Have you had the chance to read Ten Beach Road yet? I recommended it to my readers here last summer. It wasn't my favorite beach read, but maybe that's because I rarely make it TO the beach? I don't know, but Wendy Wax is back with her latest release, Ocean Beach. And I'll tell you what ... I liked it! I actually liked it better than the previous novel.
So while yes, it is a continuation of the characters from Ten Beach Road, it's okay if you haven't picked that one up yet. Because you can totally make it through the story without the previous chapters of their lives, and find yourself enjoying it.
Maddie is back, but she's not as primary this time. Or she is - but she kind of floats in and out of scenes. Her daughter, Kyra has a stronger role this time around.
And Avery is a huge part of the story, as well, but it's more focused on her relationship with her mother. Which, with or without the history, you know is tense. And Wax introduces that information to you throughout the read. You're sure you know Avery loathes her mother. And then you slowly are reminded why.
A huge addition to their story is Max. The homeowner of The Millicent, the beautiful place they're trying to bring back to life. The women are working on a fix-it-up kind of TV show - which - to their surprise - is more of a reality show. That's not what they signed on for. That's not what they planned to give. The presence of two camera men on-site all the time? Not cool. And yet I kind of liked them. I liked Troy, anyway - and as you read on you may like him, too. Or hate him. Or find yourself thinking both. It's all good.
I think that although Wax again broke 400 pages and then some, this book flowed more smoothly than her previous novel. I hate to compare, but when it's the same author you're bound to, and when it's the same characters, well, you get caught up in that even more than you planned.
Either way I think Ocean Beach was a good read. Max, alone, is a character that saved this story, because he's so entertaining, so enthusiastic, and so loving and well-loved. He also brings some mystery to the plot, and while somewhat predictable to this reader, leaves you hanging on and off throughout the journey to fix The Millicent. You may think you know the answer, you may question yourself, and then you may say - I KNEW IT all along! But either way, I think you'll enjoy how it all plays out. It's at the very least worth a stop to the library before your next weekend at the beach!
* I was provided with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are completely my own.