What can I say? BEACH READ by Emily Henry is a fun book. It’s definitely a romance, albeit dressed up as women’s fiction. From a marketing POV, this is a smart move. Put a couple in an embrace on the cover, and the book loses sales across genre lines. Sad but true. Besides, my calling this a romance is a positive thing. It’s terrific.
The premise? A writer of romance inherits a Lake Michigan beach house from her newly-deceased father. Her house sits directs beside one owned by a writer of literary fiction. Our heroine, January Andrews, and the owner of this abutting one, Augustus Everett, had a slightly dubious acquaintance with each other in college. Neither is pleased to see the other.
And so it goes. Sparks fly in the writing style of the clever-chic Gen Y type. And hey, I’m far from Gen Y, but this is very well done. The dialogue is real and clever, the characters feel fleshed out, and the pacing is wonderful. Around and between the lines of the romance is a solid story of families, both dysfunctional and not, with enough dawning insight to give the whole thing purpose.
And the ending? It is happy. And what, I ask you, is wrong with that? In this day and age of protests, pandemic, and political divisiveness, WHAT IS WRONG with escaping into a book like BEACH READ that ends well?