Return to the bestselling Beach House series with Mary Alice Monroe’s tale of the struggles and triumphs of the historic Rutledge family of South Carolina. “Authentic, generous, and heartfelt” (Mary Kay Andrews, New York Times bestselling author), this is an illuminating story 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 release the hold 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.
Customer ReviewsSee All
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.
The beach house is alive again!
The beach house is alive again! Cara Rutledge has come home to the Isle of Palms and Primrose Cottage to restart her life. At 53, she has adopted Hope, who is only a year old. She needs to build her career and find a way to lessen her grief from the loss of her husband, Brett. Since three years have gone by, she knows she needs to move on with life. Cara is flooded with memories as she settles in, especially of her mother, Lovie. A hint of jasmine is in the air. To help her with Hope, Cara hires Linnea, her brother Palmer’s daughter, to live with her for the summer. As the story unfolds, she finds that her brother Palmer’s family is in need. The tensions between Palmer, his wife Julia, and their young adult children, Linnea (22) and Cooper (18) are like a tropical storm building towards a hurricane. Linnea feels fortunate for being able to get away from all the turmoil. This multigenerational story deals with new beginnings, family struggles, love, and the beauty of the sea and its surroundings. Mary Alice Monroe’s vivid descriptions awakened my senses throughout this book. I saw the light from the moon reflecting on the water. I visualized the colors of the sunrises and sunsets. And the dolphins and loggerheads filled me with the awe that they deserve. Previous characters are brought back, and I especially squealed with delight when Toy, who is working with her beloved loggerheads at the aquarium, is a part of the story. The development of new loves from friendship is wonderful. I was drawn into the story from the first page to the last. I laughed like the dolphins, cried for the female loggerheads, and relished every moment. [I received an early copy for an honest review.]
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.