Life’s A Beach by Claire Cook. Publisher: Voice, May 2007

When Must Love Dogs was published, the Chicago Tribune called it “pitch-perfect” and the Washington Post declared, “Readers will hope that Claire Cook will be telling breezy summer stories from the South Shore of Massachusetts for seasons to come.” Luckily for her legions of fans, Cook returns with another sparkling romantic comedy that’s reminiscent of Must Love Dogs in all the right ways, but very much its own animal — about a relationship-challenged single woman, her quirky-to-put-it-mildly extended family, and the summer the shark movie came to town.

Life’s a bit of a beach these days for Ginger Walsh, who’s single at forty-one and living back home in the family FROG (Finished Room Over Garage). She’s hoping for a more fulfilling life as a sea glass artist, but instead is babysitting her sister’s kids and sharing overnights with Noah, her sexy artist boyfriend with commitment issues and a dog Ginger’s cat isn’t too crazy about. Geri, her BlackBerry-obsessed sister, is also nearly over the deep end about her pending fiftieth birthday (and might just drag Ginger with her). Toss in a dumpster-picking father, a Kama Sutra T-shirt-wearing mother, a movie crew come to town with a very cute gaffer, an on-again-off-again glassblower boyfriend, plus a couple of Red Hat realtors, and hilarity ensues. The perfect summer read, Life’s a Beach is a warm, witty, and wise look at what it takes to move forward at any stage in life.

This is about a woman’s struggles with what she wants out of life and the world around her.  Virginia Walsh is a 41-year old single woman who lives in the finished room over the garage of her parent’s house.  After a varied work experience, Ginger is presently a sea glass artist, babysitter to her sister’s kids and an on-again, off-again girlfriend to Noah, who is  a glassblower.  They both have issues and when her parents announce that they are selling their home, Ginger begins a journey that will ultimately give her satisfaction at where her life is going.  [4 stars – really liked it]

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