Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ten Beach Road by Wendy Wax

Ten Beach Road. Wendy Wax. Berkley Books/Trade Paperback. May 2011. ISNB #: 9780425240861. Includes Reader's Guide.

Three families' lives are shattered upon discovering that the money they thought was wisely invested is gone via Matthew Dyer's Ponzi scam. Maddie Singer's husband, Steve, loses his job because he has invested his client's money in Dyer's scam, and Steve simply quits mentally and spends his days wielding the remote control on the living room couch. Maggie is determined to find out if the mysterious "mansion" in Florida on the Gulf side has any potential as their last hope for financial survival.

Avery Lawford is a co-host on the popular TV home and garden show, "Hammer and Nails." Little by little, her role in that show is reduced to smiling and looking pretty, until the day comes when she is sacked and without any help from her ex-husband host, Trent. She also is absolutely stunned on realizing that what she thought was her nestegg is gone into Matthew Dyer's illegal financial dealings. All she has left, as well, is a share of ownership in this Florida "mansion."

Nikki Grant, a professional matchmaker, discovers that the brother she herself raised has turned out to be the man who has duped not only individuals but also charities and other needy institutions out of their principal funds as well as interest. In fact, he has even left his own sister nothing to grasp for living on a day to day basis except for a third of a share this unknown Florida residence, Bella Flora.

These three woman, plus Avery's mother and Maddie's daughter, slowly arrive to discover their seaside Florida home is nowhere near sellable status. The story begins as they begin the grind of restoring this architectural masterpiece, disguised as a broken-down shack, with the hopes of thus recouping at least a small portion for their financial survival.

The story evolves with wonderful descriptions of restoring and decorating this beautiful home, with the assistance of many unexpected sources and experts. We share the strengths and weaknesses of these women, who carry unique stories of betrayals and secrets but manage to transcend them to complete the task at hand and forge friendships that are both priceless and eternal.

The Chinese call every challenge an opportunity, refusing to be daunted by the ferocity or formidable quality of any problem. That attitude becomes the lodestone guiding these women, as well as a sense of thankfulness. When the task is finally very near total completion, more dark revelations and storms threaten it all. That is when we see and come to love the feisty, caring characters of these women forging new lives and refusing to surrender to anything or anyone.

Funny, heart-breaking, romantic, and so much more, Ten Beach Road is a superb read that depicts all facets of women in distress and woman who exponentially grow as they learn to trust one another and reinvent the rest of their lives. This story about recovery and restoration on so many levels is just delightful!

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