Friday, September 19, 2008

Julie's Review: The Beach House

Photobucket Summary: 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.

Review: I'm a huge Jane Green fan and was excited when I read the summary of this novel. I thought it sounded like a great summer book. Well The Beach House falls flat and doesn't really ever recover. I saw many of the plots coming from miles away. Nan is interesting but yet I don't know if I'd call her eccentric but she definitely feeds into the perception of herself by keeping mainly to herself. She lost her husband decades before and continued to live in his family home called Windemere. Windemere is the most interesting of all the characters in the book and I wish we might have gotten a bit more history. I think a house like that deserves it's story to be told (for a books like that investigate Anita Shreve). I could definitely picture Windemere and Nantucket in my mind while reading the book. Windemere seems a like a beautiful but neglected old beach house, but that only adds to it's character in some ways. We are introduced to an array of characters besides Nan. Enter Daniel, Daff, Michael and Bee. I figured out Daniel's storyline right away and that bothered me. Daff's storyline wasn't that creative either and well you just knew what was going to happen once she ended up at Nan's Beach House. I enjoyed Michael but again his storyline was predictable.

Ms. Green does somewhat redeem the book in my eyes because of a pretty good twist that came with about 50-75 pages left. I didn't really see it coming but as soon as I read it, I saw the hints earlier in the book. The epilogue of the novel is preditable but it does wrap the book up nicely.

If you are looking for a good beach read skip The Beach House and pick up one of Ms. Green's earlier books instead. I recommend The Other Woman or To Have and To Hold: A Novel.

Final Take: 3.25/5


Rea June 9, 2011 at 3:32 AM  

I have to agree with you with this one I brought thiswhen it came out to take away with me and really did not find it a beach read. In my opinion it was missing something. Great review

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