Book Reviews

BEACH HOUSE FOR RENT makes the lowcountry seem like paradise


BEACH HOUSE FOR RENT by Mary Alice Monroe

A lot of authors use the lowcountry of South Carolina as the locale for their stories. It is a magical place that serves as a perfect backdrop for dramas, romances and adventures. Mary Alice Monroe sets most of her stories there and well she should, She doesn’t just write about the lowcountry, she owns the lowcountry. She knows its smell, its feel, and its charm. Lovingly she incorporates these elements into her stories and has done so for years. So now when you open the pages of BEACH HOUSE FOR RENT, her latest novel, you immediately have the feeling you are going to a certain slice of paradise.

Cara Rutledge owns a beach house on the Isle of Palms. It has been in her family for years. She and her husband Brett don’t live there but rather live in the house he owned when they married. They use the beach house as rental property. They have been working on some repairs to the place when they get an offer from a man in Charlotte, North Carolina to rent it for the entire summer. He wants his daughter, Heather to be able to stay there and paint.

Cara and Brett agree and soon Heather arrives, with her three singing canaries. This beach house is a safe place for Heather as it is in a place where you can see as many people as you want or not see any at all. Heather suffers from acute anxiety and so the isolation of the house suits her to a “t”. But her solitude is quickly interrupted when a man named Bo arrives to finish some work on the deck.

Cara is pleased with Heather renting her family house and does all she can to make the young woman feel at home. However Cara soon has a tragedy in her life and this forces her to need the comfort and security of the beach house. Does this mean Heather will have to leave? Does this mean Bo and Heather will have to forego the opportunity to establish a relationship? Read this amazing book and find out.

Monroe’s novel it too delicious for me to reveal any more information. Just know you are in the hands of a skilled storyteller who never lets her readers down. She resolutely keeps the story moving at a quick pace while revealing life lessons as well as ecological ones. Finally she makes Isle of Palms come enticingly alive, calling all readers to this garden of paradise which is just ripe for a visit.

Mary Alice Monroe creates characters that you wish/hope could be real people so that they could become your friends. And you feel if you could visit the lowcountry they would be there waiting. If that isn’t a goods enough reason to read this book then let me quickly add that the plot will take over your mind and compel you to read it as quickly as possible. Hopefully your saner side will advise you to slow down and enjoy this literary treasure.

This author knows completely how to satisfy her legions of fans. They know she will deliver a good story full of wonderful characters, and she does. BEACH HOUSE FORT RENT is pure Mary Alice Monroe thru and thru. She is always great with her books and this is one of her best. Next, please.

BEACH HOUSE FOR RENT is published by Gallery books. It contains 416 pages and sells for $26.00.

Jackie K Cooper

The author

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