The Invaders; Karolina Waclawiak
Blackstone Audio - 2015
(narrator - Bernadette Dunne - was fantastic)
Little Neck Cove is a wealthy seaside community in Connecticut where outsiders are clearly not welcomed. Here snobby country club ladies embellish stories to police for the purpose of having "the invaders" removed. It's a place where border fences are built along the seawall by migrant workers to keep harmless fishermen out as well.
Cheryl is a 40-something year old wife of much older Jeffrey who never felt like she fit in among the other country club wives. Once a trophy wife for Jeffery who ditched his first wife for Cheryl, now Jeffrey has lost interest in middle-aged Cheryl as well. Teddy is Jeffrey's son, who is living with the couple after he was kicked out of Dartmouth. He's a troubled kid, whose mother has died and he is unable to curb his drug use. Cheryl and Teddy have something in common though - both of their lives are falling apart.
The storyline is hard to describe but for the most part, it is a story about identity, fitting in and family. There is a good deal of focus on women and aging and how women are easily cast aside by some men for younger trophy wives. The story begins with a lovely sunrise and ends with a hurricane approaching which was so appropriate for how the story plays out.
Most of the characters are unlikable and some are clearly racists. Even though Cheryl and Teddy were not exactly likable characters, at times I felt their internal turmoil. The Invaders reads like a dark satire about what life is probably like among the rich, bored inhabitants of one snobbish coastal community. I was on the fence about how I really felt about this book. It is definitely a story that annoyed me at times yet I loved the audio version so much. The narrator Bernadette Dunne was fantastic. She made the characters and their self-destructiveness come alive to make this story feel like a screenplay at times.