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The Last Beach Bungalow

3.43  ·  Rating Details  ·  253 Ratings  ·  57 Reviews
A poignant novel about a woman who survives breast cancer, only to struggle with what comes next: living.

After five cancer-free years, April Newton should be celebrating, but instead she's restless. She feels her husband slipping away, and though the spectacular, stylish house he's building for her should be a fresh start, April finds herself wanting something more. As t
Paperback, 288 pages
Published February 5th 2008 by Berkley
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Dec 27, 2009 Holli rated it liked it
A very fast, easy read from author Jennie Nash. The writing is very real and flows well. I enjoyed that and I really liked the premise of this book. I thought that it could have been fleshed out more as I would have enjoyed hearing more about all of the characters introduced and their stories. Every one of them would have been interesting in their own right. It really took me a long time to connect with the narrator and finally after a hundred pages or so I did. Sadly, that's about half way thro ...more
Feb 01, 2016 Sofia rated it it was ok
Meh. And double Meh. If only all men could be so doting and fabulous and build you a multi-million dollar beach home. But let's whine, because we want a house with "history". No thanks. Also she slipped the f word in 2 times which was completely unnecessary.
Jul 05, 2008 Liz rated it liked it
Recommends it for: People who have someone they love struggling through cancer.
I bought this book from the title, thinking it would be more along the lines of "A Year By the Sea" or "An Unfinished Marriage" by Joan Anderson, but fictionalize.

It was actually about a breast cancer survivor, April Newton, trying to find hope. The character April seemed to have prepared herself to die, but didn't prepare herself to survive. She seemed to have disconnected herself from a lot of her life, including her husband and daughter. The book is less about the bungalow the title mentions
Jul 14, 2008 Jen rated it liked it
Shelves: drama

This story is told by a woman who is a breast cancer survivor. The story revolves around her relationship with her husband Rick and her teenage daughter, Jackie.

Her husband is building them a new huge home, to signify a fresh start to their lives (since she survived the cancer); however, what the woman really wants is a bungalow that is for sale.

The owner of this bungalow, Peg, is going to give away the house in a contest, to whichever bidder gets her attention and who will promise not tear down
Jun 06, 2015 Mandy rated it liked it
Not much of a story plot at all. Fast and quick read if that's what you're looking for. Her style of writing interesting overall OK but missing the wow factor.
A.K. Klemm
Sep 26, 2014 A.K. Klemm rated it it was amazing
I swoon over beaches AND bungalows. Naturally, this book made my day.
Sep 21, 2008 Chelsea rated it it was amazing
This book was really good. It grabbed me right away. April Newton is at a turning point in her life and she is cancer free after 5 years. She feels her husband slipping away from her and her 15 year old daughter is growing up before her eyes. They are about to move into their dream home and she could care less. This hurts her husband deeply, as he built it for her. Off chance she finds an article that changes her outlook on her life. I wasn't sure if I could read about a woman going through this ...more
Jun 06, 2010 Caren rated it really liked it
I loved this story! The title may lead you to think it is a "summer" read but it actually takes place in CA at Christmas, and weaves together the tales of young love, a middle-aged couple and a widow who lived her life for more than 50 years. The widow doesn't want to sell her multi-million dollar property to just anyone so she has a literary contest for which the lucky winner only has to pay $300,000 for the house. The main character is also a breast cancer survivor and as a survivor myself it ...more
Kathy Roling
May 08, 2016 Kathy Roling rated it liked it
First novel, very good.
Linda K.
Jun 24, 2015 Linda K. rated it liked it
Mary Markis
Feb 09, 2009 Mary Markis rated it really liked it
I'm neither a cancer survivor, mother, or writer, but strangely, felt so in tune with what she feeling, if not what she was going through. That sense of emptiness, drained hope and the little things in life that fill you back up. Memories, hope, and love... and peace.

