Monarch Beach by Anita Hughes
Published By: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: June 19, 2012
Format: Paperback - 288 pages / Kindle - 341 KB / Nook - 282 KB
Genre: Women's Fiction / Contemporary Fiction
About The Author:
Anita Hughes was born in Sydney, Australia and had a charmed childhood that included petting koala bears, riding the waves on Bondi Beach, and putting an occasional shrimp on the barbie. Her writing career began at the age of eight, when she won a national writing contest in THE AUSTRALIAN newspaper, and was named "One of Australia's Next Best Writers." (She still has the newspaper clipping).
She received a B.A. in English Literature with a minor in Creative Writing from Bard College, and attended UC Berkeley's Masters in Creative Writing program.
Monarch Beach is her debut novel, published by St. Martin's Press and will be released on June 19, 2012. A second novel, Market Street, will be published in April 2013.
She lives in Dana Point, CA with her family, where she interrupts her writing to watch the glorious sunsets.
BUY THE BOOK: Monarch Beach
*Release Date: June 19, 2012*
Disclaimer: I received a preview copy of the book from the author's publicist via NetGalley in exhcange for my honest review, and for hosting a virtual book release event on my book review blog site.
Virtual Book Release Event: On Tuesday, June 19, 2012, Jersey Girl Book Reviews hosted a virtual book release event for Monarch Beach by author Anita Hughes. Anita participated in the virtual book event with an Author Guest Post on Jersey Girl Book Reviews.
Anita Hughes' Monarch Beach is an absorbing debut novel about one woman's journey back to happiness after an affair splinters her perfect marriage and life - what it means to be loved, betrayed and to love again.
When Amanda Blick, a young mother and kindhearted San Francisco heiress, finds her gorgeous French chef husband wrapped around his sous-chef, she knows she must flee her life in order to rebuild it. The opportunity falls into her lap when her very lovable mother suggests Amanda and her young son, Max, spend the summer with her at the St. Regis Resort in Laguna Beach. With the waves right outside her windows and nothing more to worry about than finding the next relaxing thing to do, Amanda should be having the time of her life - and escaping the drama. But instead, she finds herself faced with a kind, older divorcee who showers her with attention ... and she discovers that the road to healing is never simple. This is the sometimes funny, sometimes bitter, but always moving story about mistakes and discoveries a woman makes when her perfect world is turned upside down.
My Book Review:
Amanda Blick grew up as an only child in a wealthy San Francisco family. She had dreams of going to the prestigious Parsons School of Technology in New York City to study fashion design, but her dream was placed on hold when her beloved father was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer. Putting her dreams of NY on hold, she attended her father's alma mater, UC Berkeley to be close to her parents. Her father passed away two weeks before her college graduation. Once again Amanda planned to go to NY in the fall and pursue her dreams of becoming a fashion designer, but her life took another direction when she met handsome French restaurant owner, Andre Blick on the 4th of July. A whirlwind romance led to their engagement by summers end and a small wedding on Thanksgiving.
For ten years life was wonderful for Amanda, she had a strong loving marriage that produced a son who had become the center of her universe, and she enjoyed her role as a stay-at-home mom. But that world changed in a blink of an eye, when she went to her husband's restaurant and caught him having sex with Ursula, the new fondue sous chef. Now at 32 years old, with her life turned upside down and the illusion of a happy marriage dispelled by her husband's infidelity for the past eight years, Amanda has to make a decision on what to do with her marriage and life.
Amanda's mother offers to take Amanda and her son Max on a summer vacation to the posh St. Regis Resort in Laguna Beach. A summer away from the shattered mess of a marriage is just what Amanda needed to figure of what to do with her life. Amanda's summer of healing begins when she meets a handsome older man, Edward Jonas, who is an ex-attorney now seafood restaurant owner, and along the way she learns that she can put her life back together again.
Monarch Beach is a poignant story of love, betrayal and redemption. The story is set in San Francisco and Laguna Beach, California, and is told in the first person narrative by the story's protagonist, Amanda. Amanda takes the reader along on her journey of redemption with flashbacks on her life interwoven with the present time. The storyline is a realistic and thoughtful look at a woman's journey to put her shattered life back together again.
The story contains very detailed descriptions of Amanda's wealthy cultured lifestyle of designer clothes and decadent cuisine. The vivid descriptions of San Francisco and Laguna Beach reads like a tourist guide with rich details of the Golden Gate Bridge, white beaches, ocean breezes, palm trees, and opulent decadence.
The author provides the story with a variety of characters that are realistic and complex with flaws that the readers can easily relate to. The predominance of Amanda's wealth throughout the story may tend to lead the reader to not feel compassion for her, but how can one not feel compassion for someone who has their life as they knew it shattered by infidelity and betrayal? I think the author does a wonderful job of balancing Amanda's wealth with her genuine down-to-earth personality, and I was able to set aside the opulence and embrace Amanda's journey of rebuilding her life.
Monarch Beach is the debut novel for author Anita Hughes. It is a captivating story of a woman's journey to rebuild her life after a devastating betrayal. This story is rich in detail and will engage the reader to embrace Amanda's journey with compassion and understanding, and has an ending that is surprisingly unpredictable. I found this novel to be an enjoyable summer read, and would recommend it to fans of the Women's Fiction and Chick Lit genres.
RATING: 4 STARS ****