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Ruthie Beamish loves her life, or at least she thinks she does. She's been the curator of The Belfry Museum in Orient, a small, sleepy town on the North Fork of Long Island, for 10 years. Although she and her husband separated three years ago, he still lives with her and their 15-year-old daughter, Jemma.
In order to make ends meet, Ruthie rents her ocean-view house out from Memorial Day to Labor Day each year. This year, the wealthy widow of a famous artist will be renting it for the entire summer. Adeline Clay arrives early with her petulant 23-year-old step-son in tow. (Back in her youth, when she was trying to become a successful artist, Ruthie worked for Adeline's husband, Peter Clay.) Meanwhile, Ruthie and Jem will live in a wealthy friend's "playhouse" while the friend and her family summer in France. The friend suggests that Ruthie borrow her clothes to try to update her dowdy image.
Adeline's arrival turns the town upside down, as her ex-boyfriend, the super-rich artist Daniel Mantis shows up on several occasions. The social-climbing Chair of the Museum's Board wants to land Mantis as an exhibitor and convinces the other Board members that Ruthie isn't doing enough to support her plans and has Ruthie fired. Up to this point, I kind of liked Ruthie, but her reaction was not only unreasonable, but unhinged and borderline insane.
Throw in this mix a few locals, Ruthie's lesbian best friend, Ruthie's assistant from the Museum, Ruthie's old boyfriend (also a former artist who now owns and operates an oyster shack), Daniel Mantis' daughter Lark, the bitchy Museum Board members and you have a confusing mish-mosh that's hard to follow. Frankly, not one character was really likeable and the author's presentation of them did nothing to make you care about them. I kept hoping the storyline would get better, but it got worse and more convoluted as I read on.
I read the other reviews and love novels about beach towns in the summer but honestly am wondering if I was reading the same book? I thought the characters were completely unrelatable! I actually didn’t even finish the book other than to skim through every few pages!
Terrible read. I finished it because I wanted to know what happened, but even the ending was unfulfilling. Multiple story lines, far-fetched links. Characters were unappealing and hard to route for... save for one teenage girl wanting to be liked and grown up.
It is rare that I buy a book and don't finish it. But that is the case with this one. I got just about a quarter of a way through and just couldn't read any more. The books jumps around from character to character and half the time I couldn't remember the relationships between all of them. Really wish I hadn't purchased this book. I'm deleting it from my Kindle because I don't even want to give it a second try.
Boring with an extremely unlikeable main character. This book dragged along and the only reason I did not ditch it was I wanted to know the ending so I could discuss with my book club. Total waste of time.