Beach Read by Emily Henry

Appropriately enough, I read most of this book while lying on the beach during my recent vacation in Greece. I added it to my ereader before I left in case I wanted a novel as a break from all my short fiction magazines. I’m glad I did.

The protagonist is struggling to write her next book. A contributing factor is the recent death of her father with whom she was very close. At the funeral she learns that the father that she idolized her whole life had an affair. To make matters worse, her mother knew about it and refuses to discuss it. And the icing on the cake is that her father left her the summer home in Michigan that he bought during that affair.

She decides to go to the house for the summer with the plan to bang out the text of her book while clearing out the house and selling it. This turns out to be more emotional than she bargained for. And her neighbor doesn’t make it any easier. He turns out to be a “friend” from college that she had a crush on while they were both studying creative writing.

The bulk of the story is about how these two interact with each other, and (this is a romance) fall in love. Much of what I don’t like about many romance novels is that they often depend on people behaving badly or making ridiculous assumptions that could easily be overcome if those involved simply communicated. I like that this author doesn’t do that. Yes, there are misunderstanding and assumptions, but they make sense and last an appropriate length of time.

In the end, this book is about two people learning that in order to love another, it is necessary to learn about and love yourself, warts and all, and to extend that same courtesy to those in your life that you love. The result is a romance that feels rather more mature than others I have read. It was definitely an enjoyable beach read.

My rating: 4/5

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