A library find, borrowed from my Mum, I found "The Beach House" by Jane Green a good book to realx with and can imagine it very well as the perfect paperback to take along on a holiday.
A group of people who, under normal circumstances, would have never met each other, let alone become friends, end up being B&B tenants for the summer at a beautiful old house on Nantucket.
Each of them has a very good reason for being there: Daff needs to find herself again after her divorce, and welcomes a break from her difficult teenage daughter; Daniel has decided he can't live a lie any longer and has separated from his wife and children, Michael (whose mother owns the house) has just quit his job in order to get away from an affair he should never have started, and then there is of course Michael's mother, Nan, who had the idea of transforming her house into a B&B because she wants it to be filled with life again, how it used to be in the old days.
As their stories unfold, the threads of their lives begin to intertwine. There is romance and drama; there are misunderstandings and tears, shoplifting and unethical deals among estate agents, and someone's turning up unexpectedly at the house puts everything into question those principal characters have believed to be true for more than 35 years.
Someone dies (not who I had expected), and sad as it is, their death enables several of the others to make their dreams come true.
All ends well - maybe a bit too well, was my impression when I closed the book last night.
It was quite "And they lived happily ever after" at the end, and although such an ending is nice when you read it just before going to sleep, it was quite sugar-coated - probably done on purpose by the author after having brought so much drama into her characters' lives before.
There is a lot of cliché in the book: gay men are all neat, stylish and excellent cooks; wifes that are left by their husbands all need to "find themselves"; unfaithful spouses all think their affairs are "true love", and elderly people wish to be surrounded by children at all times (believe me, they do not).
Regardless of that, I enjoyed the book for its beautifully described setting and the atmosphere, and don't regret having read it; some of the "surprises" took me by surprise, too, and that's a good thing :-)