Luanne Rice is a rarity among novelists today; she's a true storyteller. Her unique ability to weave together the bonds of love and family with the challenges and rewards of everyday life has garnered her eight consecutive top-ten New York Times bestselling paperbacks. With Beach Girls, Luanne Rice returns to the place that she was born to write about—the Connecticut shore—to tell a story about a family of women whose lives encompass three generations, their histories intertwined with that of the mystic coastal town that has forever bound them to one another.
Beach Girls explores the complex and contradictory territories of love, family and friendship. Luanne Rice's sensuous prose and unforgettably rich and textured characters guide us toward a truth that lies within and sometimes beyond our dreams—an enduring strength that we all must embrace to find our way home and into the hearts of those we cherish most. Beach Girls is an enthralling novel of haunting beauty that will resonate long after the final page is turned.
Like a milder Northern cousin of Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood, Rice's latest (following Dance with Me) celebrates the near mystical persistence of female bonds. While summering in the seaside town of Hubbard's Point, Conn., Emma Lincoln, Stevie Moore and Maddie Kilvert, the titular beach girls, were inseparable, but as adults, they've drifted apart. Stevie lives like a hermit in Hubbard's Point, unaware that her old friend Emma died in a car crash, leaving behind a husband, a child and secrets. When widower Jack brings his daughter, Nell, to the Point, Nell searches out her last link to her mother: Stevie. A bestselling children's author, Stevie is drawn to Nell and her attractive dad, but the protagonists must struggle with doubts and fears before they can consider a future together. This book is more sentimental and less suspenseful than Rice's previous novels, and fans of her earlier book, The Perfect Summer, may find the premise a spouse who dies suddenly, with secrets that leave family in disarray overly familiar. Fortunately, Rice's gorgeous descriptions and sensitive characterizations compensate for those flaws. Few writers evoke summer's translucent days so effortlessly, or better capture the bittersweet ties of family love.