The Outer Beach

The Outer Beach coverThe Outer Beach: A Thousand-Mile Walk on Cape Cod’s Atlantic Shore
Robert Finch
W. W. Norton & Company (May 9, 2017), 328 pages
Kindle edition, $12.99, Amazon Hardcover $17.19

I was looking for a light diversion in my book reading, and this book seemed to fill the bill. It is the compilation of essays that the author has written over decades of a life lived on Cape Cod.

The outer beach is what the locals call the Cape Cod shore. The author has lived there most of his life and the thousand mile reference is his calculation of the number of miles he has walked that beach. Each chapter discusses a particular point on the Cape in a number essays ordered chronologically. The essays go back as far as the 1960’s and are as recent as 2016.

As someone who loves the ocean, I was interested in the differences between his Cape Cod and my Pacific Coast. The main difference I noticed was the erosion threat there is far more severe than it is here. Houses and even lighthouses needed to be moved back to be preserved, or sometimes just let go to the ravages of the sea.

The book was rather on the long side and by the end I had somewhat more of Cape Cod than I really wanted. But that is OK. The book was the diversion that I was looking for and I enjoyed it.

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