Saturday, 6 June 2015

Review: Whisper Beach by Shelley Noble

From the New York Times bestselling author of Beach Colors and Breakwater Bay comes this unforgettable story—reminiscent of Kristin Hannah’s beloved novels—of friends, loyalty, and love as three women who are reunited in the idyllic beach town where they grew up are forced to re-evaluate their bonds

Fifteen years ago, seventeen-year-old Vanessa Moran fell in love and lost her virginity but not to the same boy. Pregnant, desperate, and humiliated, she fled friends and family and Whisper Beach, New Jersey, never breathing a word about her secret to anyone. She hasn’t been back since. Now a professional Manhattan organizer, she returns to the funeral of her best friend’s husband. She intends on just paying her respects and leaving—though she can’t deny she also wants the town to see how far she’s come as a successful business woman. But her plans to make this a short visit fall by the wayside when her girlfriends have other ideas.

Dorie, the owner of the pier’s Blue Crab Restaurant where Van and her friends worked as teenagers, needs help. Dorie’s roving husband spends every penny they make and now their restaurant is failing.

Joe, the boy Van left behind without an explanation, has never stopped loving her. While he’s wary of getting hurt again, he also can’t help wondering what would happen if they took up where they left off.

As the summer progresses and the restaurant takes on a new look, trouble comes from unexpected sources. For Van, this summer will test the meaning of friendship and trust—and how far love can bend before it breaks.

Paperback, 416 pages
Expected publication: June 16th 2015 by William Morrow & Company
Terri's Thoughts

** I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher William Morrow & Company via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.  The expected publication date is June 16th 2015**

I write my thoughts with mixed emotions.  On the one hand I love a story about estranged friends with secrets coming together to share and heal the past.  On the other hand I had a difficult time with Vanessa through the majority of the book.

I will start with the positive.  I loved the setting of the story.  The town of Whisper Beach New Jersey seemed like a quaint small town where due to its size everybody knew everyone.  I can identify coming from a small town myself.  The unfortunate part for me is that my small town did not reside on the ocean as this one did.

I also enjoyed the cast of characters.  Dorie was the typical "Godmother" to the girls who provided shelter and advise to all of the wayward girls, both in their youth and now as adults.  I am not really sure how her husband was too relevant to the plot however Dorie was a Gem.  Then there was Suze who was so intelligently sloppy it was funny.  I even appreciate Dana with her sharp tongue.  Lastly we have Gigi.  Well, read to make your own opinion.

Were the story fell a little short for me is with the character of Van.  She came from a rough childhood and escaped her past to make something of her life.  This in itself is an amazing feat.  My issue is that for the most part she seemed selfish and entitled because of her horrible past.  This is a pet peeve for me in life as I have encountered similar people.  They overcome a hardship to be become successful and they get so full of themselves and their success that they don't remember where they came from.  It is a fine line between being proud of your success and accomplishments and judging others who have not been as successful.  Throughout the story I felt Van was judging some of the others and using her past as an excuse for pretty much everything.  It made it difficult to be in her corner at every moment of the story.  I found myself going back and forth with her.

That aside it was a story about friendship, acknowledging the past and moving forward from it.  With an eclectic cast of characters it provided an entertaining read.  I enjoy these types of stories and even though I struggled with the main character I found myself entertained and curious to find out how it would end.  Without providing any spoilers I will say that I am glad for the way it ended as I felt it appropriate to the plot.

About the Author

Shelley Noble is a multi published fiction author whose books have been translated into seven languages. She writes women’s fiction as Shelley Noble and is also the author of several amateur sleuth mystery series, written as Shelley Freydont.

A former professional dancer and choreographer, she most recently worked on the films, Mona Lisa Smile and The Game Plan. She also consults on various dance and theatre projects, most recently the world premiere of a full length Tom Sawyer ballet commissioned by Kansas City Ballet.

Shelley is a member of Sisters-in-Crime, Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and Liberty States Fiction Writers.

She lives near the New Jersey shore. In her spare time she loves to discover new beaches and indulge her passion for lighthouses and boardwalks with vintage carousels.



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