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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Moon Shell Beach


Lexi Laney and Clare Hart grew up together having wondrous adventures across picturesque Nantucket. And when it was time to share intimate secrets and let their imaginations run free, they escaped to their private hideaway: Moon Shell Beach. But nothing stays the same. With the complicated pressures of adulthood, their intense bond is frayed, hurtful words are exchanged, and Lexi flees Nantucket to a life of luxury while Clare stays behind.

Ten years later, a newly divorced Lexi returns to make amends with those she left in her wake–particularly Clare, who still simmers with resentment toward her friend. Their emotional reunion is beset with major challenges, as Lexi’s return sets off a series of startling events. And as Clare’s life takes an abrupt detour, Lexi wonders if the happiness and peace they once knew on Moon Shell Beach will, in the end, prove to be as fleeting as time and the tide.


This is a comfortable yet predictable summer reading “Moon Shell Beach” by Nancy Thayer brings to the reader all the normal elements of these types of stories – friends, betrayal, and deliverance at its culmination, romance.
Lexi Laney and Clare Hart grew up together in Nantucket Island, fast friends that enjoy themselves the most from beach adventures, namely those which involve a haunting, the hidden bay they have called Moon Shell Beach. While they were growing up, Clare always loved to the home princess whereas Lexi dreamt of great adventures. Both attend college together but in the first summer they return home, Lexi and Clare begin to grow apart. Clare dates Jessie and Lexi realizes that no longer has a heart for going back to college. She meets and older man who proposes to her and promises her the life she always yearned for, something she is just not able to say no.
When the bonds between them start fraying in the wake of Great disagreements, Lexi leaves the island with her now new husband, the wealthy Ed Hardy, while Clare stays behind immersed the life of the island, opens a chocolate shop, as Lexi travels the word, however, finding out that her relationship is fading fast and that now her husband is cheating her with another woman.
Ten years later, Lexi returns to the island, divorced and impoverished from wealth from any sort of comforts (she had signed a pre-nuptial agreement) but with the enterprise of opening a boutique just next door to Clare’s. She specializes in very unique articles, many of them luxuries and decides to name the shop “Moon Shell Beach”.
New resentments arise, given that Clare believe that the name of Lexi’s boutique is another sign of her betrayal as the chose something that belonged intrinsically and with great intimacy to them both.
These characters are highly believable and remind us of someone who we know or have grown up with. They lives are not absent of chaos but they likewise possess love and good light moments. Lexi and Clare had dreams and sometimes those dreams had to be abandoned or changed. As they learn what true friendship really means, they also learn something about themselves. Some events may stretch the friendship bonds to their limits and Lexi and Clare take their friendship to a point of rupture, and they will find out if it will resist or otherwise. This credibility can be extended to the secondary characters, whether they are family, classmates or lovers.
Their society, divided in the two tiers of the seaside resort is also very well portrayed. Those with money want big houses and secluded locations where they leave the world outside. Those whose families have always lived there had to deal with the increasing real-estate prices, which are more and more forbidding to the children of the locals who want to live there. With this real-estate pressure for very exclusive locations, the wildlife habitats may just be destroyed, leading to conflicts with the local population. Likewise, shops try to allure holidaymakers selling products that are too expensive for the local economy. All this brings a new dimension to the story, without being deliberately prejudiced or adopting a preaching tone.
The author leads us to a satisfying conclusion, although predictable, with both women creating a new bond and finding new romance to their lives. It is an absorbing reading that will remind readers of what is really important to their life. It is centered in the friendship of these two young women, between one another and those around them, and only after that any romantic involvement, which in this type of literature is not common. Having chosen Nantucket as the setting, it gives the reader in a sunny and balmy island, by using rich descriptions of all Nantucket’s natural wonders. A beautiful story of love, friendship and forgiveness.

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