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The Beach House [Hardcover]

Jane Green
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)

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Book Description

12 Jun 2008

Nan, a widow whose family has flown the nest, is an independent, free-spirited woman who couldn’t care less what people think about her living alone in her beloved beach house. But when she discovers that money is running out and she might lose her home, she knows it’s time for a drastic change.

Nan decides to rent out rooms for the summer and people start moving into the house, filling it with noise, laughter and tears. Among them is Daniel, a recently divorced father, who’s struggling to find out who he really is, and Daff, the single mother of a truculent teenager who blames her mother unreservedly for her parents' divorce.

As the house comes to life again, Nan finds her family growing. Her son comes home for the summer and an unexpected visitor turns up, turning all their lives upside down …

Compelling, absorbing and poignant, The Beach House is a story of friendship, love and those moments that can change your life.

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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: 22.6 x 14 x 4.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 405,183 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


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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
50 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Memorable Summer Story 9 Jun 2008
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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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Perfect beach reading 19 Jun 2009
By Julia Flyte TOP 50 REVIEWER
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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Easy reading but cloyingly sweet... 25 Jun 2009
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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37 of 44 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sorry :o( 10 July 2008
By Anna
First thing that needs to be said is this is better than Second Chance. It really is better. The only problem is this isn't very good, either. I really think Green has just run out of ideas, or inspiration, because one of the characters in this book is a 37-year old woman called Carrie... who happens to be a writer. Are we directly ripping characters off tv shows now? Another character is called Matt; a gay man who is every woeful stereotype you could possibly imagine. Amongst others, he calls people "honey", calls his gay friends "the girls" while discussing his numerous flings.

Also, it's not very well written. For example, there are a couple of phrases used again, and again, and again. The most annoying is how the characters "feel they've come home" when they kiss their new person; running a close second is how half of the characters at various points eventually feel "comfortable in their own skin". Both of these phrases are used at least 4 or 5 times throughout and by halfway through, I was rolling my eyes.

Am so worried that sounds mean, but this book is pretty much the final straw for me when it comes to reading any more Green. Parts of it did make me genuinely quite cross. In it, we're told that a particular character - "like all women" - is a chameleon when it comes to men; willing to change on a whim to please the new man. I think that's insulting, and a little arrogant. Are you so desperate for a man you're willing to compromise who you are? *Are* all women that way? I'm saying no.

Similarly, 9/11 is once again referred to. A character compares the events of 9/11 to their life being a little topsy turvy suddenly, and I actually had to put the book down for a day or so upon reading that. Citing terrorism - yet again - is just reprehensible.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Jane Green Classic
As is often the case with Jane Green novels, I started reading this in the early hours of this morning and have been reading all day. I loved 'The Beach House'. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Kerry M
4.0 out of 5 stars feel good
Stories intertwine, but you don't know how until they all arrive at the beach house. I want to be as care free when I'm older..
Published 4 months ago by salsand
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping
Had me gripped,,did not want this book to end sorry I have said it all in my short summary bye
Published 5 months ago by Jessie Denst
2.0 out of 5 stars An unfortunate turkey
Oh dear, oh dear. This is a very unfortunate and laughable (in the wrong sense) book - which is a great shame as I'm usually a fan of Jane Green's books. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Ms. A. Brooke
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read
This was a good read and quite involved with lots of people within the story and their lives. Would recommend
Published 6 months ago by Mrs. P. M. Richards
4.0 out of 5 stars Great summer read!
I mostly read this book while soaking up the Ibiza sunshine! Of my growing collection of chic lit, I chose this particular book to take with me on my recent four day visit to the... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Ibiza
5.0 out of 5 stars Good chick book
Good book if you just want to kick of your flip flops by the pool, its predictable but a good read. I was not however pleased with the condition of the book, I have bought many 2nd... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Nicky P
5.0 out of 5 stars A special book for the summer
The sea, the house, the island and the characters in the story all work together to make you wish there didn't have to be an end. I wanted this book to go on and on. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Helen Harper
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it.
A great book to pass your time, enjoy with a piece of your favourite music in the back ground, sit back relax and read.
Published 9 months ago by Nick Gould
4.0 out of 5 stars Very readable
A very readable book by Jane Green. It took me a while to care for the characters and get into the character's stories but once I got into it I couldn't stop reading! Read more
Published 9 months ago by Louise
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