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Beaches

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  9,772 ratings  ·  143 reviews
Loudmouthed, redheaded Cee Cee Bloom has her sights set on Hollywood. Bertie White, quiet and conservative, dreams of getting married and having children. In 1951, their childhood worlds collide in Atlantic City. Keeping in touch as pen pals, they reunite over the years ... always near the ocean.

Powerful and moving, this novel follows Cee Cee and Bertie's extraordinary fri
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Paperback, 304 pages
Published June 15th 2004 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published 1985)
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The Help by Kathryn StockettThe Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk KiddFried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie FlaggDivine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca WellsWhere the Heart Is by Billie Letts
Best Adult Female Friendship Books
27th out of 418 books — 809 voters
The Notebook by Nicholas SparksThe Princess Bride by William GoldmanThe Devil Wears Prada by Lauren WeisbergerThe Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienStardust by Neil Gaiman
The MOVIE was BETTER than the BOOK
254th out of 813 books — 8,507 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Steph
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Linda
Having seen the movie Beaches more times than I can count, I was looking forward to the book. I am therefore sorry to say that I didn’t like it that much.

The basic story stays the same: Cee Cee Bloom and Bertie White (Hillary in the movie) form an unlikely friendship when they are 10 and & 7 years old (respectively). Through many years and personal hardships they remain friends, until a tragic illness brings them together.

What didn’t I like about this book? Cee Cee Bloom is not a very nice
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Jinky
**Contains adult language and content**
(book I read from actually has a different bookcover image, but I couldn't find it, original '85 hardcover edition, and honestly I like this paperback cover better)

"1951. They meet as children under the boardwalk in Atlantic City. Cee Cee Bloom, with a Brillo pad of red hair, a knock-out voice and a sparkle that demands attention, is performing in a kiddie show. Bertie White is from a conventional family with traditional values, but she finds herself captiv
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Beth Klingler
I have mixed feelings about this book. I read it for long periods before going back to real life, so it was good enough to get absorbed in... but I somehow didn't cry, which for me is weird. I saw the movie when it first came out as a child and refused to watch it again for several years because it had touched me emotionally in a way I didn't know movies could or should yet. I don't know if my emotional detachment from the book came from spending so much time thinking about how different it was ...more
Rebecca McNutt
Excellent novel of friendship, filled with nostalgia and vibrant imagery. Both main characters were complex and original, and it was a really intriguing little novel to read.
Rachel
Oct 21, 2009 Rachel rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who like the film.
loved it as much as i love the film. beautiful story about a beautiful friendship and what you'd do for the friend you love most; that has become your family.
Unsolved Mystery
Apr 07, 2015 Unsolved Mystery rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who has seen the movie
Shelves: drama
(view spoiler) ...more
Joanne Goon
Mar 27, 2008 Joanne Goon rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: any woman with a best friend!
I completely forgot that I read this book a few years ago, until my best friend asked me for a recommendation today and this just popped into my head. Although it appears that it didn't leave a lasting mark since I forgot about it, I actually do remember loving this book. And ironic that I remembered it this way, since the book is about two best friends that grew up together. Also, I haven't yet watched the movie, but I distinctly remember telling myself that I had to see this movie after I read ...more
Heather
I really enjoyed this book. The relationship between the two women was real; it wasn't pretty, simple, or common. It was deep, complicated, and that made the book even better. There were parts which I felt extreme disappointment; but not because the book was bad or so-so, but because I wanted more for both women. This book really kept going and made me feel a lot for the characters, which I haven't had in awhile.
Karen
Beaches is probably my all time favorite friendship movie. I was so looking forward to reading this book to learn more about the characters, but it was not good. I did not like the Bertie character at all. Way too week and the Cee Cee character was too filthy mouth. This book was more about sex and such strong language more so than the friendship that was the basis of the movie.
Michelle
For some reason, Baby loves to pull this book off the shelf, so I gave it a go.

One, I barely remember the movie, so I don't think I'm too biased from that, but I remember feeling sad but satisfied when the movie ended. But I thought the ending from the book was...disappointing. It didn't wrap up enough! Bertie was alive for a long time, sick for a long time, died, then six paragraphs later, the book was done. Ack, give me a little more time to grieve.

