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Beach Girls Mass Market Paperback – August 3, 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
I picked this volume up at a second hand store - the cover attracted me and I was looking for an "entertainment only" read.
What I wasn't expecting and was thrilled to find was a discussion of the arts, what is sacred, what is failure and what is success, and how important it is to keep human - actually all being - connections alive.
Yes, it is classified as a "Romance" but the "Romance" is as much about Romancing Life - Romancing a child's heart - as it is a romance between a man or woman.
Perhaps its Romance among Men, Women, and the breath of Life itself.
This is an excellent example of a "simple, entertaining read" being so much more for the willing, open reader.
Thank you, Ms. Rice - for bringing me such a delightful gift - exactly the words I needed wrapped up in a lush package of fiction.
While Beach Girls is supposed to be a story about a trio of young women who make a pact, each with distinct personalities and dreams in life, and then drift apart as life takes them in certain directions, in reality there's actually very little actual Beach Girl interaction. And it's actually Stevie's story. All Stevie all the time. Maddie and Emma's stories don't really exist. In fact, they don't really exist as full characters. It's clear, after the Prologue, that Emma and Maddie exist merely to serve Stevie and make her look more appealing and wise in comparison to the mess they become over the course of the book.
For a character to play such a central role in the whole story the author never really dives into Emma, her motivations, her relationships, what led her to be willing to do what she was about to do--especially given what was said throughout the story about her steadfast devotion and love for Nell. There's so many missing gaps in Emma as a character, Jack/Emma and in their lives it's hard to buy what the author expects us to buy as her explanation for who Emma becomes.
What Ms.Read more ›
Now the focus is on trying to recapture some part of those idyllic days as the author reunites most of those characters, but only after life's realities have taken their toll. Conveniently, an inter-family marriage, not at first revealed, provides the basis for the return to the same beaches. But the real driving force in overcoming the gulf of many years of separation is the rather worldly nine-year-old daughter, Nell, of one of the beach girls. Time and again the young girl provides the push to get the old friends to take the next step in renewal and even growth.
The story is a bit sugary with a good bit of tugging-at-the heart scenes. There really are no villains - just people hesitant and unsure about relationships. The tale is not without some questions. For one, one of the beach girls takes a tangential turn in her life that is not well understood. The author's desire to have matters turn out well seems to drive a somewhat improbable connecting of a technocrat (sorry, no more details) to one of the beach girls, turned earth mother. But on the beach, all is possible. The characters are the focus of the book, but one could have hoped for slightly more in-depth portrayals.
Nell is the nine year old who has lost her mother and is yearning somehow to reach out and 'touch' her through her friends of long ago. She is all of nine going on twenty. I thought maybe she spoke and acted a little older than a nine year old, but then I thought of the wisdom I have come across from young people and decided to go with the flow. She seeks out Stevie Moore a recluse, who paints and writes story books for children, always sharing the darker side of nature as well as the positive. While there is a notice up outside Stevie's house that says Go Away, Nell is determined to visit and so she does.
Stevie is a complicated woman, at a young age she experienced the loss of her mother, so has an immediate 'feel' for Nell. She has had a few unsuccessful marriages and now just lives by herself with her cat Tilly. However she does have an aunt and cousin with whom she is close. She longs for connection but is now careful with her heart.
Maddie Kilvert is one of the other women who was part of the 'beach girls', growing up she was secure in the knowledge of the love of her parents and older brother Jack, four years older than her. She always expected the best out of life.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I loved it....Luanne writes wonderful stories, you will really enjoy reading this bookPublished 1 month ago by Linda
I found myself wanting the book to end, but the chapters kept coming... I agree with the other reviewers--not much depth to this one. Read morePublished 1 month ago by omaLN
This book is so not my usual genre. But it was loaned to me because I needed something to read. I couldn't put it down. I didn't even sleep and finished it in less than 24 hours. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Terri Logue
Incredible story line beautifully set in New England with great beach story lines and real life people with every day life problems to contend with. Read morePublished 16 months ago by georgia harper
I found the story to be nice, bringing emotions. I would say that I have read Summer Girls and Summer Wind, I would recommend the trilogy over this book. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Elizabeth Louise Anderson
A little girls faith wins over doubt. It is always fun to have other characters from Hubbard's be included in the story.Published 20 months ago by patricia r. Salazar
Was very predictable. Then had to have a little sex thrown in at the end.Published 21 months ago by Judith King