REVIEW: BEACH HOUSE FOR RENT, BY MARY ALICE MONROE

When Cara Rutledge rents out her quaint beach house on Isle of Palms to Heather Wyatt for the entire summer, it’s a win-win by any standard: Cara’s generating income necessary to keep husband Brett’s ecotourism boat business afloat, and anxiety-prone Heather, an young artist who’s been given a commission to paint birds on postage stamps, has a quiet space in which to work and tend to her pet canaries uninterrupted.

It isn’t long, however, before both women’s idyllic summers are altered irrevocably: the alluring shorebirds—and the man who rescues them—begin to draw Heather out of the shell she’s cultivated toward a world of adventure, and maybe even love; at the same time, Cara’s life reels with sudden tragedy, and she wishes only to return to the beach house that had once been her port amidst life’s storms. When Heather refuses to budge from her newfound sanctuary, so begins the unlikeliest of rooming situations. While they start out as strangers, as everything around the women falls apart they learn that the only thing they can really rely on is each other.

And, like the migrating shorebirds that come to the island for the summer, these two women of different generations must rediscover their unique strengths so by summer’s end they, too, can take flight in ways they never imagined possible.


My Thoughts: I was drawn into the story of Primrose Cottage and the dynamics of a Southern family. I could envision that hard-boiled patriarch accustomed to dictating the lives and choices of the women. It struck a familiar tone with me, having experienced some of these things, even though I grew up far away from the South.

But the people born in the South sometimes migrate to other places, carrying their values with them. That was what my grandparents did, and how their values impacted my life.

When Cara Rutledge and Heather Wyatt joined forces, they discovered how to begin new journeys. Would Heather find what she needed and learn to stand on her own two feet? Would love be part of her new journey? What would Cara do in her new life, once she moved beyond the grief?

A delightful story of loss, friendship, and new beginnings, Beach House for Rent captivated me throughout. 4.5 stars.***My e-ARC came to me from the publisher via NetGalley.

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WEEKLY UPDATES: BACK FROM THE SHORE….

Good morning! Today’s post will link up to The Sunday Salon, The Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves, for weekly updates.

**Mailbox Monday is hosted at the home site: Mailbox Monday.

And let’s join Kathryn, our leader in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, at Book Date.

An hour ago, I just walked in from the beach getaway.  We headed down on Friday afternoon, and came back home on Sunday.  Friday’s drive was exhausting.  There was a two-hour traffic jam due to a horrible accident with two cars crushed and a truck on its side.  We were so grateful to arrive in Cayucos without any mishap.

Saturday was a gorgeous day for the wedding.  Sunshine and only a slight breeze.  Check out the bride and groom.  The guests on chairs (to the right) are not visible in this photo.

 

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I got a lot of reading in the early morning, before the wedding, sitting on the terrace and overlooking the beach…

 

My total reads for the week:  THREE, and they were all review books from Amazon Vine.

Let’s take a look at my week:

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Spring Bloggiesta:  Finish Line Post…

Tuesday Sparks:  “The Cutaway”

Hump Day Potpourri:  Let’s Look at Our Reading…

Off To the Shore:  The Books Are Coming, Too…

Curl up and Read:  Monthly Wrap-Up

Review:  Persons Unknown, by Susie Steiner (Amazon Vine)Review:  The Cutaway, by Christina Kovac (Amazon Vine)Review:  Small Hours, by Jennifer Kitses (Amazon Vine)

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INCOMING BOOKS:  (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

I received one Amazon Vine review book in my mailbox…and two NetGalley review books.  I downloaded two purchased e-books.

Woman No. 17, by Edan Lepucki – (Amazon Vine)

 

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Downloads:

Not a Sound (e-book), by Heather Gudenkauf (NetGalley – 5/30)

 

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The Breakdown (e-book), by B. A. Paris (NetGalley – 6/20)

 

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All Grown Up (e-book), by Jami Attenberg (Purchased)

 

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The Arrangement (e-book), by Sarah Dunn (Purchased)

 

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WHAT’S UP NEXT?

Currently Reading:  One Perfect Lie (e-book), by Lisa Scottoline-(NetGalley- 4/11)

 

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That’s my rather rushed week….and now I’m off to the reception.  Yesterday, I had this seafood lunch after the wedding (fish and chips).  The bride, across the table from me, appears to be studying her husband’s lunch.

 

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE GIRLS OF AUGUST”

Married to Books-BOOKISH LOGO

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What better way to spend a Friday!

Today’s featured book is one I had hoped to read by summer’s end…and maybe I can still make it.  The Girls of August, by Anne Rivers Siddons, is about four friends carrying out a ritual getaway…until something happens to halt the friendship connection.

