By: Wendy Wax
Publisher: Berkley Books NY
Publication Date: July 2016
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Review Date: July 15, 2016
Inspired by childhood memories, Wendy Wax spins a great work of fiction in her latest beach read, Sunshine Beach.
Maddie, Avery and Nikki are picking up the pieces and starting over. Victims of a Ponzi scheme, it’s time to build something greater and better in their respective lives. Madeline (Maddie) Singer has a new love interest. He’s not just some run-of-the mill rebound. He is William Hightower and his comeback may be bigger than his original career. How this middle-aged momma wound up with him is a situation that never lingers too far from the forefront of her consciousness. Avery Lawford in many respects is the glue that continues to stick—even after the death of her iconic designer mother, Deirdre Morgan. Avery inherited her mother’s genetics; take her vision and sketch it into magic. Nicole (Nikki) Grant is having trouble accepting the fact that her rival, The Millionaire Matchmaker, is succeeding. At one time, Heart Inc. (her company) was the quintessential matchmaking mecca. Not anymore...Plus, it was time for her to let go and put her low-life, scheming brother, Malcolm Dyer, in her rear-view mirror—a hard pill to swallow since he was the reason for all of their demise.
Maybe better times were closer than the women knew. Do Over was a (sort-of) successful cable do-it-yourself makeover show that could be their ultimate resurrection to get back on their respective feet. It is on one particular morning jog when Maddie’s daughter, Kyra, stumbles upon the hidden property of the Sunshine Hotel and Beach Club that inspires her to pitch her vision. At one time, the property must have been the destination ‘It Place.’ Sadly, years of neglect and more than an overgrowth of Florida foliage has left the property in ruins and disrepair. As the concept of relaunching the club into its new life takes form, none of the women could have fathomed the challenges and roadblocks that stood between them and the new and improved structure they were determined to create.
I applaud Wendy Wax for her confident writing style when it comes to delivering a solid beach read. Sunshine Beach is a fine example of that ‘must have’ read to take along on a weekend getaway. The plot is rich, the characters credible and the twists and turns are sufficient in willing the reader to keep turning pages. The premise of a gaggle of women who have had the rug pulled out from underneath only to resurge bigger and better is a winning formula. The scene is anchored early on and captures the beauty and simplicity of the captivating Florida Gulf Coast. Having grown up in South Florida, I spent many weekends growing up and enjoying weekend getaways at this very coast with my family. The tempo and pace of this book holds the interest of its audience and creates an instant connection with the story. Ms. Wax is truly in control of the outcome of the story and does not disappoint in that she delivers a story that is neither predictable or cheeky. Well done! I look forward to your next book.
Quill says: Sunshine Beach is a feel-good story that deserves a place in your bag of good reads for the perfect weekend getaway.