A reunion of four friends becomes a cathartic journey into the past in Cathy Holton’s luminous new novel.
Mel, Sara, Annie, and Lola have traveled distinct and diverse paths since their years together at a small Southern liberal arts college during the early 1980s. Mel, a mystery writer living in New York, is grappling with the aftermath of two failed marriages and a stalled writing career. Sara, an Atlanta attorney, struggles with guilt over her son’s illness and her own slowly unraveling marriage. Annie, a successful Nashville businesswoman married to her childhood sweetheart, can’t seem to leave behind the regrets of her youth. And Lola, sweet-tempered and absentminded, whiles away her hours–and her husband’s money–on little pills that keep her happy.
Now the friends, all in their forties, converge on Lola’s lavish North Carolina beach house in an attempt to relive the carefree days of their college years. But as the week wears on and each woman’s hidden story is gradually revealed, these four friends learn that they must inevitably confront their shared past: a failed love affair, a discarded suitor, a betrayal, and a secret that threatens to change their bond, and their lives, forever.
Darkly comic and deeply poignant, Beach Trip is an unforgettable tale of lifelong friendship, heartbreak, and happiness.
I loved this book! I expected to like it but hadn't realized how much I would love it! Wow! Being able to relate age-wise to someone in college easier than a 40something, I loved all the flashbacks to college probably more than anything. I hadn't realized the book would literally take us back to when these 4 girls lived together, figured we would just hear about it in passing, so I was very happy we got to be there for some of the important times that shaped their lives in college.
For some reason I always prefer stories with more than one main character, I love stories of friends that come in and out of each others lives. All 4 of the characters were interesting but I like I liked Sara and Annie the most, probably because I saw a bit of myself in both of them, compared to Lola and Mel. I also saw myself being able to hang around someone like Sara or Annie more than Lola and Mel. I found myself fearing for Lola's safety, she kept wandering away the second her friends looked away. And Mel was definitely a button pusher, I think it would be hard to be around her. I did really like reading about her writing career and life in New York though.
There were a few twists and turns towards the end of the book but since in my mind I had already figured them out I was reading compulsively to see if in fact I was right in my predictions, and I was! It didn't hurt the story at all for me, it was actually nice being able to pick up on all the clues instead of having to think back later on and piece it all together. I really liked both of the plot twists, that's totally what I had wanted to happen! Actually at one point I set the book down and stuck my fist into the air and softly shouted YES!
All in all I definitely loved this book and can see myself going back to read it from time to time and reflect on this group of friends and their lives and families.
Beach Trip was released on May 12th!
ARC provided by author, i think
Visit author Cathy Holton's website here her blog here. Read an excerpt here and see the rest of the tour dates here!