||With a sharp wit and a keen eye for the follies of American family life, Susan Coll relates the chaotic events leading up to a debauched high-school graduation party at a Delaware beach house. Protective parents Leah and Charles, their own marriage teetering on the edge of disintegration, waffle between letting their daughter Jordan join her friends or go on a trip with her new boyfriend. In the end, Charles accompanies the adolescents to "beach week" as a chaperone, a task for which he is woefully unprepared. Coll has a knack for capturing the humorous trials of kids and parents in the age of Facebook and easy-to-find pharmaceuticals.
||Ah, “beach week”: a time-honored tradition in which the D.C. suburbs’ latest herd of high school grads flocks to Chelsea Beach for seven whole days of debauched celebration. In this dark comedy, ten teenage girls plan an unhinged blowout the likes of which their young lives have never seen. They smuggle vodka in water bottles and horde prescription drugs by the dozen. Meanwhile, their misguided, affluent parents are too busy worrying about legal liabilities to fret over some missing pills or random hookups.||For Jordan Adler and her family, though, this rite of passage threatens to become more than just frivolous fun. The teen’s parents, Leah and Charles, might not let their only child go at all. Their marriage is in shambles, their old house is languishing on the market, and the bills are stacking up. With all that stress, it soon seems they’re behaving as irresponsibly as their daughter and her friends.||With the wit of Nora Ephron and the insight of Tom Perrotta, Susan Coll satirizes a new teenage rite of passage, in the process dismantling the lives of families in transition. Beach Week is a hilarious, well-observed look at the end of childhood and the human need to commemorate it—expensively.