I love Russo's writing, and his Empire Falls is one of my favorite books. But this book didn't wrap me up the way his others have. When I finished reading it, I figured out why. Russo's other books are set in towns that become as much a part of the story as any of the characters. I can see the towns as if I've lived there my entire life. And that's what's missing from this book. It is mostly set on Cape Cod, but not really in any one place. The story revolves around Griffin, his now-dead parents who still argue with him in his head, his estranged wife and their daughter, and their annual trips to Cape Cod. I liked the characters well enough, especially Griffin's caustic mother, but the book just doesn't have the spark that Russo's books usually have.
Although, the rehearsal dinner scene was one of the funniest I've ever read. Russo does have a talent for setting up absurdly funny situations.