Thursday, June 7, 2018

Review: Beach House Reunion (Beach House #5) by Mary Alice Monroe

Whisking you back to the shores of her bestselling Beach House series, Mary Alice Monroe weaves together a tale of the struggles and triumphs of the historic Rutledge family of Charleston, South Carolina. Beautifully wrought and rich with keen insight, this is an illuminating tale of new beginnings, resilience, and one family's enduring love.

Cara Rutledge returns to her Southern home on the idyllic Isle of Palms. Everything is comfortingly the same, yet each detail is rife with painful memories. Only through reconnecting with family, friends, and the rhythms of the lowcountry can Cara release the hold of the past and open herself to the possibility of a new love, career, and hope for the future.

Meanwhile, her niece Linnea, a recent college graduate who doesn't know where her life will take her, leaves her historic home in Charleston, with all its entitlement and expectations, and heads to her aunt's beach house. On the island, she is part of the freer, natural ocean lifestyle she loves, rejoining the turtle team, learning to surf, and falling in love. Remembering the lessons of her beloved grandmother, Lovie, the original "turtle lady," Linnea rediscovers a meaningful purpose to her life and finds the courage she needs to break from tradition.

In this heartwarming novel, three generations of the Rutledge family gather together to find the strength, love, and commitment to break destructive family patterns and to forge new bonds that will endure long beyond one summer reunion.

My Review: 

One summer can change your life.

After the death of her husband, Cara Rutledge fled Isle of Palms, South Carolina.  The memories of her late husband and mother were too hard on her and she needed to try to start her life over someplace else.  But she never got past the grief.  It just followed her.  Now, Cara is finally returning to Primrose Cottage, and with her, she is bringing her newly adopted daughter, Hope.  She is ready to make new memories.  She starts a new career, is on the Turtle Team again and starts to remember what she loved most about the beach and her home.  And she just might be open to falling in love once again.  

Linnea Rutledge, Cara’s niece, just graduated college and isn’t happy living at home again.  She’s unsure what to do with her life.  She’s having trouble finding a job and her mother just wants her to marry and settle in Charleston, which is definitely not part of Linnea’s plan.  So she decides to spend the summer living with Cara and working as Hope’s nanny.  But Linnea also has a lot on her mind worrying about her family.  Her controlling father has been drinking too much and she thinks her brother might be falling in their father’s footsteps.  Linnea finds solace in her new friend, John, who is there for her when she needs someone the most.  

With Hurricane Irma is on the way, tensions are high and a lot of things come to light.  Lives are changed forever.  But will these changes bring the Rutledge family back together or tear them apart even more?

I’ll be honest and say I have never read any of this series until now.  I saw The Beach House when it was made into a Hallmark movie and fell in love with the story.  So, when I saw this was book coming out, I knew I had to read it.  I really enjoyed it and plan to go back and read the rest of the series soon.  The writer’s style is easy to follow and the characters are some you will come to think of as friends.  It’s truly a memorable story.   I also enjoyed learning more about sea turtles.  At the beginning of each chapter, there is a little bit of information about them. 

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