Book details

The Outer Cape

A Novel

Author: Patrick Dacey

The Outer Cape

The Outer Cape


About This Book

The Outer Cape is a wonderful book from a remarkably talented author...” —

An Amazon Editor's Pick

Robert and Irene...

Page Count
On Sale

Book Details

The Outer Cape is a wonderful book from a remarkably talented author...” —

An Amazon Editor's Pick

Robert and Irene Kelly were a golden couple of the late ‘70s—she an artist, he a businessman, each possessed by dynamism and vibrancy. But with two young boys to care for, Irene finds herself confined by the very things she’d dreamed of having. And Robert, pressured by Irene’s demands and haunted by the possibility of failure, risks the family business to pursue a fail-safe real estate opportunity.

Twenty years later, their now-grown sons, Nathan and Andrew, are drawn back to confront a fateful diagnosis. As they revisit the Cape Cod of their childhood, the ghosts of the past threaten to upend the tenuous peace of the present.

In The Outer Cape, Patrick Dacey delivers a story of four people grappling with the shadow of infinite possibility, a book in which chasing the American dream and struggling to survive are one and the same.

Imprint Publisher

Henry Holt and Co.



In The News

“What's most impressive about The Outer Cape is how Dacey finds new life in a genre that's at risk of being played out. 'Unhappy families living in New England' has been explored by writers as talented as John Updike, Richard Yates and John Cheever, but Dacey mimics none of them—his rough-edged, plainspoken style is all his own.”

“It’s a world of quiet desperation in which Dacey still manages to find love and something like hope beneath the surface.”
Style Weekly

“Lovely, painful, diligent, careless, Dacey creates characters that indulge in both a Flannery O’Connor oppression and a Raymond Carver simplicity of hope that summarizes the task of the American Dream and its dalliances with the lives of the working class Americans that subsume it.”
The Review Broads

“Beautifully written, with strong, deeply memorable characters, this is a powerful story of possibility and promise.”
Booklist, starred review

“Dacey has a gritty voice of his own . . . [and] a strong grip on the dynamics that follow through a family from generation to generation, particularly from father to son.”
Publishers Weekly

“A strong first novel with satisfying characters and a fresh take on familiar themes. Group with Rick Moody’s The Ice Storm and Richard Yates’s Revolutionary Road.”
Library Journal

“Patrick Dacey's The Outer Cape has many moments of exquisite vulnerability. There's a constant catharsis as Dacey explores the paradox of family, asking why it's so hard to get along with the people to whom you are most connected. That provocative question lingers in every section of this uniquely sultry and nostalgic family love story.”
—Caroline Kepnes, author of Hidden Bodies

“Sharp truths reside within the pages of this brilliant first novel. Patrick Dacey writes like no one I have read in a very long time.”
Robert Olmstead, author of Coal Black Horse

“Patrick Dacey is an old-school storyteller, a pure novelist reminiscent of another era. The greats come to mind reading The Outer Cape—Updike, Didion, Stone, Yates—but his voice is wholly his own.”
—Daniel Torday, author of The Last Flight of Poxl West

The Outer Cape feels downright prophetic. Patrick Dacey adroitly channels the desperation of Americans left behind by the devastating consequences of the real estate bust, the new economy, and the Iraq War. His empathy for the ill-fated everyman and his nimble prose evoke the best of Carver and Beattie and Wolff and Ford, but with a unique energy and acute sensitivity to the travails of our troubled era. Written in a voice that is somehow both unflinching and compassionate, The Outer Cape is as timely as it is utterly compelling.”
—Ed Tarkington, author of Only Love Can Break Your Heart

About the Creators

The Outer Cape

The Outer Cape