Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Beach House by Jane Green

Eccentric widow Nan Powell is faced with selling her beloved old house Windermere, with its memories of her beloved albeit gambling-addicted husband. The alternative: take in boarders for money, and fend off the developers who want to tear down Windermere to put up a few McMansions.

Green spends an enormous amount of time setting up the dozen or so characters and the reasons why they all end up on the island. But when all the characters get to Nantucket, Green seems to lose some of her inspiration. She rushes through the last few chapters of the book after such a leisurely build-up and leaves you wanting more. You will definitely connect with all the characters and root for them to get their lives back on track.

The Beach House has potential and could be a much bigger novel, but the rushed final chapters and a couple of puttered-out storylines leave you frustrated. If nothing else, it will make you want to chuck the daily grind and head to Nantucket!

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