 

 

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Beginning:  Of all the fifteen summerhouses, the first one was the best.  That’s what we all agreed on, for a while, anyway…until we grew wiser, more measured in our joy, more careful with the doling out of praise.  Funny, we rarely agreed unanimously on anything, but for years there had been no doubt about the Colleton house.  At first glance it had seemed designed—brick, board, and shingle—for the girls of August.

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56:  Rachel shook her head as if freeing it of stupid thoughts.  She pulled out a tube of gloss and painted her bottom lip.  She paused and, holding the gloss aloft, said, “Obviously Oliver is wrong.  Just look at you!  And look at Teddy!”

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Synopsis:  Every August, four women would gather together to spend a week at the beach, renting a new house each year. The ritual began when they were in their twenties and their husbands were in medical school, and became a mainstay of every summer thereafter. Their only criteria was oceanfront and isolation, their only desire to strengthen their far-flung friendships. They called themselves the Girls of August. But when one of the Girls dies tragically, the group slowly drifts apart and their vacations together are brought to a halt. Years later, a new marriage reunites them and they decide to come together once again on a remote barrier island off the South Carolina coast. There, far from civilization, the women make startling discoveries that will change them in ways they never expected.

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I love friends getting together at the beach, especially when they do so after a rift.  When they are trying to repair the damage.  What do you think?  Should I read this one next?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “MYSTIC SUMMER”

BOOKISH FRIDAY LOGO

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What better way to spend a Friday!

Today I am feeling like going to New England for the summer, so my choice is Mystic Summer, by Hannah McKinnon.

 

 

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Beginning:  “Just how are you planning to fix this?”  Mrs. Perry’s hands are clasped on the desk, the hand adorned with the colossal diamond resting pertly atop the other.  Her fixed smile belies the parental rage I detect in her blue eyes, which, despite their lovely azure color, are boring holes through me across the student desk that buffers the narrow space between us.  “My son is an A student.  I will not allow you to fail him.”

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56%:  My feelings are still mixed.  The sense of initial freedom has been replaced with the fear that I won’t find anything.  Almost worse is my other fear that the one job I find will be something I don’t like at all.

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Synopsis:  Since finishing graduate school, Maggie Griffin has worked hard to build an enviable life in Boston. She’s an elementary school teacher in a tony Boston suburb, a devoted sister, and a loving aunt. With her childhood best friend’s wedding quickly approaching and her own relationship blossoming, this is the summer she has been waiting for.

But when Maggie’s career is suddenly in jeopardy, her life begins to unravel. Stricken, Maggie returns home to seaside Mystic, Connecticut, where she expects to find comfort in family and familiarity. Instead, she runs into Cameron Wilder, a young man from her past who has also returned home, and whose life has taken a turn that puts Maggie’s city struggles in harsh perspective. When tragedy strikes for Cameron, Maggie is faced with big decisions as she weighs what matters most and strives to stay true to the person she’s become.

Set against the gorgeous backdrop of a New England summer when past and present collide, Mystic Summer is a gorgeous novel about looking back, moving forward, and the beauty that blooms when fate intervenes.

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What do you think?  Wouldn’t you love a little beach getaway right about now?  I know that I would.

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MY BOOKISH (AND NOT SO BOOKISH) THOUGHTS: THE BEACH IS CALLING

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Good morning!  It is that time in the week when we gather around and compare notes on our thoughts, both bookish and not so bookish.  Join Christine over at Bookishly Boisterous to see what others are chatting about.

It has been a week of errands….those tedious things that have to be done every month.  

I really want to take a trip.  It has been too long, and I’m psyched about going some place with a beach, like the coastal community up north where my youngest son lives.  The photo (below) was taken during the winter.  Now it must be a lot different.

 

 

another pebble beach

 

Like this….

 

 

crescent city beach

 

 

I would love to go up on the train with my granddaughter Fiona….she hasn’t visited her dad’s new place yet.

 

November Fiona

 

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As for the bookish stuff, I’ve read and reviewed three books so far this week…and I’m almost finished with Wife-in-Law, by Haywood Smith.

 

 

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           From the New York Times bestselling author of The Red Hat Club comes a story about two unlikely friends who would never have imagined they’d end up married to the same man

It has the author’s “inimitable southern voice,” and while there is plenty that made me laugh about the story, there were some tough times, and real tests to friendship bonds. 

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No, it was not bigamy, but after her husband leaves her, the cad hooks up with her best friend.  But it has a surprising twist or two.

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What are you reading this week?  What life adventures are keeping you busy?

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