Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Beach House by Jane Green

1.5 Star

When 65 year old Nan discovers she may loose her beloved house in Nantucket, she decides to turn it into a bed and breakfast in order to keep it. Filling it with people not only brings in some much needed money, but also breaths new life into the old home and Nan is loving the company. Having added some lost and brokenhearted souls, Nan's son returns home and an unexpected visitor takes them all by surprise. 

Lydia - 2 Star

I was terrified to start The Beach House after my last Jane Green debacle, but was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t hate it as much as Second Chance, but maybe my expectations were just really low.

I didn’t love it, in that I couldn’t put it down or would ever read it again, but I didn’t feel like I was wasting precious moments of my life reading it like I did with the aforementioned work of Green’s. It was fairly predictable, not terribly unique, nor very fast paced. I’m not sure how believable this style of chick lit is when set in the United States. I got to thinking about her past work that takes place in the UK and feel that for some reason this story would have been more believable had it been set there instead. I don’t know why that is, maybe I’ve just read too much Brit Lit from Kathryn over the years and expect this style of story to be set there.

Overall, the writing and editing were much better in The Beach House and it was clear whose voice was speaking (outlined in sections) so it was easy to read. The story, however, I thought was weak with the characters and their various plights not thoroughly explored.

Kathryn - 1 Star

Oh dear I’m afraid I wasn’t exactly thrilled with this chick lit offering. I have really enjoyed Jane Green’s books in the past and am now tempted to re-read some of them again to get my good feelings back for her writing. I know that not every novel can be a winner for every reader but I had high hopes for Jane Green maintaining her usual enticing storylines.

The Beach House centers in on Nan, a woman in her later years who is trying to find a way to save her beloved home Windermere in Nantucket. The house was left to her by her husband who had died and she obviously loves the house. Nan decides that her best option is to run a bed and breakfast which would bring in some money but also fill her house with people which she, and the house, clearly craved.

Each person who ends up at Windermere has their own storyline which is developed in the first two thirds of the book. They all have interesting stories revolving around their marriages or being single but I never felt any of them was explored completely- we are given an outline of quite dramatic problems and then they are all suddenly whooshed to Nantucket where the last third of the book ties them all together.

My general feeling as I finished The Beach House was that we were presented with these quite intense problems and then everything was suddenly tied up and it was over! Sadly, I was partially pleased for it to be over as I’d been a bit bored (perhaps not quite the right word?) and that was purely because we weren’t given enough to grab on to from the beginning.

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