The Wapshot Chronicles

The Wapshot Chronicles is a novel by John Cheever, first published in 1957. It tells the story of the Wapshot family, a once-wealthy New England family that has fallen on hard times. The novel follows the lives of the two Wapshot brothers, Moses and Coverly, as they struggle to make their way in the world.

The novel begins with the death of the Wapshot patriarch, Leander, and the dispersal of his estate. Moses and Coverly, the two brothers, are left with little money and no prospects. Moses, the elder brother, is a dreamer and a wanderer, while Coverly is more practical and grounded. The two brothers set out on separate paths, with Moses leaving home to pursue a career in the merchant marine and Coverly staying in the family home in St. Botolphs, Massachusetts.

The novel follows the brothers as they experience the highs and lows of life. Moses finds success as a merchant sailor, but his wanderlust leads him to abandon his career and return home. Coverly, meanwhile, struggles to make ends meet and is forced to take a job as a janitor at a local school. Despite their differences, the brothers remain close and support each other through their various trials and tribulations.

The novel also follows the lives of the other members of the Wapshot family. Leander's widow, Honora, is a strong-willed woman who is determined to keep the family together. Her daughter, Cousin Lark, is a free spirit who is determined to make her own way in the world. The novel also follows the lives of the other Wapshot relatives, including the eccentric Uncle Honorable and the mysterious Cousin Fanny.

The novel culminates with a dramatic climax in which the Wapshot family is reunited and the brothers are reconciled. The novel ends on a hopeful note, with the Wapshots looking forward to a brighter future.

The Wapshot Chronicles is a classic novel that captures the spirit of the American Dream. It is a story of family, loyalty, and the power of love. It is a timeless tale of hope and resilience in the face of adversity.