Click here to read reviewer Swapna Krishna's take on The Beach House.
Nan Powell is a widower living in exclusive Nantucket in a home thatís been in the Powell family for generations. Everett Powell, her late husband, committed suicide after losing nearly everything to his gambling addiction. Nan sold off all their other properties and several acres and cottages on the grounds of Windermere but chose to stay in beautiful ĎSconset to raise her son, Michael. Now, at age sixty, she faces losing everything as her money dwindles. In a last-ditch effort to save her beloved Windermere, she takes out an ad for boarders. What happens next is a string of life-changing moments, all part of the tapestry that makes up the beautiful Windermere.
Michael, Nanís son, is taking a holiday on Nantucket to get away from real life. One failed relationship after another, the latest with his married female boss, has taken its toll, and he's decided that a break from his reality is just what the doctor ordered. Heís worried about Nanís harebrained plan to take in boarders, but once he arrives and sees Nan flourishing with the life surrounding her, he understands itís all for the best Ė whether it succeeds in saving Windermere or not.
Daniel is newly separated from his wife, Bee. After trying a weekend away and couples therapy, he has realized that nothing can be done to save the marriage. They had what most would consider a perfect life Ė wealthy enough to live comfortably, two beautiful daughters, their own custom-built dream house. But Daniel has a secret, one with which he himself is just coming to terms, and that secret alone will prove to them both that the marriage simply cannot survive. As Bee and the children vacation in a rented Nantucket cottage for the summer, Daniel responds to Nanís ad for boarders. Nan and Daniel immediately become fast friends, and Nan sets about helping him to confront his own inner demons and find peace with his secret.
Daff and Robert have just finalized their divorce, wreaking havoc on the life of their 13-year-old daughter, Jess. When Jess decides she wants to try living with Robert for a while, Daff takes the chance for a vacation alone. It will be one of those mythical voyages of self-discovery, she tells herself. There will be no work, no keeping up with Jess, and definitely no romance for her during her time away. Things rarely work out the way we intend for them to, though. Soon enough, Daff finds herself falling in love with another man, one sheís more comfortable with than anyone before. Will a summer love turn into forever?
Just as everything is going smoothly, Michaelís latest failed affair comes knocking at the door with a secret of her own, One that will turn Michaelís world completely on its head. Will Michael be able to work through this latest bombshell, or will it jeopardize everything heís worked so hard for this summer?
When Beeís father falls down a flight of stairs, she must return home to care for him. She leaves the girls with Daniel and Nan, safe within Windermere. In the end, her father is fine, but she demands that he join them on Nantucket for the remainder of the summer so that she can help him heal. His arrival on Nantucket sets off a series of events that will challenge everything that Nan and Michael have built their life upon. What will it mean for the savior of Windermere? Where will this new twist lead the aging Nan?
Jane Green really finds her groove in the pages of The Beach House. Itís a fun and comfortable read that kept me going from beginning to end in one sitting. While reading this on vacation, it was easy to slip away into the pages and imagine myself hiding away in one of the bedrooms in Windermere. It was only when my son announced, at 11pm, that he was ready for bed that I realized how engrossed I had been in this book. Is it a modern classic? No. Is it a trashy vacation novel? Absolutely not. Is it a book you can happily whittle away at while you sit in your lawn chair on the coast of someplace beautiful? Most definitely.