Friday, July 27, 2007
Review: Life's a Beach
Life's a Beach by Claire Cook
Summary: Ginger Walsh is 41 and can't seem to get settled into her life. She lives in a room over her parents' garage with a cat she calls Boyfriend - despite (or maybe because of) her too-casual relationship with glassblower Noah. As Ginger's big sister Geri gets anxious about her upcoming 50th birthday, their parents decide to sell the house, and Geri's second-grader Riley lands a small role in a horror movie being filmed in their quaint New England town. Ginger babysits Riley on the set and meets a gaffer who might make her forget about Noah.
Why'd I pick it up? I saw it on our new books display and couldn't resist the title or the summery look of the cover (particularly the fun flip-flops!).
Who would enjoy it? I think anyone looking for a quick summer read, but particularly sisters - especially if you're a younger, flaky one or an older, responsible one. Perhaps also anyone who enjoyed the movie Must Love Dogs (which I haven't seen), as Cook wrote the novel it's based on.
Overall: This one wasn't outstanding, but it was a fun, quick summer read with a good dollop of humour. The characters are well-done, particularly the supporting ones like wise-beyond-his-years Riley, an evil stage mother who spreads gossip about Ginger on the set, and especially Mr. Walsh, who talks like a 40's gangster (Toots, Dollface, etc) and is obsessed with the take it or leave it pile at the local dump (at first I thought he might be getting a bit senile, but apparently he's just eccentric). The descriptions of Noah's glassblowing and Ginger's sea glass jewelry-making, as well as the movie business, were interesting. I don't have a sister, but I enjoyed reading about their relationship - arty Ginger and businesslike Geri and the way they help each other (although I must say I didn't have a lot of sympathy for Ginger's lack of income/housing/a relationship at 41 - I must be more of a Geri type). And as a bonus, there's a funny ad listings section at the back with entries for all of the characters. If you need something to take to the beach this summer, I'd say pick this one up!