Monday, November 18, 2013

Christmas At The Beach - A Ten Beach Road Novella by Wendy Wax

Christmas at the Beach (A Ten Beach Road Novella).  Wendy Wax. Penguin Group USA.  October 2013. 52 pp. pbk. ISBN #: 9781101625965.

One year ago a group of family, friends and acquaintances joined together to renovate an old historical beach house, Bella Flora.  Madeline Singer, Avery Lawford, and Nicole Grant agreed to a reality-style filming of their efforts, showing their marvelous talents and skills in full force as they took a broken down, almost ready to be demolished home into its full beauty and strengths as a model historical home worthy of its old but gorgeous Florida beach house status.  That process wasn’t pretty all the time and betrayals and secrets almost destroyed them each emotionally, as well as financially.  Secrets galore threatened as well and here we are a year later in actual and fictional time gradually learning there are still more shocking secrets to shatter the serene Christmas atmosphere.  But first there are celebrations for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to be held, with eating, drinking and chatting as the original characters and other relatives gather for their last holiday at Bella Flora.

Kyra, Madeleine’s daughter, is first surrounded by the paparazzi at the airport and in a funny scene escapes their voracious quest for just one picture, and another, and another.  It’s not very long after her arrival at the beachfront mansion that a huge, absolutely huge gift arrives from the father of her son, Daniel Deranian, who is already married, with the most horrific virago of a wife one could ever imagine. 

Add to that the awareness dawning on Kyra that all is not well between her parents and a later discovery on who has finally bought the redone beauty, Bella Flora, and you begin to get the picture that this is a family that seems to be defined by constant “drama” although not everyone takes it that way.

Still, they find time each evening to have a celebratory drink and offering of what’s good in their worlds which is heartwarming at times and simply lovely at others.
It also turns out that they will begin a new renovation next year somewhere in the Florida Keys, The House on Mermaid Point – something to definitely look forward to reading and sharing!

Christmas at the Beach is a lovely story about a typical yet unique family gathering together to share, bicker, love and heal – like most families wind up doing at holiday time!  Great Read!!!

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