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Beachcombing Hardcover – Large Print, 1 May 2010
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Hardcover, Large Print
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'A wonderfully uplifting story about a woman on her way to fulfilment.'
--Katie Fforde --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Sometimes old flames burn the brightest . . . --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
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If you enjoyed Joanne Harris' COASTLINERS or Anne Rivers Siddons' UP ISLAND, you'll love BEACHCOMBING. This is Maggie Dana's first novel and I can't wait to see what she comes up with next.
Jill's life starts to change as she grabs hold of the past, and enters a new romance. Is she willing to give up her life and her friends for Colin, and has the past blinkered her to what's really going on?
At the beginning of the book there is a little jumping around, as Maggie introduces us to Jill, and also her history with Colin, but things soon settle down. Jill's character is just adorable, and the sort of person I'd like to have as a friend - but she's also flawed, especially as she finds herself blinded by love.
In fact, all of Maggie's female characters are well written - some are likeable, others not so much.. but all are people you could imagine bumping into, or finding in your life.
The various settings are also well written. Maggie takes us to London, Cornwall and Connecticut, and the little cottage on the beach sounds absolutely ideallic, from the picnics on the beach, to the heavy snow storms! I could almost pack myself up, and move there myself!
Stepping away from chick-lit, and into the more satisfying world of women's fiction, Beachcombing is a funny, warm story for ladies of all ages. Fans of Linda Gillard should also enjoy Maggie's style, and I look forward to her next offering.
I thought Maggie Dana's excellent and witty writing was spot-on and I identified on so many levels with Jill, yet she was so different to me. I could never climb up onto my roof and mend loose shingles! This probably sums up her independent and spirited nature -
"Letting go of my sore foot, I lurch out of my rope nest and feel like screaming. Not because my toe is on fire, but because I've bloody well coped. I've spent a lifetime coping because that's what you do when there's nobody else to pick up the pieces, and when I think about women like Shelby and Diana who fall apart because a guest complained or the bartender quit or, heaven forbid, the florist delivered the wrong flowers, I get seriously mad."
Maggie Dana quotes on her website that a friend challenged her to write a novel about feisty middle aged women, as there weren't enough of them, and I think she's succeeded in doing just that.
I was engrossed in this book from beginning to end - and would happily recommend it to anyone wanting a great read with convincing characters and amusing moments - never boring!
Jilllian Hunter lives in an old tumbledown beach house in Connecticut. She is divorced from Richard "He complained I was cold. Frigid. He's right. I was, but only with him" . She has raised two sons by herself, restored the house and has started a small business all on her own so by any lights she has been a success. But, Jill has fond memories of Colin, ("does that lock of hair still flop cross his forehead? Do his cheeks still dimple when he smiles?") a boy she fell in love with in her teens, and has yearned after ever since and so when she falls into his arms on a visit to an old friend in London (literally, she trips down a flight of stairs), she is ready to embark on a passionate affair with him.
Jill throws caution to the winds and, while it is clear to the reader that perhaps Colin is not the god she thinks he is, she abandons all inhibitions along with her commonsense and hurtles headlong into a relationship with this long lost love of her youth. We can see the inevitable crash and heartbreak coming a mile off, but as I am sure most of us know, love is blind and being older and, in theory, wiser makes no difference at all to heartbreak. By the time Colin dumps her, she has managed to lose old friends, has risked her livelihood and is staggering on the brink of disaster, both personal and professional and she has to Get a Grip and start all over again.
Beachcombing rang some very familiar bells with me during its read and I found myself totally in sympathy with Jill. She is funny, not always wise, but is loyal and lovable with a self deprecating attitude to her own faililngs. The writing is witty and sharp and funny and the narrative is paced beautifully, not too frenetic but zapping along nicely and keeping the reader's attention at all times. You really like the characters, not only Jill but her friend and neighbour Lizzie who though she "has no idea what it's like to run your own business...works in a community college where students turn up on an annual basis, paychecks are deposited directly into her bank account ...computers are fixed, the water cooler is filled and her printer is never ruined by stray cat hairs" is supportive and loving. Apart from friends and family, she also has a cat named Zachary who disappears when Colin is around and comes back when he has gone (cats always know best). It turns out that he has adopted a second home in the next house along the beach where a rather interesting man called Tom happens to live. Such perspicacity....
Ok, well you don't need a degree in rocket science to see what is going to happen and that after all the heartbreak and angst, Jill is going to find happiness and fulfillment. It's a given. It is a good feeling to know that books are being written by authors who know that being over 50 does not mean that your heart doesn't stop beating when you are with somebody you love, that you can dither what you are going to wear on a date (big knickers or little knickers), does my bum look big in this, oh dear look at the saggy tummy, and that falling for someone is not the prerogative of the young and beautiful. I found this book heartwarming, amusing and delightful and loved every page.
"I came so close to losing all this..........my best memories lie within the fabric of these walls.....climbing the stairs I run my hands along the banister, down the spindles, feeling drips of paint I neglected to sand off.....in the distance, waves roar and rumble up the beach.
My beach. My home"
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