What Is a "Beach Read?”
By Mary Kay Andrews
Whether I’m on an actual beach, or just tucked into a chair in a sunny spot on my back porch, for me a beach read is a book that totally transports me—into a time and a place I didn’t even know I wanted to go. Sometimes I’m just looking for book candy—a story with relatable characters, interesting setting, and an irresistible love story. Some people call these chick lit or women’s fiction—but I just call books like that a good time.
A beach read should be one that keeps me turning the pages—that makes me forget who I’m with and where I am.
Sometimes that means a great suspense novel or thriller. I love a good mystery, but personally, I don’t want a book that leaves me too terrified to turn out the lights at night. In other words, keep me guessing, but don’t keep me scared! In that same vein, I find mysteries to be a great read, and especially love returning to series mysteries with continuing characters who feel like old friends. I never miss an installment of Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch series.
Not all beach reads have to be fiction. A great essayist like David Sedaris, Anna Quindlen or the late Nora Ephron can be a fun companion, and I also enjoy “armchair travel” books from writers like Peter Mayle and Frances Mayes. And summertime is also a perfect time to sink my teeth into a juicy celebrity tell-all—like Lee Server’s excellent biography of Ava Gardner—Love is Nothing, or Yes, Please, Amy Poehler’s endearing autobiography.
My idea of a great beach read isn’t a downer or one that leaves me curled up in a fetal position, wondering about the meaning of life. Sunny weather means I want a book with an equally sunny disposition. I’ll save the heavy literary lifting for another season. I mean that literally too, so unless the story is amazingly riveting, I don’t want a 1,000-plus page tome weighing down my beach bag.
Are you looking for the perfect “beach read” this summer? I humbly suggest my latest novel, BEACH TOWN
Greer Hennessy is a struggling movie location scout. Her last location shoot ended in disaster when a film crew destroyed property on an avocado grove. And Greer ended up with the blame. Now Greer has been given one more chance—a shot at finding the perfect undiscovered beach town for a big budget movie. She zeroes in on a sleepy Florida panhandle town. There’s one motel, a marina, a long stretch of pristine beach and an old fishing pier with a community casino—which will be perfect for the film’s climax—when the bad guys blow it up in an all-out assault on the townspeople.
Greer slips into town and is ecstatic to find the last unspoilt patch of the Florida gulf coast. She takes a room at the only motel in town, and starts working her charm. However, she finds a formidable obstacle in the town mayor, Eben Thinadeaux. Eben is a born-again environmentalist who’s seen huge damage done to the town by a huge paper company. The bay has only recently been re-born, a fishing industry has sprung up, and Eben has no intention of letting anybody screw with his town again. The only problem is that he finds Greer way too attractive for his own good, and knows that her motivation is in direct conflict with his. Will true love find a foothold in this small beach town before it’s too late and disaster strikes?
First off I’m a huge Mary Kay Andrews fan, I love her books and they make the perfect reads, Beach Town is no expection this one focuses on Greer who is a sent to Florida to look for locations for a new movie. This is her chance to rebuild her reputation after her last film shoot was set on fire and it was seen as her fault. She is determined to make this her comeback film but little does she know her future is headed in a whole other direction.
While in town she meets a cast of characters who will change her life...for the better. She becomes close to the locals and forges friendships with the owner of the hotel, her niece and Eb who is the mayor and owns just about everything in town. She soon finds herself butting heads with him and you know what that means right? Yep love will soon blossom.
While I’m a sucker for a good love story what I enjoyed most was Greer’s personal story. Her mother has recently passed away and all she has left of her family is her grandmother. Her father left when she was five and hasn't been around since. All her life she was lead to believe he abandoned her and her mother but when she finally decides to meet her father again she is told a different story. Her world is set upside down when she finds out the true story of her childhood and surprisingly to even herself she decides she does want a relationship with her father.