What better way to start off my 2021 GoodReads Reading Challenge than by reading a novel from an author whose books I’ve not read before? My first book for the year is from best selling author, Jane Green which I bought from one of the Big Bad Wolf Book events I attended. Remember those days when we could hold big events like book sales? I miss it!

The Story

Ever since her life took an unexpected turn, Nan Powell has enjoyed living alone on the sun-drenched shores of Nantucket. At sixty-five, she’s just as likely to be found at Windermere, her beachfront home, as she is skinny-dipping in her neighbor’s pool. But when the money she thought would last forever starts to dwindle, Nan decides to do something drastic to keep hold of her free-spirited life: open up Windermere to strangers.

After placing an ad for summer rentals touting water views, direct access to the beach, and a sexagenerian roommate, Nan’s once quiet house is soon full of noise, laughter, and the occasional bout of tears. Between her eclectic new tenants and the sudden return of her son, Nan gets a taste of what life is like when you have someone to care for besides yourself. But just as she starts to happily settle into her new existence, the arrival of a visitor from her past threatens to turn everyone’s life upside down…

Thoughts on the Book

book reciew the beach house

I was drawn to the book because of the plot. I thought it was interesting. I’ve never before read a story where the main protagonist was over the age of sixty.

However Nan is not the only character in the book. There are quite a few that were given focus in the book. The other characters in the story are Daff, who’s just become a single parent after divorcing her husband who had an affair. There’s Michael, Nan’s son who came to live with her again at Nantucket. Then there’s Daniel who also came to live with Nan after his divorce.

Other characters in the story are Bree, Daniel’s ex-wife and her father, Evan; Richard, Daff’s ex-husband and Jess, her teenage daughter; Carrie, Richard’s girlfriend and Jordana, Michael’s boss.

Gripes

Some readers complained about the book having too many characters. While I did not see a problem with that since there really are just four main key characters in this book, I agree that the style of writing was distracting. The author switched character point of views from one to another so quickly that at times I had to reread it to understand whose point of view was being narrated. Also, I think there were certain point of views we could have done without and I mean the other supporting characters. Knowing their thought or what they were going through wasn’t really going to affect the overall story of the book. It almost felt like these were just fillers.

I wasn’t involved in the story of the other three. I only really liked Nan’s story. While I liked the ending of this book, I thought the main conflict, the ghost from Nan’s past, ended too abruptly. I felt like there was no closure.

What I Loved

Writing style aside, I thought this book was a good read. It made me want to live in Nantucket, it sounded like a charming place to live at. I thought the overall story which is centered on new beginnings was good and heartwarming. I love stories about starting over. It always reminds me that even when you encounter difficulties and failures, you can always get back up on your feet again.