Review

Lighthouse Beach by Shelley Noble

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Published: William Morrow
Date: May 29th 2018
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 400
Genre: Mainstream Fiction
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss

Rating
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When Lillo Gray pulls up to Kennebunkport’s most exclusive hotel wearing a borrowed dress and driving a borrowed VW van, she knows she’s made a big mistake. She’s not even sure why Jessica Parker invited her to her posh wedding. They haven’t seen each other since they were unhappy fourteen-year-old girls at fat camp. And now they’re from two completely different worlds. There’s no way Lillo fits in the rarefied circles Jessica travels in.

Jess isn’t sure she’s ready to go through with this wedding, but she’s been too busy making everyone else happy to think about what she wants. But when she and her two closest friends, Allie and Diana, along with Lillo, discover her fiancé with his pants down in the hotel parking lot, she’s humiliated…and slightly relieved. In a rush to escape her crumbling life, Jess, Allie, and Diana pile into Lillo’s beat-up old van and head up the coast to Lighthouse Island. Once there, she hopes to figure out the next chapter in her life.

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Visit Lighthouse Beach and you’ll never be the same according to a notice at the entrance to the town. For a group of friends that certainly seems to ring true.  Lighthouse Beach is set in Maine in a small town that is sort of dying. No longer can the fishermen find the kind of work they once had.

Lilla has come back to live here, once her parents had a camp but they sold it to fund her education at medical school. So why is she wasting away on Lighthouse Beach? Mystery number one!  After being invited to Jessica’s disastrous wedding, she ends up with three visitors. I thought these three women would be rich snobs but that was really quite the opposite. They all fit into Lilla’s small cottage and adjust well to a week at the beach.

Jessica had come to Lilla’s parents’ camp so has known Lilla for a long time. She doesn’t seem to have much of a backbone when it comes to her terrible parents and her ghastly father. Jessica has had to weather rich, manipulative, judgemental parents. It’s left her with issues! Well to be honest many of the characters have issues.  Allie has lost her husband and has a five year old waiting for her at home. Diana has had two divorces. They are all intelligent, gifted and mostly successful women.

As well in this town there is Mac, growing old but still wanting to watch over the lighthouse. And Dr. Clancy who wants to watch over Mac.  Doc (Ned) rides into town every so often to provide medical care with Dr. Clancy. As well there is Ian the vet… yes you guessed it, he has issues too!

Much happens in a week, the background to Lilla and Ian especially is revealed, and the anguish and guilt they experience.  As I read on I see how Lilla and Jessica have both in a way experienced similar consequences to each other of other people’s behavior.

I loved the final chapters of the book as the action heated up and stands were made. Life issued a challenge and those challenges were taken up.

The story left me a little dissatisfied. I wanted to know more about Allie. Where to for Lillie and Jessica and Diana. Yes I could finish off their stories in the way I’d like for them in my imagination. However… surely there has to be another book in there somewhere from Shelley Noble about them.