Review: Barefoot Beach by Toby Devens

Barefoot Beach by Toby Devens
Published: July 5, 2016
Publisher: NAL
Rating: 4/5

For Nora Farrell, Tuckahoe, Maryland, isn’t just a summer refuge, it’s home—where she married the love of her life, decided to have a child, and has remained connected with her two closest friends. Even now, long after her husband’s passing, Nora reunites with Margo and Emine every June….

But this year, challenges invade the friends’ retreat. Even as Nora delights in teaching at her dance studio, she is shaken by the possible loss of her beach house…and by a tentative new romance. While Margo directs a musical at the Driftwood Playhouse, she finds her marriage on rocky ground. And Em, who relishes running her family’s cafĂ©, struggles to handle her rebellious daughter.

With their personal dramas reaching a fever pitch, the women will discover that it isn’t only the beach that brightens their lives. Their bond with one another provides the ultimate magic.

My Thoughts
Barefoot Beach is a tale of loss and rediscovering love when and where you least expect it. Nora is spending her summers as she always has in Tuckahoe Maryland but since her husband has died it isn’t the same. Yes, she has her son but he is growing up and is spending less time with her. This summer her son has told her a shocker that he wants to meet his donor dad. While his real father did pass away he was conceived via a donor since the man who raised him was unable to have children. So not only is Nora dealing with the fact that her son is on the brink of meeting this man but also with the fact that when he does her son thinks they make a perfect match.

Nora is trying to deal with the idea of moving on and dating again but also with her career. She teaches dance and that’s where she meets an ex-soldier whom she clicks with instantly and after learning he is divorced sparks fly. Although I love the whole romance aspect of the book what I enjoyed most was the female friendships in the read. I love Nora’s interactions with her best friend Margo who is so funny but is constantly doubting her husband’s love and devotion to her. We also met her good friend Em who is trying to deal with the teenage daughter and her mother in law who comes to discipline her granddaughter. Between these friends, they have enough drama to fill the summer. This is a good beach read that will make you laugh and root for the possibility of a second chance at love.

           About Toby
Toby Devens, known for her women's fiction, is the author of Happy Any Day Now and My Favorite Midlife Crisis (Yet), as well as a humorous collection of poetry that was excerpted in Reader's Digest and other national publications. She has worked in publishing and public relations and has led writing workshops. She lives in Maryland. 
Connect with Toby online


  1. Thanks for the details. I've been a big fan of Ms. Devens' since My Favorite Midlife Crisis and I really enjoy the complex relationships that build among the characters. The friendships that she depicts seem real and true to the plot and complexity of characterization. I'm looking forward to reading this, so much so that I have my copy reserved.

  2. Sounds like a great book for me to pick up for my next trip. I like characters who have some depth, who reflect the sorts of problems every woman finds herself dealing with at one time or another. Thanks for passing along the suggestion!

  3. Devens is an artist when it comes to her way with well-rounded , intelligent women facing extraordinary challenges, especially those of the heart. My Favorite Mid-life Crisis and Happy Any Day Now are proof of that, so I can't wait to read Barefoot Beach.

  4. Love the beach as a backdrop so I'm looking forward to this story. I know from Ms. Devens' previous books she will introduce characters I'll care about and gentle humor throughout. A second chance at love is a theme she has tackled beautifully before--this sounds like a great summer read.