Thursday, May 23, 2013

Review: Ocean Beach by Wendy Wax

Ocean Beach by Wendy Wax
Berkley Trade
June 2012
Format: Paperback, 448 pages
Source: Personal copy

Wendy Wax, author of the “warm [and] wry” (St. Petersburg TimesTen Beach Road, returns with a novel of three women in need of a second chance…or is it a third?

Unlikely friends Madeline, Avery and Nicole have hit some speed bumps in their lives, but when they arrive in Miami’s South Beach neighborhood, they are all hoping for a do-over. Literally. They’ve been hired to bring a once-grand historic house back to its former glory on a new television show called Do-Over. If they can just get this show off the ground, Nikki would get back on her feet financially, Avery could restart her ruined career, and Maddie would have a shot at keeping her family together.

At least, that’s the plan – until the women realize that having their work broadcast is one thing, having their personal lives play out on TV is another thing entirely. Soon they are struggling to hold themselves, and the project, together. With a decades-old mystery—and the hurricane season—looming, the women are forced to figure out just how they’ll weather life’s storms…

My thoughts: This is a sequel to Wendy Wax's Ten Beach Road where we were first introduced to Madeline, Avery and Nicole. Like the previous book, I found this book slow to start, but then things pick up and you have a hard time putting the book down.

After the success Maddie, Avery and Nicole had renovating Bella Flora, the house that brought these three women together in the first place, they are being given an opportunity to re-do another house, this time in Miami's South Beach, on a TV show called 'Do-Over.' The problem is that the network has changed focus and wants a more reality-based show than the women wanted. Along for the ride are Maddie's daughter, Kyra and her son, and Avery's mom, Deirdre. When the women show up at the house, they find two cameramen there to film the women's every move. This causes some added tension to the group. 

We are also introduced to Max, the 90-year-old owner of the house they will be renovating. Max, a former comedian, is such an engaging character - he brings life to the project, and he soon becomes part of the project. I loved all the interactions between him and the women. I also loved how Deirdre all but begged Maddie for lessons on how to be a 'real mother' - this was such a great plot line - filled with humor and some pretty heartwarming scenes.

I enjoyed this second visit with these three women who probably would never have met if not due to extenuating circumstances. They each bring their own set of problems to the table, yet through all the hard work of putting this new project to rights, they are able to figure things out. There's the hint of romance, there's a mystery to be solved, and there are relationships to be mended - all of which combine for a great story!

As of yet, I have not read any other books by Wendy Wax. Which one would you recommend I pick up next?

1 comment:

  1. I have read this book and the previous book and enjoyed both. The one I liked the most of hers is The Accidental Bestseller. It was the first one I read of hers and liked it. Probably because it revolved around books! I recommend it heartily.

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