If you have never read anything by Mary Alice Monroe, you are going to find her an author to cherish and you will try and find all of her books to read. Not only are her stories extremely well written but there is an emotional catch in each one that will make you sorry they end.
In Beach House to Rent, she revisits the Isle of Palms off the coast of South Carolina and just over the water from Charleston, SC. The Isle of Palms is the center point of The Beach House a previous novel about Primrose Cottage and the women who live there. In Beach House to Rent, one of the women from The Beach House and daughter to the owner of Primrose House, Cara is having to find her way after a tragic, unexpected loss. Her life is over as she has known it and is faced with a new reality: how to go on.
Cara has rented Primrose Cottage for the entire summer to Heather, a young woman with deep anxieties and fearful of new places and people. Heather has been located to the cottage by her father for two reasons: he has remarried to a much younger woman and Heather has been commissioned to paint shorebirds for postage stamps. Heather believes she will return to her home in North Carolina when the summer ends.
During the summer, Heather meets Bo the handyman building the deck on the cottage. His gentle and non-intrusive personality draw her slowly out of her shell as she begins to conquer her anxieties one step at a time.
Right in the middle of Heather’s personal growth, Cara asks-no demands- her to break the summer lease and let Cara move back. Heather stands her guns for once and instead invites Cara to spend the summer with her in the cottage. There is so much more than just two women learning to get along. It is more of two women learning to adapt to life and move forward.