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The Beach House    by Jane Green order for
Beach House
by Jane Green
Order:  USA  Can
Viking, 2008 (2008)

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* * *   Reviewed by Joan Burton

Nan Powell is known as the crazy lady around Nantucket. At sixty-five she is past the age of caring what others think of her. She lives in Windermere, the Powell family home, high on a bluff facing the ocean. Always a free spirit, she thinks nothing of skinny dipping in her neighbour's pool or cutting a handful of their hydrangea blooms.

Nan has been a widow for twenty years and has just discovered that her money is running low. She wants to stay at Windermere and save her home from developers, who are eager to divide her land and build large mansions. Nan has come up with an idea to open her home to tourists. She advertises rooms to rent with an ocean view. Slowly people start to move in and Windermere comes to life again. Even Nan's son Michael surprises her by coming home for the summer.

Daff has just separated from her husband after learning of his affair. Their teenage daughter Jess decides to move in with her ex, Richard, and Daff needs quiet time away by herself. She rents a room at Nan's home on the beach. Daniel has left his wife Bess. He is hiding a deep dark secret from her and their two daughters. He rents a room from Nan for the summer to be close to his girls who are at the ocean with their mother. Michael has come home for the summer to get away from the heat of the city and a bad relationship. It is coming to an end, just like all the others, and at forty-two Michael feels he will never meet the right woman.

The Beach House is a strong, well written character study. Nan, Michael, and the other boarders all have a decision to confront over the summer. When a surprise visitor shows up on Nan's doorstep she is shocked. Readers will be swept away by the charm of Nantucket, where reunions take place and true love is found. The Beach House is a great summer read.

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