Catherine Newman

Transworld Publishers Ltd
United Kingdom
11 June 2024


Catherine Newman

One week in Cape Cod. The perfect family holiday. What could possibly go wrong...?

For the past two decades, Rocky has looked forward to her family’s yearly escape to Cape Cod. Their rustic beach-town rental has been the site of sweet memories, its quirky furniture and mismatched pots and pans greeted like old friends.

Now, sandwiched between her children who are adult enough to be fun but still young enough to need her, and her parents who are alive and healthy, Rocky wants to preserve this golden moment forever. This one precious week when everything is in balance; everything is in flux.

But every family has its secrets and hers is no exception.

With her body in open revolt and surprises invading her peaceful haven, the perfectly balanced seesaw of Rocky’s life is tipping towards change…

From the author of We All Want Impossible Things, a raucously funny novel with an unexpected punch about being 'sandwiched' between growing children and ageing parents and the power of change.


Catherine Newman is known for her nonfiction, and her debut novel, We All Want Impossible Things was published to acclaim in 2021. I think Sandwich is even better, and thus far, it’s my favourite book of 2024.

Rocky (Rachel), at 54, is literally sandwiched between generations – her young adult children, Willa and Jamie, and her ageing parents. Rocky and her husband Nick are looking forward to their annual week-long trip to Cape Cod. For over 20 years, since the children were preschoolers, the family has rented the same house with its never-changing décor and finicky appliances. Her children now live away from home, and Rocky cherishes her time with them. Jamie’s longtime girlfriend, Maya, is also joining them. And Rocky’s parents will stay for a few days.

Willa, at 21, flips between asserting her independence, reprimanding her parents for using politically incorrect terms, then jumping into her parents’ bed and talking to Rocky for hours. They have a lovely, warm relationship, and it’s some of Willa’s questions that set Rocky thinking back to the time when the children were young – both the joys and the day-to-day stress. When Jamie’s girlfriend Maya reveals a secret to Rocky this also causes her to revisit some difficult and traumatic events.

With Rocky’s parents thrown into the mix, she becomes aware of their diminishing health, which they are quick to brush off. But before a dramatic end to their visit, her father casually reveals a shocking piece of family history. And Rocky also has a secret that she might finally be able to share with her husband.

Newman uses humour in her writing – she is so skilful that one moment I was laughing, and the next, gasping at a revelation. She has been compared to another of my favourite authors – Katherine Heiny. While it’s easy to read, Sandwich addresses integral issues of women’s rights and promises robust discussion.

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