The New York Times bestselling author and “skilled storyteller who never lets her readers down” (Huffington Post) returns to her beloved Beach House series with this “authentic, generous, and heartfelt” (Mary Kay Andrews, New York Times bestselling author) tale of new beginnings, resilience, and one family’s enduring love.
Cara Rutledge returns to her Southern home on the idyllic Isle of Palms. Comforting in its familiarity, it is still rife with painful memories. Only through reconnecting with family, friends, and the rhythms of the lowcountry can Cara let go of the past and open herself to the possibility of a new career and love.
Meanwhile, her niece Linnea, a recent college graduate with an uncertain future, leaves her historic home in Charleston, with all its entitlement and expectations, and heads to her aunt’s beach house. On the island, she is free to join the turtle team, learn to surf, and fall in love. Remembering the lessons of her beloved grandmother, Lovie, the original “turtle lady,” Linnea rediscovers a meaningful purpose to her life and finds the courage she needs to break from tradition.
In “this tender and openhearted novel of familial expectations, new boundaries, and the power of forgiveness” (Booklist), three generations of the Rutledge family gather together to find the strength, love, and commitment to break destructive family patterns and to forge new bonds that will endure long beyond one summer reunion.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Set in a tight-knit community on South Carolina's coast, Beach House Reunion explores the bonds that tie together generations of women in solidarity. Cara Rutledge didn’t expect to be a raising an infant in her fifties. When she returns to her family’s beloved beach house to start this new life chapter, she gets help from her niece, Linnea, who’s looking to escape her controlling parents. Warm and inviting, Mary Alice Monroe’s novel feels like a laughter-filled conversation among old friends. The later-in-life romance is a nice bonus, too.
Return to the beach
The Rutledge family has quite a history in the town of Charleston SC. This, book 5, picks up the history with Linnea graduating college and starting out on her own, and Cara reopening the beach house as her permanent home. While this is the fifth book In the series, it can easily be read as a stand-alone novel. Yes, some secrets are revealed that would otherwise be told in sequence, but Mary Alice Monroe’s writing keeps you engaged in the story regardless.
I’ve always been a fan of beach stories. They are for good beach reads. They also are for brightening a winter day. Since this series revolves around the house and those who have inhabited it, the house becomes a central character of the story. I loved that Linnea is a kid of lost soul upon graduating college. How many of us have been in those shoes? While she has a degree in something she loves, she has no idea how to use this degree in the real world. The book clearly can resonate with those of us who have either been in that situation, or have kids going through that.
Cara is suddenly a new mom her 50s. A single new mom trying to figure out how to manage a career and a child and a relocation back to the place of her youth and life before being single. Many women today are juggling all those balls trying to keep nay from dropping. Cara also needs to figure out her path, so it is only fitting that this book focuses on the two of them.
Cara and Linnea are real people with real issues in a fabulous location. The characters are convincing, not fairytale people. The supporting cast are also well fleshed out. I felt as though I could actually picture these people and their lives.
The addition of the sea turtle information was amazing. I enjoyed learning about sea turtles and their current plight. This adds to the realism of the story. I loved that the sea turtles had bound Rutledge women to them and the beach for years.
I escape into this kind of fiction because I know that likely everything is going to work out In the end. It is almost what you would call “happy ending fiction.” Trials and tribulations abound for everyone, but the story ends on an upbeat note. I’m not left with a feeling of wanting when the book is over.
Love the Beach house series
Mary Alice has another hit with Beach House Reunion. Loved every minute of reading this did not want it to end. I also feel like I have learned real info about turtles and turtle rescue through her writing. I love the setting of the beach house, the characters are real and I feel connected to them. Mary Alice is a favorite Author of mine, have seen her give book talks and her books never disappoint.
Cara was a successful fifty-three-year old businesswoman, who was experiencing motherhood for the first time. She was petrified of failing. Although Cara could handle complex business problems, she found bringing up a child to be much more challenging. She needed support. So Cara headed back to her roots. Cara wanted her daughter, to experience growing up on the Isle of Palms, like she did. She also wanted Hope to have the support of her family and friends.
Although Cara had many happy memories from her childhood, she also had a good amount of painful ones. Although she loved spending time with her family, it broke her heart to discover, that her brother was following in their father’s footsteps. A fierce storm was brewing; a crisis that would bring the family down. No one likes pain, but many times it’s the catalyst needed, to force a change and start the healing process.
Beach House Reunion is an emotional and well-written novel. It’s a book about, second chances, love, friendship, and forgiveness.
Thank you, Gallery Books and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.