out of activities and especially conversations. He has become very adept at eavesdropping and tries to use his ill-gotten information as a way into the cousins' inner circle. He also has a very acti ...more
Spending the summer of 1928 in a big house on the Maine coast with his 10 older cousins and a gaggle of aunts and uncles seems like a dream come true to lonely 13-year-old Richard.

But as he wanders through the bustling house, Richard witnesses scenes and conversations not meant for him and watches as the family he adores disintegrates into a tangle of lust, jealousy, and betrayal. At first only an avid spectator, Richard soon finds himself drawn into the confusion, battling with his first experi
This is the story of a dozen random cousins who spend an incredibly boring summer together at their family's home. I wish I could say something more about the book, but that's all I've got. Yes, tragedy happens. Yes, there are weird family politics and relationships. Yes, there are a million of the most dull, unexciting characters ever (seriously, I would have traded at least 8 of the cousins for three solid interesting characters). No, it doesn't get much better than that.

You know how sometime
A coming of age story about 11 cousins and their mothers and some of their fathers as they vacation at Shorecliff for the summer. They are far out of town, with only each other to amuse one another. It would have been a good book if the characters were portrayed realistically for their age. Richard,the storyteller of this novel, shares the position of youngest cousin with Pamela, both 13 yrs old. The author writes about Richard and Pamela as though they are children, more like 10 not teens. Rich ...more
I was lucky enough to win an advance copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway!

Shorecliff is the story of a boy who goes to stay with his extended family (cousins, aunts, uncles) for the summer and grows up a lot in the process. I guess you could say it's a coming-of-age tale.

This is an enjoyable book. It's interesting to read about the interactions between family members, and what happens when people are stuck in a house together for a whole summer with “nothing to do.” I enjoyed reading along
More reviews available at my blog, Beauty and the Bookworm.

Honestly, I didn't really enjoy this much. I've this out from the library for what seems like forever, because I just couldn't get into it. It has something to do with the plot, something to do with the characters, and something to do with the writing style, which all combines to just make you go "bleh."

First, there are the characters. The narrator, Richard Killing II, is a grown man talking about a summer he spent at his family's house
Diane S ❄
3.5 Loved the opening line of this book,"The summer when I was thirteen years old changed everything for me." This was the summer that he and his mother traveled to the family home "Shorecliff" to spend the summer with his aunts, various uncles and eleven assorted cousins. It was the first time they had all spent this much time together, in the summer house. It was a summer where secrets were revealed, memories good and bad were made, and a summer that started with happiness but would end in tra ...more
Sonia Reppe
"My cousins had served before that summer as vague mythical figures to idolize, and their allure was infinitely more powerful after three months of living with them."

"The summer when I was thirteen years old changed everything for me..."

