Jenny Hale returns to the blog with a story of grief, hope and renewal with
The Beach House
Having spent the past years caring for her grandmother, Melanie is lost now without her. A need for full-time care means that she’d left her job, and with the bequest from her grandmother as well as a directive to purchase and rehab a decrepit beach house they’d often pass on their walks in the summer, she heads off. Fully supported by her family, including her sister who is willing to leave her own young family to pitch in, Melanie is hoping for the best. Arriving at the house, she realizes that not only is she unable to repair the place herself but can’t seem to get the local ‘jack of all trades’ to even speak to her about the work.
Josh is planning on leaving his home for a job in New York that will allow him to stockpile money and build his dream house on land left by his beloved grandfather. When Melanie approaches him about working on the house, not only is he determined to leave, but years of ‘stories’ about the previous owner have him uninterested. Of course, there are secrets here – if only Melanie (or Josh) understood just how long back they go. But with a falling-down house, a damsel in distress, and a hurricane fast approaching, there’s something about Melanie that won’t let Josh just walk away.
A ton of back and forth, snapping and snarking and plenty of intrigue to unpack when a cache of letters is found, Melanie and Josh are both fighting the attraction between them, even as Josh’s plans to leave seem to be foiled at every turn. When the secret is revealed, too late for either Josh or Melanie to deny their connection, it could turn everything upside down for them both. A story of loss, mystery, opening oneself to possibilities and a lovely old beach house as a backdrop, the addition of secondary characters in the present keeps the action moving forward and the worries about “what was” from overtaking most of the story. It was a lovely escape that can also serve as a warning that not all secrets long held will lead to disaster.
Title: The Beach House
Author: Jenny Hale
Genre: Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Family Saga, Friendship, Grief, Mystery Elements, Second Chance, Setting: American, Small Town
Published by: Bookouture
Published on: 9 June, 2021
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 9 Hours: 38 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google ♦Audible
“Oh, my goodness,” she whispered. At the bottom of the box was a stack of letters. Tied with a ribbon, the pages were faded with age. “These are all addressed from here,” she said, “but they’ve never been sent.”
When her gram passes away, Melanie Simpson feels utterly lost. She has no idea what to do with her life after she has devoted years to looking after her beloved grandmother.
But Gram’s will may hold the answer, instructing Melanie to use her inheritance to buy a crumbling house in Rosemary Bay. They used to visit the village every summer, sit by the sparkling gulf on a beach the color of a fresh pearl, and daydream about turning the place on the corner into a bed and breakfast.
Fulfilling her grandmother’s legacy, Melanie decides to restore the beach house to its original glory. She sets out on renovations of the wrap-around porch weathered by the coastal breeze, and the peeling white paint faded by the sun.
When Melanie runs into local carpenter, Josh Claiborne, whose eyes match the dazzling sea, she jumps at the chance to ask him for help. But that’s the last thing he wants. He’s off to New York soon, leaving his troubled past behind. Over a game of darts Melanie gets her wish, even if Josh isn’t happy about it.
As they work together, Melanie tries to ignore their undeniable chemistry and how Josh’s rare smiles take her breath away––because soon they’ll be thousands of miles apart. But hiding in a closet is a yellowing stack of letters that could change everything. The looping handwriting reveals the mystery of the rickety house––a buried history that touches everyone in Rosemary Bay. Will its secrets bring Melanie and Josh together or tear them apart?
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.