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The Beach House
A great read with believable characters
Some parts predictable
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This is the second book I have read by Jane Green, the first one being Girl Friday. I enjoyed this one as much as the first one.
This book is set in America with Nan, an elderly eccentric woman being the main character. Nan has a large, once magnificent, house badly in need of repair but no money to repair it with. After an appointment with her financial adviser, who thinks that she should sell the house, she decides to let rooms out.
The people who come to Nan's house to rent out these rooms, Daff - a single mother of a troubled teenager - and Daniel - who has recently separated from his wife - become more than lodgers; they become family. Nan's son, Michael, has also returned hom and Nan feels that the house has come alive again. Nan's son has returned home as he was a jeweller in New York and began an affair with his boss's wife and when the relationship feels clausterphobic, he runs away.
The characters are portrayed in a very likely in a very life like way and the author has done her best to portray them as real people, flaws and all, which makes it more lifelike and believable. The characters come across as nice, have good qualities which makes them stand out from each other but also have flaws which make them believable. For instance, Michael comes across as a good person but he is having an affair, which you know isn't right but you can't help liking him anyway, Daniel has just ended his marriage because of a secret of his own - he is flawed too but still human and also likeable.
What I didn't like about the book was that some parts of it were quite predictable - you can see the way Michael and Jordana talk to each other at the start that something is going to happen between them. Also, I couldn't believe the decision nan made towards the end of the book about selling the house - I didn't believe after seeing how much she loved the house throughout the book that she would change her mind and sell it so easily.
I think it was good that the author threw in a character like Jordana in - she was besotted with Michael to the point of being a stalker, but you couldn't hate her. You can understand why Michael gets irritated with her but you can't help but feel sorry with her, she obviously has deep security issues.
I got my copy of this book from my local library, where you could try too, or you could try Amazon or ebay. It's definately worth a read.