New York Times Best Selling Author, Mary Alice Monroe, is back with another highly anticipated novel in her beloved Beach House series. I am beside myself. She has outdone herself. I loved this book. LOVED IT!
ON OCEAN BOULEVARD, is one of those books you have to rein yourself in over. I kept trying to make it last longer. It’s got everything I love in a summer read including bringing back many of the characters I’ve come to love over the years. And, we are back on Isle of Palm, one of my favorite beach communities. Throw in the sea turtles that I adore and some really important ocean information and I am happy as a clam.
I think the cover is great. For me, that says a lot. Covers can make or break a novel. This cover practically screams yippee it’s summer and we’re going to the beach. It’s bright and colorful and makes me smile. A happy book cover.
We all have been hovering at home, staying safe and trying to stay well. Some beaches in this country are still closed. It’s been a very sad couple of months. But some beaches are opening up, very carefully. And if people do the right thing and keep social distancing like they are asked to do, well, maybe we all will be able to return to the beach sometime this summer. Having said all that, this book is going to be your first BIG summer book of the season. You will be at the beach: Isle of Palm and Sullivan’s Island, both in South Carolina. You will have toes in the surf, you will be able to raise your face to the wind and smell the ocean, and you will be enjoying the life-changing sounds of the waves as they meet the coast. All this stuff sure makes a difference and will make you happy.
There are some serious issues addressed in ON OCEAN BOULEVARD. I’ve been following the turtle ladies for years. I feel as if I know them. They are tireless and the love and dedication they show is refreshing to see and I never tire of reading about their findings.
Mary Alice Monroe begins each chapter with a paragraph about the turtles or the environment; true things. For instance, here is the one at the top of Chapter Fourteen:
The temperature of the sand during incubation plays a role in determining the sex of the hatchlings. Cool sand produces males, while hotter sand produces females. Thus the phrase, “Hot chicks and cool dudes.”
Another issue that is quickly becoming very important to me is the horrific ocean of plastic that is growing larger by the day; this out in the middle of nowhere. And here is the paragraph for Chapter Fifteen:
Plastic isn’t biodegradable. Depending on the type of plastic and where it lands, items can take days to hundreds of years to break down into very small pieces, which means the waste plastic is left for generations to come.
So, what do you think I did upon finishing ON OCEAN BOULEVARD? I found a website to purchase one of those bracelets that actually use that plastic. 4Ocean makes bracelets from the renegade plastic. I bought two: one to save the ocean, the other to save the turtles, of course. My husband also has two. And our grandchildren are also sporting these very important trinkets.
Okay, now back to the actual story. THE BEACH HOUSE series began years ago and has evolved into a big juicy family saga that’s set in Charleston, South Carolina and Isle of Palm, on the coast. It has everything you want for summer. I care about these characters. They experience very real problems that most families actually deal with. Over the years I’ve watched as Cara Rutledge has gone from being the youngest to now becoming the matriarch now that her mother has passed on. I’ve watched the drama over the future of the beloved beach house and I’ve felt worried. You see, I want this beach house to live on forever. Now, Cara is about to get married, for the second time. After losing her first husband too soon, she thinks she’s ready to experience love again. Is she?
So many of the characters you’ll remember from older books have come home to roost. They’ve grown and become more mature, some at a price. Cara’s brother, Palmer, an alcoholic, has stopped drinking and is working hard to stay sober. Her niece is back after running away from the island to experience “real off island” life in California. And even the Gold Bug, Cara’s mother’s old car, is back.
Honestly, I was totally transported to Isle of Palm while reading ON OCEAN BOULEVARD. A book is a real winner to be able to do that. I simply can not wait to return to Isle of Palm and more of the Beach House series. I could NOT put it down. It was wonderful!
I can not thank the very generous publishing people at Gallery Books enough. They sent me this wonderful finished copy of ON OCEAN BOULEVARD. I am so fortunate.
Copperfish Books in Punta Gorda, Florida will have copies of ON OCEAN BOULEVARD for sale on Tuesday. 20% off because they are brand spanking new hardcovers. You need this novel. And you can get it Tuesday. Tell them Maurice sent you:)