Ten Beach Road by Wendy Wax
Publication Date: May 2011
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Pages: Paperback, 432pp
(Received for review from TLC Tours)
Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound
Wendy Wax on the WEB: website, facebook, twitter
Excerpt from Ten Beach Road
Synopsis (Book Blurb):
On the brink of ruin, three very different women discover themselves where they least expect... at Ten Beach Road.
Madeline, Avery, and Nikki are strangers to one another, but they have one thing in common. They each wake up one morning to discover that their life savings have vanished, along with their trusted financial manager... leaving them with nothing but co-ownership of a ramshackle beachfront house.
Madeline Singer is a homemaker comping with empty-nest syndrome and an unemployed husband. Avery Lawford is an architect - or was, until she somehow became the sidekick on her ex-husband's TV show. And professional matchmaker Nikki Grant is trying to recover from her biggest mistake...
No one is going to save them but themselves. Determined to fight back, they throw their lots in together and take on the challenge of restoring the historic beach house to its former glory. But just as they begin to reinvent themselves and discover the power of friendship, their secrets threaten to tear down their trust, and destroy their lives a second time...
Ten Beach Road is the story of three women and their journey to re-invent themselves after their lives are forever changed. Author Wendy Wax gives readers a book that explores the depth of friendship between three women and what they do, when they believe they've lost everything. Readers will love Wax' wit and simple but refreshing writing style. There are no hidden agenda's or mysteries to unravel in this one, it's all clearly about the journey, the self-discovery, and the dynamics of this unforgettable group of women.
Maddie, Avery, and Nikki wake up one morning to find that their life savings are gone in one fell swoop. Malcolm Dyer, their trusted financial adviser is suspected of conducting a Ponzi scheme that has left these three women and many others with nothing left. Except for Bella Flora, a run-down beachfront property in Florida that they each now own one third of. Their original idea is to sell the place or level it and sell the property, but when they discover it is a historic landmark, they decide to spend the summer renovating the house, in order to re-coop a little of their lost money. They have no idea that working together on this project will once again change their lives forever. Through friendship, pain, betrayal and untold secrets, these three women discover themselves in new and exciting ways.
The plot of Wendy Wax' latest novel is taken right out of the headlines. Three women lose just about everything they have in a Ponzi scheme that harkens back to Madoff and his scam that resulted in so many losing their life savings. I thought it was very current and well thought out. Wax is able to bring together three women from very different backgrounds, who have suffered a similar fate and are now forced to work together. I liked the fact that each woman had a story of her own, her own reasons for being there and her own agenda. It provides the reader with several different perspectives on this kind of lose and what it takes to start over from scratch.
This book is essentially a story about friendship and the ability we each have to re-invent and change our lives. These three woman are so relatable that readers will find themselves identifying with them in remarkable ways. Each one could be your sister, your mother, or your next door neighbor. The reader will experience that feeling of kinship while reading this one that is rare in a good book. Wax has created characters that are self reliant, yet vulnerable. They need each other and they take strength from each other.
Maddie has a lot on her plate. Her husband Steve, has lost his job because he convinced his boss to invest with Dyer. Her daughter is pregnant and unwed, her son is drop out and her mother in law needs a place to land. She is portrayed as a woman who needs something to believe in. Some thing to get her creative juices running, to give her hope that her future will be better than her present and the restoration of Bella Flora does that for her, along with clarifying what she wants out of life. I loved her character and was really happy to see the growth that she made during this journey of self discovery.
Nikki was the character that seemingly had it all. A great matchmaking business, designer clothes, sports cars and then it was all gone with one phone call. I think that she was the character that struggled the most with losing her money and self respect. She felt defeated and betrayed and she was keeping a secret that could de-rail the entire project. Nikki came across as a resourceful woman who trusted in someone she thought had her back and when she found out she was wrong that was devastating. Wendy Wax created a character with Nikki that needed to learn how to trust again after a very difficult betrayal. I thought she did an amazing job with Nikki and readers will really enjoy how much she changes throughout the book.
Avery was my favorite. I saw a lot of myself in her and I think other readers will too. Avery had plans, she had a career path as an architect and she knew where she was going in life. But things didn't quite turn out the way she thought they would. She put her trust in her husband and spent her life fulfilling his dreams. She lost herself and when he dumps her and she loses her nest egg, she has to try to find that young girl inside her that had such a bright future ahead of her. This project not only brings an old lover into her life, but a new relationship with her mother that she never would have believed possible. To me Avery exemplifies what it means to change your life and take a new direction. Wax did a great job with her character.
This is a very character driven book. It's fast paced. It's not all fluffy and full of joy, and it has some moments of great wisdom in it. This would make a great beach or vacation read or even a lazy summer afternoon book. I recommend it to all of my women readers. This book is about taking a bad situation and making something of it. It's all about the journey!
Ten Beach Road is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
Wendy Wax, a former broadcaster, lives in the Atlanta suburbs with her husband and two teenage sons, who have turned her into the shortest member of their family.
The publisher has offered one copy of Ten Beach Road to a winner from Debbie's Book Bag!
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