Inspired by the real lives upended by the massive 1938 storm that wrecked The Hamptons—the wealthy enclave on New York's Long Island coast—this novel explores wealth, class divisions, and the way random tragedy can defy those divisions by striking anyone at any moment.
The once-scenic Dutch elm–lined main streets of the Hamptons serve as both a reminder of a more genteel time and an omen of things to come in Henderson’s keenly observed and skillfully structured historical novel ... As Henderson subtly and cleverly ratchets up the suspense, she presents a richly textured exploration of class and society filtered through the lenses of several characters whose lives are thrown off course ... For readers of Richard Russo and Elizabeth Strout.
In its structure the novel is fascinating, as a single storm of this magnitude brings with it innumerable individual stories ... In Ms. Henderson’s small 1938 world of a Hamptons summer, lives intertwine ... A Day Like Any Other reminds us to be afraid, and in that fear, to be smarter. It is reasonable to pity the elected officials who must now confront the devil’s bargain of the future of our coasts. For them this book might be required reading—if they are to have any sense of just how bad a day can be.
It’s difficult to care for the elite and their self-absorbed existence, but once the storm hits, the tale becomes totally engrossing. The impact of this natural disaster on land and people is the best part of the novel ... This fictionalized account of a truly historic storm will be of great interest to readers of Long Island and southern New England history. Without that connection, others will be bored by the well-written but unengaging lead-in and not wait for the hurricane to hit them with its full force.