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Beach Trip

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3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  2,517 ratings  ·  260 reviews
A reunion of four friends becomes a cathartic journey into the past in Cathy Holton’ s luminous new novel.

Mel, Sara, Annie, and Lola have traveled distinct and diverse paths since their years together at a small Southern liberal arts college during the early 1980s. Mel, a mystery writer living in New York, is grappling with the aftermath of two failed marriages and a stall
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Hardcover, 406 pages
Published May 12th 2009 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 2009)
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The Demarcation of Jack by Dana BennettThe Beach by Alex GarlandDelicious Desires by Jackie WilliamsTreasured Dreams by Jackie WilliamsJaws by Peter Benchley
Takes you away...to the beach
24th out of 233 books — 188 voters
Wicked by Gregory MaguireLife of Pi by Yann MartelAtonement by Ian McEwanOne Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcí­a MárquezAnna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Abandoned Books
353rd out of 894 books — 1,350 voters


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Community Reviews

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Cassi
I wouldn't recommend this book. There are so many things that I found annoying/unreal/frustrating about it. Yet, it could trigger some good feminist discussion, so for that one point, I didn't hate it.

What I don't like:
-The author has a few solid discrepancies that are pretty apparent. Timelines arent always accurate. Before a boat ride, one of the characters says shes never been on a boat in deep water but wait... thats the only way to get the island.
-Every female character is pathetic in pret
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Nancy (Hrdcovers)
NOT A GOOD TRIP

I am always, always in search of another great women bonding book similar to Saving Graces by Patricia Gaffney or Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons by Lorna Landvik. When I came upon Beach Trip, I thought it had potential. Certainly the cover was beautiful, the premise of four college roommates meeting up again some 20 years later was a good one and the author seemed to have a huge fan base. I was getting ready to leave for a Las Vegas vacation and decided this would be the book I
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Kathy Ginocchio
This book intrigued me because it was set on "Whale Head Island" - why bother with the pseudonym when EVERYTHING else about it is specific to Bald Head Island, NC -- my favorite place in the world!! Anyway, that small detail bothered me the WHOLE time. The story of 4 college girlfriends who have grown apart and are taking a week's vacation together 20+ years later--resonated with me. I read this book in two days, super easy read. As I was reading it on the Kindle, I kept thinking - ok, I am 50% ...more
Lynn Raye Harris
My book club read this, or I wouldn't have chosen it to read. It contains some good writing, some beautiful description, but it's not really my kind of book. I read the first 140 pages, and then I got tired of waiting for the payoff, so I read the last 50 or so pages. I don't feel like I missed anything. I didn't rate it because that's not fair when I didn't read the whole thing. Still, it didn't compel me to keep reading once I hit 140 pages. I didn't much like Mel, and I couldn't understand wh ...more
Jaxmarie
I felt this book "plodded" through. It definitely wasn't a page turner for me. There was too much back and forth between past and present and I could never get attached to any of the women. Lots of drinking - I know it was a vacation but it was a continual drink fest. The margarones sound good though! I was disappointed because the premise of the book was so good and yet the story disappointed.
Retta
Good book, about 4 college roommates who come together again in their 40's.. Flashbacks to college and scenes from now. Well written and holds your interest. Hit a couple levels for me... relationships and friendship and southern women...
Pauline
What a great "escape" book! Four old college pals get together 20-some years later for a beach holiday. Funny, sweet and sad. A great ride.
Pam


This book was by far my least favorite book I think I have ever read for leisure.
mandyfujita
Cathy Holton went through great length to tell us about the friendship between Mel, Sara, Annie and Lola. The four were roommates in college at a prestigious school called Bedford. Each had their own struggles during college as described in great detail. They come together 20 years later for a week at Lola's beach house. They get used to each other again and bear the most weighty part of their problems.

I enjoyed reading about the lives of these women, but I thought that the writing had a littl
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Jennifer Reierson
This book was about 150 pages too long.
Amy
Four friends reunite at a friend's beach house to reminisce and reconnect after years apart. Their lives have gone in different directions after college. One is a famous writer with no ties, a second is in a loveless marriage with a controlling husband, the third is in a stagnate lifestyle that desperately wants to shake things up while the last has always been envious of Mel's life and now has to face her after their awful 'breakup.' What will happen and will a week's adventure change their liv ...more
Darla
Well I have to say that I am very glad that I am through with this book. Not that is was bad, but, for me, it was a little long winded. So much so that there reached a point when I started skimming the pages, looking for actual dialogue and not page fluff. I don't like when it takes the whole book before you hit the climax. It seriously took like the last couple chapters, if that, before we saw the final resolution of all the character's stories to come out!! Prior to that, it was a bunch of bac ...more
Cheryl C.
Looking for a great summer read? Look no further than "Beach Trip: A Novel" by Cathy Holton.

Mel, Sara, Annie and Lola were roommates and best friends at Bedford University in Mount Clemmons, North Carolina. After graduation, however, their lives took very different paths and the women grew apart.

Now in their forties, Lola invites her former college buddies to her lavish North Carolina beach house for a week, hoping to renew their friendship. As the story unfolds, a past filled with secrets thr
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Lisa
After 23 years of little contact, four former college roommates reunite for a week-long tropical getaway on a small island off the coast of North Carolina. Mel, Lola, Annie and Sara were so much a part of each others lives while attending Bedford University in the early 80's. Mel and Sara's friendship went even further back to their elementary school days. They knew each other the way sisters know sisters. Their home lives were very different but that only deepened their understanding of each ot ...more
Lisa
This is definitely a beach read in every way except for the fact that it is over 400 pages long. It is the story of 4 women who were college roommates more than 20 years ago and reunite to spend a week together in one woman's beach home. Everyone of them has had their trial and tribulations in the intervening years--of course--but despite the fact that they are supposedly still close enough that they want to spend a week together, they are not in the least forthcoming in sharing these things wit ...more
Kristi (Books and Needlepoint)
After almost 25 years, four college friends plan a trip to the beach to try to rekindle their friendships and put the past behind them once and for all.

