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The Beach House Hardcover – June 17, 2008

3.9 out of 5 stars 470 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Sixty-five-year-old Nan Powell has lived comfortably and happily in Nantucket since the suicide of her husband, Everett, so she is thrown for a loop when she learns that she is in danger of losing her beloved house. After weighing her options, Nan decides to turn her home into a bed-and-breakfast. The guests she gets for the summer are all at a crossroads in their lives in one way or another. Daniel has just separated from his wife and is facing something he has denied for years; Daff is recovering from the heartbreak of a divorce and getting a much-needed break from her anger-filled 13-year-old daughter; and Nan’s son Michael is on the run from a disastrous affair. Nan finds herself opening up to her guests and enjoying their company, but she is shocked when she discovers a person close to one of them has a startling connection to her. Peopled with likable, flawed, realistic characters and moving seamlessly between them, this is Green’s best novel in years, a compelling, unputdownable read. --Kristine Huntley

Review

"Green gives you a clear sense of Nantucket's weathered splendor and offers up a refreshing summertime getaway...best read on a deck chair somewhere."
-Chicago Sun-Times

"A sweetly memorable summer story, capturing the relaxing, renewing quality of life at the shore. . ."
-New Orleans Times-Picayune

"Breezy...deeply appealing."
-Connecticut Post

"Green's best novel in years, a compelling, unputdownable read."
-Booklist --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult (June 17, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670018856
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670018857
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (470 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #539,275 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Jane Green tends to write write fluffy beach reads, the sort of books that get turned into equally fluffy TV movies.

And in "The Beach House," she links together a series of storylines that could have easily made up their own books, with a warm'n'fuzzy sentimental core in an ancient Nantucket house. Unfortunately it begins to come unravelled about halfway through, and some of those storylines simply rush to the finish line without bothering to spin up a satisfactory conclusion.

Eccentric widow Nan Powell is faced with selling her beloved old house Windermere, with its memories of her beloved albeit gambling-addicted hubby. The alternative: take in boarders for money, and fend off the developers who want to tear down Windermere for McMansions.

At about this time, her son Michael returns home after an ill-fated affair with his boss's clingy wife, who now wants a commitment from him. And among the boarders are Daff, a newly-divorced wife and mother who is seeking "herself," and Daniel, a nervy young man who has just realized that he is gay, and is struggling to deal with this. His young wife Bee, who is understandably upset by her husband's distance, is still ignorant of this.

As time winds on -- and the developers circle around Nan's run-down mansion -- the various people begin to relax and open up to each other, like members of a family. But then a series of crises hit -- Bee's father is badly injured, Daff's daughter is arrested, and Michael's desperate former lover shows up with some shocking news for him (yes, you can probably guess what). And even Nan is faced with an old face from her past, who she thought was gone forever....
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For the very first time, I feel compelled to review an Amazon book because of my extreme disappointment. The excerpt made it sound like a fun, interesting read so my book group bought a bunch of hard cover copies. By the end, each of us believed we could have written it. The plot lines, dialogue, and messages were predictable cliches. There were no surprises, and we never really cared about any of the characters whose stories were tied up quickly with neat little bows. Obviously there's a market for this type of book since some people appear to have enjoyed it. From our book club to you, save your money.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved Nan and the way all the characters around her came together, with the wonderful surprise connection too. The only change I wish the author would make is better transitions between character discussions. There were abrupt changes from where the author is writing about one character and it doesn't seem done, then immediately in the next paragraph, the author picks up a new discussion about a different character. Almost would have been better to create mini chapters. Would have been a little more smooth. Just my opinion. Aside from that I enjoyed immensely.
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Format: Hardcover
Books like this are the reason for half-stars! I would give this 2.5 if possible. It wasn't AWFUL or I would not have finished it. But it was an audio and it was the only one I had for a long car ride.

The thing that attracted me to this book was that it was set on Nantucket. I love that place. But I wasn't far into the audio when I realized that was the best part of the book!

I have never commented on the production of an audio book - I guess because most are well done. But this one...the narrator barely took a breath between changes of locale, time, or scene. This was quite annoying,

Character development was uneven at best with some characters hardly fleshed out. There were way too many coincidences and the action was very predictable. And the writing itself was awkward.

The thing that really annoyed me were the factual errors that could have been so easily remedied by a good editor. The author had hydrangeas blooming on Nantucket before they bloom in Baltimore! And Nan was fixing her overgrown, heavily laden tomato plants at the same time in June that school had just let out for the summer! No one north of the Mason-Dixon line has tomatoes that early. There were quite a few other mistakes like this which makes me wonder if any editor was involved at all.
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Format: Hardcover
Jane Green's "The Beach House" centered around the life of Nan, who lived in an old house by the beach in Nantucket. Nan was considered to be eccentric by those living in the area but one would always remember having met her. Nan's one of the few people with vivid personality. The house that she inherited from her deceased husband was falling apart, and Nan had no financial means to restore it. In order to help herself financially, Nan decided that she would convert the house into a Bed and Breakfast. Little did she know that her life would be completely changed when she get to know her boarders and their stories.

This was definitely a great beach read. The characters are interesting, and the plot was fun. Jane Green was able to provide some depths for her characters, and this was helpful in terms of engaging her readers. This light and fun read is perfect for the summer!
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