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Life's a Beach    by Claire Cook order for
Life's a Beach
by Claire Cook
Order:  USA  Can
Hyperion, 2007 (2007)
* *   Reviewed by Jessica Weaver

What could Life's a Beach be but a summer read with a title like that? A little shallow, a little romance, and a little actor in a shark movie ... what more could you want from an easy beach read?

Claire Cook (Must Love Dogs) gives us the story of Ginger Walsh, a forty-one year old single woman looking for something in her life. Unfortunately, she's not sure what. While she waits, she plays teenager: living in the room over the garage at her parents' house, annoying her sister, babysitting her nieces and nephew, and occasionally having an overnight with her noncommittal boyfriend, glassblower Noah. Most of her time is spent playing with her cat, Boyfriend, and trying to keep her dad from taking more things from the dump and hiding them in her shower. Ginger tries to make money by crafting sea glass jewelry, but makes more from her sister's paying her to babysit her nephew Riley when he's cast in a low-budget shark film in their small New England town. On the set, a gaffer pursues Ginger and rumors fly about their supposed set affair. Meanwhile Ginger tries to focus on her jewelry and figure out if she even likes Noah.

I didn't find Ginger very likable, which makes it difficult to sympathize with her as she struggles with what to do with her life. While I think the author tries to make the book a sister story, Ginger's big sis Geri is only in the picture occasionally, mostly to ask what she should do for her 50th birthday party. The end is anticlimactic at best, and a real letdown at worst. If you're looking for something simple to fall asleep to at the beach, though, this isn't a bad choice. The dialogue is good, and you'll find yourself rooting for Ginger to get together with one of her men - and maybe have a better relationship than she has with her cat.

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