Beachcombing by Maggie Dana
|Beachcombing by Maggie Dana|
|Category: Women's Fiction|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: A coming-of-middle-age story when Jill Hunter gives up her friends, her business and possibly her home for the man she loves and then finds that there's a but... It's much better than chick lit and definitely recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 350||Date: June 2009|
|Publisher: Arcadia Editions|
You'll like Jill Hunter. She's smart, independent and likes to have fun. Her business is one that she's built up from scratch and she's brought up two sons on her own since her divorce many years ago and to her credit they're both splendid young men. Money's a little tight but she's managed to restore a dilapidated beach cottage in Connecticut where it sits amongst some rather more expensive neighbours.
The lack of a man in her life does worry her on occasions – well, it probably worries her friends more than her - but she can see that she might be missing something. One thing worries her – and that's the fact that most middle-aged men seem to prefer the trophy wife in her twenties and when she gets a little older she's replaced. Jill is middle aged and she really doesn't want to get onto that roundabout ever again.
When you've made that sort of a decision something always comes along to upset it and this time it's an old flame whom she hasn't seen for thirty five years. She fell for him as a teenager but his father's criminal activities meant that the family moved away and Jill didn't see or hear from Colin again. It's a chance meeting which brings them back together and the flame that Jill had thought to be well and truly dead is fanned back into life. Caught up in a passion that she cannot quite believe, but which seems to be reciprocated, Jill risks her friends, her business and her home in the hope of making a life with Colin.
When something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
I did enjoy this book. It's easy to empathise with Jill – her life's not a bed of roses, but she's made something of it and has some good friends both in Connecticut and back where she was born, in the UK. It's even easier to see how Colin sweeps her off her feet, with his offers of unconditional love, of a sexual relationship beyond her wildest dreams, with the thought of security and not being on her own. Young women often forget about their girlfriends in the first flush of love and whilst Jill didn't forget about them it's easy to see why she wasn't quite as forthcoming as she might have been.
For women, Colin is all too easy to understand. I'm not going to explain that – you'll have to read the book and find out – but a lot of women will nod their head wisely at what happens. He's well-drawn – a man who seems to stand in the full glow of sunlight but who leaves a long shadow behind him.
It's a good story too. Jill never makes a decision which you think you wouldn't ever have made. There are one or two coincidences which are a little far-fetched but it's fiction – suspend disbelief for a few moments! If I've one minor criticism it's about a sex scene which had tears of laughter running down my face. I'm sorry – but the word 'cupping' always does that to me – and quite honestly it would have been more erotic if we'd stayed this side of the bedroom door.
The book is a lot better than chick lit. It's women's fiction that's interesting and thought-provoking. The story is going to appeal not just to the older woman because the emotions, the attitudes are universal and if you're looking for a good read you could do a lot worse than Beachcombing.
I'd like to thank Maggie Dana for arranging for the publishers to send me a review copy.
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