Review: The Beach House

I picked up this book to read while on vacation after seeing in it on the ‘Girls of Summer’ reading list as published in the NY times June 12, 2009.
I have read most of Jane Green’s novels, which I would describe as light reading with content. Jane Green has written eleven books; all dealing with what I refer to as "women’s issues" (relationships with family, identity, and weight to name a few).

Jane Green was born in London and has lived in Connecticut for seven years. One of the founding writers behind the genre known as ‘chick lit’, Green now writes novels that reflect the lives of real women today, with all the trials and tribulations that come with real life: from in-laws, motherhood, mid-life crises and loss, all of which are told with Green’s trademark warmth, wit and wisdom. (source: author website)

This book is about a woman who finds out she doesn’t have the monetary funds to live out her life as planned. She actually has almost no money at this point. Her short term solution is to open her home by renting rooms for the summer.

I know I will always enjoy a Jane Green novel. As the review below mentions, I am not expecting an epic or all time favorite book selection from the author but I’m never sorry I read the book. The story takes a little bit of time to unfold but I encourage you to give the book the time it needs to set the story up, it’s a good thoughtful book.

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Type: Women’s fiction, 352 pages, Trade paperback

Synopsis:Jane Green is one of the preeminent authors of women’s fiction today, and with each new novel, her audience grows. Green’s avid and loyal fans follow her because she writes about the true-to-life dilemmas of women—and The Beach House will not disappoint.

Known in Nantucket as the crazy woman who lives in the rambling house atop the bluff, Nan doesn’t care what people think. At sixty-five-years old, her husband died twenty years ago, her beauty has faded, and her family has flown. If her neighbors are away, why shouldn’t she skinny dip in their swimming pools and help herself to their flowers? But when she discovers the money she thought would last forever is dwindling and she could lose her beloved house, Nan knows she has to make drastic changes.

So Nan takes out an ad: Rooms to rent for the summer in a beautiful old Nantucket home with water views and direct access to the beach. Slowly, people start moving into the house, filling it with noise, with laughter, and with tears. As the house comes alive again, Nan finds her family expanding. Her son comes home for the summer, and then an unexpected visitor turns all their lives upside-down.


BN.COM Review: I read this book in about a week. I was intrigued by the main character who resembled my mother-in-law and the concept of having to rent out rooms in one's house (what a great idea for a lonely widow). The story line was a bit outlandish at points with everything/everyone coming together-seemed a little orchestrated. I would say this is an easy read with an unusual story line that pays off in the end. The Characters are enjoyable but could've been more detailed if this book wasn't so short and a quick read...I'm sure it wasn't meant to be an epic novel; however, it would become a nice movie. I enjoyed the reader's style of writing for this type of book.