When Lillo receives an invite to the wedding of her childhood friend, Jess, she isn’t quite sure what to expect. They haven’t spoken in years, but she discovers Jess needs her support to find the strength to leave her controlling family and cheating fiancé. On the eve of her wedding, Jess escapes with Lillo and two friends in tow. They retreat to Lillo’s small hometown, Lighthouse Beach. Over the next week, each of the women are affected by the town and inhabitants in unique and meaningful ways.
This is a classic summer beach novel with an idyllic New England setting and four female friends on a journey of self-discovery. Each of them had a unique story and personality, so I enjoyed their reactions to the small town and various situations they found themselves in. Lillo is clearly a bit of a loner, so it was rewarding to read how she interacted with these three women and slowly let them into her life. Their growing bond is clearly the heart of this novel and it felt genuine and relatable.
The author adds a bit of mystery to Lillo and Ian, the local veterinarian, with references to scarred pasts throughout the first half of the novel. I appreciated that extra bit of depth and was eager to find out what had happened to them. Although at times, this slow build felt a bit tedious. I knew there were big reveals planned and I found the build-up to them was lengthier than necessary.
That speaks to a general feeling I had while reading. I often ended up passing over this book in favor of other novels. The plot is relaxed and meanders along, which made it feel longer than the 400 pages. If you enjoy that sort of pace for your summer reading, then this book is perfect for you. However, it might be worth passing over if you relish a “can’t put this down” fast-moving story.
• Paperback: 400 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (May 29, 2018)
From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shelley Noble comes a heartrending and uplifting novel about friendship, love, and what we’re willing to sacrifice for our dreams.
What was supposed to be an idyllic wedding leads to an unexpected journey of self-discovery…
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.
Nursing broken hearts and broken dreams, four lost women embark on a journey to find their way back into happiness with new love, friendship, and the healing power of Lighthouse Beach.
About Shelley Noble
Shelley Noble is a former professional dancer and choreographer and has worked on a number of films. She lives at the Jersey shore where she loves to visit lighthouses and vintage carousels. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and Romance Writers of America.
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