But overall, I liked the book. A lot of ups
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Sara
I really loved this book and can't wait to see the movie now. I had never even heard of either before but happened to pick the book up and now it is one of my favorites. It is a great story and I will definitely recommend it to many!
myKCmom
I loved this book, and many parts of it stuck with me as the days passed by after I finished reading it. It was very alive for me. The only thing I hated about it was that it had to go the extra mile in being crass. IMHO, it didn't add to the book at all. Those parts could have been expressed without vulgarity. Instead, a beautiful book that stirred tremendous emotion within, can't be shared with people like my goddaughter, because she isn't 30 yet. The fact that I felt that way after reading so ...more
Kari
One of my favorite books of all time, along with the movie (Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey). It is also my best friend's favorite -- which is great, because the book is all about the power of a lifetime friend.
zhen^^
it's good! and I like the two character in this novel. It's good at the last part because I cant help to cry! but in all I think it's good but not that great! ...more
Tracie
Read it way before the movie came out and loved it. The movie did the book justice, so if you've seen it but haven't read it give it a shot.
Jennifer
After seeing the movie WAY more times than I would like to admit - I had to read the book.
Tiff
One of my all-time favorite chick flicks, I found the book to be heartwarming as well.
Katrina
I can't really say that I disliked the book itself, but I pretty much hated all the characters. They just weren't likable at all in my opinion. I saw the movie Beaches years before I even knew the book existed and I loved it so I figured I'd love the book just as much, if not more. I was wrong. Bertie is so weak and pathetic it's not even funny. I wonder what she ever saw in Michael to begin with. The way she pined over him for all those years was just disgusting and he didn't deserve it at all. ...more
Marnie Bebej
I won't lie I own the movie and it's one of my favorites. But when i saw the book at Goodwill I had to buy it knowing the books are always better. If you love the movie I think you will enjoy the book. Bette Midler was SPOT ON for the role of CeeCee Bloom. She's loud, she's look at me, and she has THE VOICE!! However the other main role in the book they changed everything about her when it came to the movie, from her name, to her job, to what she names her child and I'm sure more it's been a whi ...more
Jacqueline
I enjoyed a musical based on Beaches at Signature Theater and wanted to read the book. I have also seen the movie and remember Bette Midler's great performance. This was one incidence where the reading of the book didn't really deepen the experience for me. The characters are well drawn and quite memorable but the friendship itself didn't resonate as strongly for me in novel form.
Tracy
Bette Midler was perfectly cast as Cee Cee Bloom in the movie version. Loved the book though I know that is largely because of a personal connection I have to the movie and a close friend. Probably why I have it four stars. Probably should receive three. I think the movie was enhanced by the soundtrack. I sang Baby of Mine everyone I put the book down.
Liz
Having just finished this book, I'm not quite sure yet how I felt about it. I read it for long periods before going back to real life, so it was good enough to get absorbed in... but I somehow didn't cry, which for me is weird. I saw the movie when it first came out as a child and refused to watch it again for several years because it had touched me emotionally in a way I didn't know movies could or should yet. I don't know if my emotional detachment from the book came from spending so much time ...more
Jaime Contreras
I only read this because I enjoyed the movie. The story about the bond of love between two girls-women is engaging and overly melodramatic. It works but it is a tearjerker of a novel. I cannot say it is a bad book but it is also not a great book because of the flowery language and the over-the-top style of storytelling. It is a good read but it is what it is.
Liz
So I picked this book because the challenge for June was to read a "beach" book. I already finished the challenge, but this book was one of my choices. I had watched the movie several times before and really liked it. I think that I liked the movie more so than the book. There were several changes made in the movie from the book, and since the movie is more familiar for me, I liked those changes better. The biggest difference that struck me, besides the name of Roberta, was when "Bert" and John ...more
Kari
loved it! This was a a going away present from a sweet friend so I have had it in my TBR since September. I am happy I waited to read this as it was the perfect read for now. I loved both main characters, Cee Cee and Bertie. Dart provides beautiful prose with insight into both.
Courtney
This book is womens fiction, yet it is different than any womens fiction I have read.

Its so weird yet so refreshing :) thr girls met when they were younger and somehow after that day they became insepeeable even living away from eachother in which case they kept in contact through letters.

You couldnt find two completely different characters. Bert was classy and sophisticated where Cee was loud and Colorful :) yet somehow they balanced eachother out.

I had many emotional times where I cried some
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Shanique Nelson
This book brought may mixed feelings... I felt a lot of hurt n disappointment especially for Bertie, she really deserved better... But in all a good read, we don't always get what we deserve, except for d explicit...
Jenn
Wow what an incredible book!
A friendship that began in Atlantic City which grew into pen pals throughout CeeCee and Bertie's life. Ups and downs, meeting each other on vacations, even down to Bertie dying this was a fantastic tale of a unique friendship throughout the ages.
Kathy  P
From the time I was 10 or 11 years old, and my parents introduced the movie to me, "Beaches" has been a story that has been on my mind and in my heart (to this day, the movie makes me sob like a baby). For several years, I've wanted to read the book. However, this is a rare case where I personally believe the movie is MUCH better than the book (and far less provocative...the language in the book is too filthy for my personal liking). Regardless, the story (which varies quite differently from the ...more
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Iris Rainer Dart is the author of eight novels, including the much-beloved New York Times bestseller Beaches. The mother of two children, she lives in California with her husband.
More about Iris Rainer Dart...
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