Richard is the youngest of 11 cousins among his mother's extended family at Shorecliff (Maine) in the summer of 1928. With a child's enthusiasm, he relishes his older cousin's company, and observes their jealousies, rivalries, troublemaking, scandals, friendships
The opening of the story was very much like a Fitzgerald novel - tons of characters and escriptions, just trying to get everyone out there. As the story progressed it was beautifully written and I can imagine myself and my cousins at a summer house sharing the same stories and experiences...well hopefully not all the experiences (don't want to add a spoiler)
Carol Maloney
I'm peeved. I read this book because I was given the false hope that something seismic would happen. I had to believe that it was more than the everyday events of some overprivileged, middle-class white folk at their summer retreat during the 1920s that made the Famous Five adventures look like Mission Impossible. I had to keep reminding myself that the story was taking place in New England and not Great Britain. All DeYoung needed to do was pepper the narrative with "jeepers", "blast" and "crik ...more
Anne Broyles
When several generations of Richard Killing's family come together to spend the summer on the Maine coast, Richard (age 13, an only child and one of the two youngest cousins) learns more than he wanted to know about growing up, love, and family secrets.
An excellent book, it reminded me of Age of Innocence and To the Lighthouse. Amazing that this is the first book for Ursula DeYoung. This is a beautifully woven tapestry of characters that guide the story and leave you wanting a sequel.
Terry Adkins
Set against the backdrop of the 1920's, Ursula DeYoung's protagonist and narrator, Richard Killing, reflects on the summer that changed not only his life but his family's.
Richard spends his summer surrounded by his large extended family in their long-forgotten mansion off the coast of Maine. A notorious eavesdropper, Richard soon learns that the family the he considers so highly is tangled in a web of lust, jealousy, and betrayal.
DeYoung explores the dangerous dynamics that hold a family togethe
Connie Mayo
So many good things to say about this book. The writing is just damn excellent, and my heart went out to Richard, the 13 year old narrator. The whole vibe of the large-family-in-the-old-summer-house was just thoroughly enjoyable for me - coming from an extremely small family, I always longed for a gaggle of cousins. At first it was a bit hard to keep track of all the characters, but this is a necessary situation when the large size of this extended family is integral to the story. I didn't want ...more
Elaine Kozak
I tried and tried to like this. Too many characters who are neither distinctive nor particularly interesting; too lethargic a pace. Sorry.
The characters are wonderful, I love that the story is told from Richard's, age 13, perspective and I especially enjoyed all the twists and turns the story took; however, it didn't really feel like a true historical fiction piece to me, it needed more historical context instead of just a mention now and again of things that were happening to this family in New England in the 20's to remind us it happened back then. The end summarizations made by Richard do help but I still can't shake wanting mo ...more
This was a well crafted coming of age/extended family story. A tad too slow but nicely written.
Michele Whitecotton
I gave this book 2 stars instead of 1 because I liked the authors writing style, I just didn't like the story. Character development was great but there were too many characters to keep track of. I knew they were all cousins but couldn't keep the siblings straight and I couldn't remember which children belonged to which aunt. Other than that, this was one if the most boring stories I ever read. The synopsis promised secrets and betrayal but I thought it was mostly boring. The secrets weren't all ...more
Abby Jean
dull. too many indistinguishable characters, little plot, no payoff.
Leah Iannone
2 1/2....I wanted to like this so badly. There were so many characters that I had to make a chart because I couldn't keep them straight. I loved the idea of the plot line--huge family gathered at their shore house, tons of cousins, coming of age story. It was just too slow with not enough character development. While the characters had so much potential to be amazing, the author didn't dedicate enough time to allowing the reader to get to know them, so it was hard to distinguish some of them fro ...more
After 300 (+/-) pages of introducing and eluding to the terrible thing that would rip the family apart, I know longer cared what happened to the characters, I just wanted my time back. When the terrible thing was revealed I thought what happened after would make a compelling story. Unfortunately the author ended where she should have begun and the final book is a long winded, meandering introduction to a story the reader is left to write on their own.
I received a copy of this book through a Goodreads Giveaway (a fact I am required to disclose) and am delighted that I did! I fell in love with Richard and frequently laughed out loud as he attempted to find his standing among the cousins. Congratulations to Ms. DeYoung for a beautifully written debut novel that was rich in character development and storyline. I look forward to reading more from her!
This is a sweet coming of age novel, not the gripping story of familial secrets that the book jacket describes. I wasn't happy about the ending, as narrated by the then adult reflecting on the summer when he was 13. Other than the fact that the narrator assumes total responsibility for what happened when he was only 13, I enjoyed his observations and eavesdroppings of his cousins and aunts and uncles.
It was very refreshing to read about children being children. They ranged from 13 to 21 or so, but were still considered and treated accordingly for their ages. Most kids this age, these days act and are treated so much older. The innocence of youth has been lost. Kids barely act like kids for more than a few years, anymore.
I enjoyed this book for its innocence.
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Ursula DeYoung grew up in a small seaside town north of Boston. She studied History and Literature at Harvard and received a Ph.D. in History from Oxford. She currently lives in Cambridge, MA, where she divides her time between writing fiction and continuing her research on nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century culture, science, and literature.
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