Ten Beach Road is an ARC sent to me by Joan Schulhafer and a great little beach read. It is definitely chic lit, but one that I enjoyed.
When Malcolm Dwyer's Ponzi scheme falls apart, the victims include three women from different backgrounds who find themselves left with nothing but shared ownership in an old mansion in desperate need of repair. The setting is a beautiful Florida beach, but the magnificent house is in no condition to bring the deserved asking price.
The new co-owners meet to view the house and discuss what they can do to re-coup a little of their lost savings. Strangers to each other, they finally take advice that includes them camping out in the mansion and doing much of the repairs themselves. As the three throw themselves into the hard, sweaty work of restoring Bella Flora to its original beauty, they develop skills and endurance that they didn't know they had. And their growing friendship surprises them all as they become a strong support system for each other.
Madeline Singer's husband has lost everything in the Ponzi scheme and his job as well. His depression leads him to the couch and avoidance of any effort to recover, so Madeline is the one who must make the attempt.
Avery Lawford, part of a husband/wife team with a television show focusing on home remodeling, finds herself forced out of the show. Having already opted out of the marriage, she has depended on the inheritance from her father to see her through, but her father was also a victim of the scheme, and Avery has no back-up finances.
Nicole Grant, owner of a successful match-making company, also finds that she has lost everything, and while she has no experience with the kind of mundane world that will be hers as she toils through the heat, humidity, and grime of house restoration, she, too, does her best.
There are some secrets that will eventually come to light, but the story isn't a mystery, it is about the relationships, successes, and failures that all three encounter during their months at Bella Flora.
If you are headed on vacation or just want a book to help combat the heat, Ten Beach Road will fill the bill, taking you away to a lovely location where others do all the hard work.
Fiction. Chic Lit. 2011. 404 pages.