In Nash's winning debut, a long illness and mastectomy have put April Newton's life on hold for five years, and have made her and husband Rick practically strangers in and out of bed. As they prepare to move into the Redondo Beach, Calif., house Rick designed for them while she was still in treatment—with their teenage daughter, Jackie, in the throes of her first love—April's eye strays to a classic nearby beach bungalow being offered in a contest by an eccentric widow, who asks: What would you give—besides money—to live here? Under the guise of a shelter-magazine assignment, April tours the house of a sort that has all but disappeared, and meets its owner, who, for reasons of her own, promises to let it go below market to the most deserving applicant by Christmas. For April, it might be the perfect place to furnish a new life, one that might not have room for her distant husband and daughter. This grown-up fable replaces the erotics of sex with the erotics of floor plans, but April's midlife crisis and difficult adjustments ring true, as do the plot's surprising turns. (Feb.)
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Nash writes with gentle certainty of the fact that life is full of uncertainty. Turning to fiction after writing nonfiction about breast cancer (The Victoria’s Secret Catalog Never Stops Coming & Other Lessons I Learned from Breast Cancer, 2001), she begins with her protagonist’s all-important five-year mammogram and the realization that even with good results, April Newton’s scars are deeper than her mastectomy. And her restlessness stirs choppy waters not unlike those surrounding the lavish new home her husband, Rick, is building. The view embraces sailboats on the Los Angeles Basin and the southward migration of gray whales: “It was water all the time from almost every room. . . . It astonished me every time I saw it.” Just as stunning is her perception that the place is haunted—by mortality. As pressures build within the marriage, April hopes to win a contest for the last bungalow on Redondo Beach, a far cry from the luxury of Rick’s house. Their teen daughter sees this as a rejection of Rick, almost an illicit affair. Can April navigate such deep waters? --Whitney ScottSee all Editorial Reviews
This book should be re-titled: "The incredulous plights of the over-privileged aka The self-serving Episcopalian with too much time on her hands"
I borrowed this... Read more
This story is so human, so believable, so emotional evoking that I could not put it down; the ending is surprising, too; if you like stories with a surprising ending, you'll like... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Ellie
A great read. I was in the mood for a great beach book and this was certainly it. Set in Redondo Beach where I used to live, it came alive easily for me.Published on August 17, 2013 by Sandra
Full disclosure: I grew up in the South Bay area where this novel takes place. I also happened to have the great fortune of babysitting the author's lovely daughters for many... Read morePublished on April 12, 2013 by Heather Haley
There is so much "off the story line" detail you tend to forget what the story is about. Maybe put together another way would be ok, but still was wanting more for the money.Published on August 29, 2011 by Kathie Woodruff
A somewhat autobiographical novel, Nash has created a novel and developed her characters from her life. Read morePublished on August 27, 2010 by Michelle A
This book was OK. That's just it. With so many wonderful stories out there with great writing and characterization why waste your time on something mediocre. Read morePublished on August 19, 2010 by Zann
I felt this book had a lot of promise, but got lost along the way. The main character did not appreicate all she had, and the story was her quest to find God. Read morePublished on July 27, 2010 by L. Phipps
For a relatively new author, this was an incredible book, very well written with well-developed, entirely believable characters. Read morePublished on May 12, 2009 by Mama Bear