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The Beach House Hardcover – 12 Jun 2008


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Joseph (12 Jun 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718148088
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718148089
  • Product Dimensions: 14.3 x 3.9 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 525,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jane Green Warburg is a former journalist who gave up her job on the Daily Express to write a real woman's account of being single in the city. That account became Jane's first novel, Straight Talking. It was followed by nine more bestselling novels: Jemima J, Mr Maybe, Bookends, Babyville, Spellbound, The Other Woman, Life Swap, Second Chance and The Beach House. Jane has four children and lives in Connecticut.

Product Description

Review

A corker of a story, sharply and elegantly told (Heat )

A delicious treat confirming that Green is still queen of chick lit (In Style )

About the Author

Jane Green is a former journalist who gave up her job on the Daily Express to write a real woman’s account of being single in the city. That account became Jane’s first novel, Straight Talking. A huge success, Straight Talking was followed by nine more bestselling novels: Jemima J, Mr Maybe, Bookends, Babyville, Spellbound, The Other Woman, Life Swap and Second Chance. Jane has four children and lives in Connecticut.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Julia Flyte TOP 100 REVIEWER on 19 Jun 2009
Format: Paperback
Nan is a feisty and eccentric 65 year old widow, who has lived alone for many years in a large house in Nantucket. Rather than selling her house, she decides to rent out some of the rooms for the summer. The book is about the people who come to live with her, all of whom have their own problems and the way that they all come together. It's a warm hearted and easy book - not one that will stay with you particularly, but an excellent summer read that hooks you in quickly and keeps moving at a good pace right through to the end.

I've read a couple of Jane Green's early novels (Babyville and The Other Woman) and enjoyed them. "The Beach House" is quite different. It's still a light and enjoyable read but it's a change in style (no young women having relationship issues in London). Having said that, I still enjoyed it: it's just different, to the point where I wouldn't have guessed it was a Jane Green novel. Interestingly enough, I read an interview with Jane Green where she commented on the fact that when she wrote her early novels she was in an unhappy marriage and the unhappy protagonists reflected her own state of mind. Now she is in a much more settled place and hence this book about coming home and having peace.

A book from a couple of summers back that is in a similar vein (including the Nantucket setting) is Barefoot
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50 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Curran on 9 Jun 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book opens with a scene female readers of a certain age will adore: Nan Powell, 65, stops for a skinny dip in her absent neighbor's pool, then cycles into a local village smoking all the way, scandalizing a family of tourists.

"What has happened to people?" Nan thinks, as she traverses the cobblestones. "When did we become so precious?" A family of six passes her, father, mother, then four little ones, like four little ducklings with sparkly aerodynamic helmets on. "When did our children have to wear helmets, When did we all become so scared?"

Nan Powell's great virtue is that she doesn't become scared easily, even after her financial adviser tells her she's in dire straits. After her husband committed suicide, drowning himself one morning, Nan grew tough, raising her son Michael on her own, living her life on her own terms. Now she's become the resident eccentric in a town of tourists, known for her beauty and her trademark red lipstick.

Facing the new challenge, Nan turns her home into a summer bed and breakfast, and draws a circle of new friends around her, all come to the beach to heal themselves -- a divorcee still recovering from her husband's infidelity, a young father of two girls struggling with his sexual orientation, and Nan's son Michael, on the rebound after a disastrous love affair of his own. Soon the rambling old house has come to life with the sound of children laughing, life streaming all around.

The plot takes some unexpected twists and turns -- there are some nasty developers on the scene, naturally -- but this is a sweetly memorable summer story, capturing the relaxing, renewing quality of life at the shore, when we find ourselves on the edge of something new.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Roadrunner on 25 Jun 2009
Format: Paperback
I have read most of Jane Green's novels and loved every one, finding the characters empathetic and interesting. This book is light and easy reading but also irritating at times. The characters are mostly too good to be true - although their behaviour is not always good, inside they are sentimental to the point of being sickly. Nan is so perfect that to me it does not make her a believeable character, and the book is full of amazing coincidences that also defy belief. It doesn't matter if all you want is escapism, but it does make it a little hard to relate to.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By LittleReader VINE VOICE on 25 Nov 2008
Format: Hardcover
I find myself feeling quite cross after finishing JG's latest offering. The reason for this? What started out as a really good read slowly morphed (after about 300 pages or so) into a sickly, over emotional cheese fest where men and women alike kept dramatically bursting into tears and the 'falling in love' of the various occupants of the book was vomit inducingly awful! What went wrong????
Nan, a strong and hearty woman living on Nantucket, decides to open up her rambling home to boarders to help with a financial crisis. And so in walks various believable characters who are likeable and plausible. All with a tale to tell that's easy to relate to and leaves you feeling the need to get to know more. Various sub-plots are thrown in here and there and, like I say, a really good read is developing. Then... it all seems to slooooow down and go hurtling downhill at a frigtening speed. Awful awful awful last quarter - what was she thinking?
And after reading a couple of not so great novels by this author, I was beginning to think that she was back on form. But it would appear not...
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Helen Simpson VINE VOICE on 29 July 2008
Format: Hardcover
I'd say 'The Beach House' is a good choice for a holiday read - as in a book that doesn't keep you from sightseeing on your summer holiday because it's just not interesting enough to want to lie around reading.

Not the kind of book I tend to normally choose, but I was hoping to enjoy it all the same. It reminded me very much of magazine fiction...those short stories that I only used to read when I'd read everything else and done the word search!

Actually, it wasn't really awful, just not very challenging. It's very light, lacking in intrigue, and is full of people with relationship problems of varying kinds that predictably all end happily in a blissful location...with everyone becoming bosom buddies.

Just a bit airy fairy for my taste I think. 2.5 stars
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