Jillian Hunter treasures her independence. She's raised two sons by herself, launched a small business, and restored a tumbledown beach cottage in Connecticut. But when a trip to London reunites her with Colin an old flame she hasn t seen in thirty-five years Jill falls for him all over again.
Love makes Jill reckless. This could be her chance for a new beginning. But Colin isn't quite the boy she remembers and she ends up risking everything she's worked for her business, her home, and her two closest friends to make a life with him. And when she's faced with the risk of losing Colin as well, Jill is forced to take an uncomfortably close look at the woman she's allowed herself to become.
Funny, sophisticated, and wise, Beachcombing is a coming-of-middle-age story about girlfriends when you re no longer a girl, about growing up when you re already grown up, and the price you re willing to pay for the love of your life.
Beachcombing is Maggie Dana's debut novel and tells the story of Jillian Hunter, a fiercely independent mother who has raised two children, fixed up her small house and started her own business in Conneticut. However when she returns to London she meets up with her old boyfriend Colin whom she hasn't seen for thirty-five years and she falls for him all over again. After thirty-five years apart, can they make it work?
I was pleasantly surprised to find that I really enjoyed Beachcombing. When Maggie Dana offered me the chance to read it she told me her heroine, Jill, wasn't as young as most chick lit characters (she's 53!) but that didn't really make a difference as far as I was concerned. It was written so well you could forget Jill is supposed to be 53!
Beachcombing is told in the first person which helps it flow enormously. I started reading it yesterday and after reading for an hour or so I was really into the book. The chapters just slip by - that's how well written it was. The chapters were also short-ish which made it all the easier to read.
Jill was really well written by Maggie and I enjoyed her narrative. She came across fiercely independent but when she saw Colin again she became reckless. She ignored advice from her friends, she risked losing everything and yet I still enjoyed her character. I could totally understand that she felt this was her chance, that Colin was The One. Even with everything that happened I found myself rooting for Jill, wanting her to overcome her difficulties.
I have to admit I couldn't stand Colin. Not at all! However, bar Colin, I pretty much loved all of Jill's friends. Lizzie, Jill's best friend in Conneticut, was great; Harriet, Anna and Beatrice, Sophie and Claudia in London, Tom Grainger, Jill's next-door-neighbour. All well-written and all close-knit to Jill. They were like a big family and I loved that feel to the novel. Not forgetting Jill's cat Zachary and her two sons, Jordan and Alistair who pop into the novel from time-to-time.
I also liked that the novel alternated between Conneticut and London, giving it a trans-atlantic theme.
I was also very surprised at the family secret of Jill's we learnt of during the novel, it definitely caught me off guard and I didn't see it coming.
Overall it was a really enjoyable and really well written debut. I loved the descriptions of the beach where Jill lived in Conneticut, I loved the easiness of the writing - good writing always makes a book so much easier to read.
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