Perhaps I just read this book at the right time, but I thank Nash for giving me a companion with shared feelings...even if just for 265 pages.
Apr 07, 2010 Phil rated it it was ok
This is what I call a light, chick-lit beach read. The story seems to flow along casually, with no real challenges along the way, and the characters, while pleasant, are never truly explored beyond the superficial. There are some touching moments and a few minor setbacks for the main character, but nothing really to sink your teeth into. Pleasant entertainment for a quiet day on the shore.
Apr 08, 2008 Drea rated it really liked it
Shelves: april-2008
This is our book club book for March or would it be April since we aren't discussing it until April 28 - Hmmm? I finished reading this and am now ready for our book club meeting. I have to say I have not experienced anything like the woman in the book but I was a little thrown off by her thoughts and actions. At the same time, it did make me think about how I would react in the situation.
Becky Schulman
Oct 01, 2010 Becky Schulman rated it really liked it
A very personal story that definitely resonates. You get to a point sometimes in your life where you wonder is this all there is and you wonder if you have made the right choices. This story provides perspective. It would have been easy for the author to take the expected ending, but the road taken really showed the main character's growth.
Jul 22, 2008 Corky rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
This has to be one of the best books I have read in a long time. Jennie Nash is a breast cancer survivor and has written 2 non-fiction books. This is her first novel. She hits all the right notes for making this a best seller and most likely, the newest in book discussion titles all over the country.
May 18, 2008 Rachel rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club
One of the things that made this book really interesting for me was the fact that it takes place right here. The stores and street names and descriptions are all so familiar. It was a nice read. There wasn't much action in the book, but it was interesting to read how the characters developed.
Deb Krill
Oct 28, 2009 Deb Krill rated it liked it
This was a quick easy read, my analogy of it, one woman searching for her mortality after reaching the five year point of a clean breast cancer report, and trying to search for her dreams thru a house. It was a fun read but glad I only paid $2 for it off the bargain shelf at the bookstore.
Jul 14, 2009 Care rated it liked it
started this 7/11, the main character really irritated me at times but funny - she was still likable. She was a 'nice' person but we didn't think much alike. She didn't like dogs! Nor did she like dog people. She wouldn't have liked me.
giving to Leslie
Jun 26, 2008 jeannine rated it really liked it
This was a sweet read. Story takes place right here where I live...seriously, it was cool. The plot development was interesting and I was surprised at how it ended, which is always a treat for me!! :)
Oct 15, 2011 Mary rated it liked it
The Beach Reporter plays a featured role.
"I sometimes read it when I walk on the treadmill at the gym, mesmerized by poorly written stories about aging surf legends and health spa openings."
Oct 02, 2012 Stephanie rated it really liked it
This was a quick read, but I really connected with the main character. It wasn't the deepest book I read, but I felt like I could put myself in her place and really connected with her.
Jul 07, 2008 Bookish rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2008
It was ok...there were two ways the ending could have gone, and neither would have been surprising. Cute story, and one thing I did like is that the marriage stays together.
Oct 25, 2009 Lisa rated it really liked it
This book is not really about a house. It's about a woman finding herself after surviving breast cancer. I liked the writing very much; it sounded so real to me.
Kristin Bateman
Aug 29, 2009 Kristin Bateman rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Gail
Recommended to Kristin by: Care
A quaint novel of a woman trying to reclaim her life after cancer. A bit anti-climactic at the end, but overall this was a quiet, yet quite enjoyable read.
Cynthia W
Jan 31, 2012 Cynthia W rated it it was ok
Shelves: chick-lit
I really enjoyed this book, up until the end. I turned the page, sure there was another chapter, but no, it just ended with a whimper. Disappointing, frankly.
May 06, 2012 Patti rated it it was amazing
Jennie Nash weaves a story like no one else does. You are sucked in from the beginning until you're done and the whole time you hope it will never end
Jun 02, 2008 Aubrey rated it liked it
Shelves: chick-lit
Great light reading. Touching family portrait. A look into how it might feel to have survived cancer for five years and the mixed emotions experienced.
Jan 25, 2009 Sandy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
This book captured my attention so thoroughly that I read it until I could not keep my eyes open anymore and eagerly finished it the next day.
Nov 30, 2009 Mich rated it it was amazing
would def. recommend this book. i really enjoyed reading this book! the other reviews tell about it.. i'[ll just tell you its GOOD!
Dec 06, 2009 Jill rated it really liked it
I just plain liked this book. The main character is a cancer survivor, but the houses and relationships in the book are the main focus.
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Jennie Nash first began writing essays as a student at Wellesley College, where she wrote the column “On and Off Campus” for the alumnae magazine. As she worked toward a degree in English, she developed a series of essays about her friendship with her roommate, which she later turned into an honors thesis entitled Two Women in Particular. Ms. Nash graduated cum laude from Wellesley in 1986. After ...more
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