Thursday, July 5, 2012

Life's a Beach by Claire Cook

Life’s a Beach by Claire Cook is a breezy light-hearted story about Ginger Walsh, a forty-one year old lacking direction and living over her parent’s garage, and her crazy family including tightly wound sister Geri and bickering parents. Ginger is still a kid at heart and finds living an adult life with commitments including a marriage and steady job intimidating and boring.  She is, however, at a crossroads as she questions whether her completely unfettered lifestyle is what she really wants for the long haul.

Ginger Walsh is the epitome of the “cool aunt” to her sister’s three children - she challenges her uptight sister’s rules and really tries to be more like the kids than the adults.  When her nephew Riley lands a spot in a movie being filmed locally, Ginger is the perfect choice as his chaperone on set - she is unemployed and therefore available and in need of the cash. Although she makes jewelry from sea glass, she hardly earns an income and relies on these stints provided by her busy sister.  When Ginger meets a gaffer on set her romantic interests are stirred.  She has boyfriend Noah at home but there is no commitment on the horizon there and, despite her protestations, she is beginning to crave some commitment and permanence.

This is a fun book with snappy dialogue - at times, I thought I could be reading a movie script.  The banter between witty Ginger and her nutty family is entertaining and I chuckled as I read some of it.  Despite the constant bickering with her family, it is clear that Ginger loves them and that they really want the best for her - that family love is heartwarming.  Ginger’s nephew Riley really stole the show for me - he is insightful beyond his years and I could just picture his impish grin.

The book, however, does lack substance.  There was a lot of promise in these characters and the dialogue is great but the plot didn’t go as far as I would have liked.  It would have been nice to go more deeply into Ginger’s relationship with boyfriend Noah or to really see the transformation that is hinted at as she starts to focus her creative energies and head in a single direction.  I was definitely left wanting more.  With that said, it was a breezy read which I read in a single poolside sitting while on vacation.  I will try more by this author to see if her other books pack more punch in the plot department. 


  1. Sounds like the title says it all -- a perfect beach read!

  2. I have one of her books (not sure what one??) on my Nook. Haven't read anything else by her. The cover is cute! :)

  3. Yep...sounds like a good summer read! Too bad it didn't have that little extra oomph though.

  4. Sometimes you just need a breezy beach book.

  5. i agree - this book lacked substance and then some. the only good thing was that it was a short book. i was disappointed.