Monday, January 9, 2012

Let's Do...A Book Review: The Beach House

Same title, different covers!
Hello, dear readers,

I'm proud to say that yesterday I finished my first book of 2012! This one is, as you may know from the title, The Beach House, by Jane Green. She happens to be my favorite author of adult chick lit, and one of my favorite writers in general. I've also read Promises to Keep, Swapping Lives, The Other Woman, Babyville, and Bookends. Needless to say, I'm a fan. Some of these titles have different names in the UK, but, lucky for us, The Beach House is The Beach House wherever you go to read it.

Here's what the website has to say:

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.

The above summary really describes the premise of the book, and not the rich intertwining of stories within. Besides Nan, the main characters include married, but troubled couple Daniel and Bee; divorced mom Daff and her daughter; Nan's son Michael; Daff's ex-husband Richard and his girlfriend Carrie. For reference, most of the characters are in their upper-30s to 40s.

If you're familiar with the movie Love Actually, or even Valentine's Day, you can more easily understand the style in which this book is written. It bounces seamlessly among the characters and their separate lives, gradually sewing them all together into one storyline. Most of the characters decide to take a break from their lives, or try to repair their lives, by visiting Nantucket. That's where they meet Nan, and things get very interesting.

Before they reach Nantucket, a good half of the book goes into their character development. The author is third-person omniscient, so each section jumps into what the character is doing and thinking, eventually delving into each of their pasts. There's no rush to get to know the characters, even as the reader is introduced to them in the middle of their lives, because for some reason Green paces the story in a reassuring manner; it's easy to see that you'll find out everything you need to know by the end.

I can't say that this is a completely unpredictable book, but everything unwinds in a way that doesn't cause eye-rolling. Nothing is ever too cliché, and there are certainly some surprises as the characters meet in unexpected ways. 

The novel is bittersweet; not every ending is completely happy, but it's still deeply satisfying. I find The Beach House extremely moving and touching, and I highly recommend it if you like more intelligent chick lit with a lot of reality to it.

I hope you enjoyed this book review. I know it's pretty darn short for one of my reviews, but I can't imagine describing more of it without giving away the entire plot sequence.

I guess you'll just have to read it for yourself to discover the wonderful stories within.


No comments:

Post a Comment