Jane Green is a heavy hitter in women’s fiction today, and if you like intricate stories full of complex characters and well-thought detail, then you are going to enjoy this beach read, pun intended.
The story centers around a woman named Nan, who is known as the crazy lady on the island of Nantucket. She lives in a huge, old house on top of the hill, and she has lived alone since her husband died 20 years earlier. When she finds out that her home is in trouble, she tries to rack her brain to think of a way to save it and finally comes up with the brilliant idea of turning it into a boarding house with rented rooms.
This becomes the common ground to introduce several different characters, like Daniel, a father of two young girls who recently left his wife as he came out of the closet, Daff, a single mother of a troubled teenage girl who is trying to find herself after her divorce, and Michael, Nan’s son, who is running away from a poorly planned affair that he began with his married boss. All of these characters have one thing in common: they need a quiet and safe place to sort out their lives.
Green does an excellent job of fully expanding upon each character so that you become attached to each individual life story, wondering how Daniel is going to cope as a single father in his new lifestyle, wondering whether or not Daff will be able to find new love as a divorced single mother, and wondering if Michael has gotten himself in over his head with the mistake that he has made. Nan works as a strong central character to connect all of the lives together, and there are more than a few surprises that pop up in her own life within the storyline.
The Beach House has just the right amount of drama to keep you captivated, but it is not overly bogged down or heavy in the storyline. This is a novel that is easy to read but has enough depth to stick with you long after you have put it down. If you are already a fan of Jane Green, you won’t be disappointed with her latest work since she has done an exceptional job of weaving multiple characters together into one cohesive summer story.
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