Lola is the trip planner and it is to her house on Whale Head Island, off the banks of North Carolina, that the four friends are headed. For one week they will get to enjoy the sun, the sand, and each other's company. Lola was always sort of the scatter-brained one in college and generally needed looking after. Captain Mike and April are Lola's h
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Courtney
I received this book for Christmas. My mom actually bought a different book, but the seller shipped this one by mistake. I put it aside, thinking I might read it if I didn't have anything else. I picked it up a few days ago and plowed through it pretty quickly. I'm not normally a fan of flashbacks and shifts back and forth in both time and character perspective in general, but in this book, it's very well done and isn't jarring at all. The author did a really good job with it.

The story is one of
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Kathy (Bermudaonion)
Four young women are assigned as suitemates when they're freshmen at Bedford University, a small Episcopalian women's college in western North Carolina. Even though they come from different backgrounds, the four become fast friends and remain roommates throughout college. The women haven't see each other in over twenty years when Lola calls and invites them to join her at her new beach cottage for a week. The four women are:

* Lola, the daughter of a former governor of Alabama - she's led a privi
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Serena
"Writing wasn't about telling the truth at all; it was about rearranging truth, stretching it, and warping it to fit some safe and less-chaotic world of the writer's own making. And Mel has been doing that, in one way or another, all her life." (Page 215)

Cathy Holton's Beach Trip is Southern women's fiction with a twist. Mel, Annie, Sara, and Lola were college roommates and reunite in this novel two decades later. Like the heavy surf churned up by an offshore hurricane, their relationships are w
...more
Lee Coleman
i'm being generous, giving this book two stars. the book was gifted to me by a friend, as my three girlfriends and i went away for the weekend to block island. she thought the book was cute and appropriate, i thought it was a thoughtful gift, and i wanted to finish the book to show my appreciation.
what i (barely) liked: i was begrudgingly intrigued enough to read to the end to see how the book concluded. although, my parting thought was relief it was over, more than satisfaction of having read
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Cheri Ruble
I loved this book and didn't want it to end, even after 406 pages. I bought it last year and put it on the shelf, thinking I had succumbed to picking up a light chick lit book while on a beach vacation. It lingered on the shelf until vacation time this year - guilt made me pack it to take to the beach. The story of four women meeting 20 years after college graduation for a week-long vacation...at the beach, of course, is so much more than the usual light fare. The dialogue is terrific, the humo ...more
Alea
I loved this book! I expected to like it but hadn't realized how much I would love it! Wow! Being able to relate age-wise to someone in college easier than a 40something, I loved all the flashbacks to college probably more than anything. I hadn't realized the book would literally take us back to when these 4 girls lived together, figured we would just hear about it in passing, so I was very happy we got to be there for some of the important times that shaped their lives in college.

For some reaso
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Farrah
Loved these girls! Reminded me a bit of me in each and a bit of some of my own old gal pals. As an alumnae of an all girl’s liberal arts school myself in the south (North Carolina even… ;-) ) I understood the camaraderie between the different personalities that you might not typically place together. Holton had a way of creating that. She gave each their own personality, their own struggles, and of course their life-long friendship. I was glued when we went through the college flashbacks and lau ...more
Laura de Leon
Thank you to Lisa at BooksOnTheBrain for sending my this book for her Summer Reading Series at http://lisamm.wordpress.com/.

The first thing I want to say is that I enjoyed the book.

The second was that it never called me back to read it further.

It is my favorite kind of book-- one that is primarily about the characters.

I liked the way the story flowed between the present and the past. It felt like as I got to know the women, they shared more parts of their history with me, bringing me closer to t
...more
Sarah
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Suzy Brookhart
A good read about 4 college friends re-uniting with very different lives and personalities; and in mid-life. I loved the beginning of the book and the end. I did get a little restless and at times; some of the characters (MEL-very selfish-and Lola-a bit too flayky) annoyed me totally. But the end of the book really did tie up nicely and there was actually a couple of small twists that made it fun.

It is a good beach read.
Stef
I found this book in an apartment I rent for a couple of weeks. Though the story was not a page-turner, I still wanted to know a bit more about what had happened between the characters and I finally guessed a little bit before it was revealed. It was ok for a holidays reading, but not a book I will remember for long, especially as I couldn't find a character to identify to...
Mary Anne
This was an okay read - never really held my attention for too long at one sitting. For a light beach read, it was sort of long. The premise of four college roommates meeting up again after 20 years at a beach house in Whalehead, NC seemed promising. The first thing that bothered me about this book was that I have been to Whalehead, NC and even though it is on a remote section of the Outerbanks, it is not cut off, nor is it accessible only by boat. I am all for poetic license so to speak, but wh ...more
Tiffany
Book was o.k. It took me until nearly half way before it wasn't completely easy to put it down, but I guess that is part of what would make it a good beach read.

I felt like some of the plot lines were incosistent with the characters otherwise. It felt at times like the author was just throwing bits in just to have something to reveal later (like Mel's big reveal at end of book). I also felt like the author diverted several times from character development to insert her own political and religiou
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Mary Kruft
great vacation read - although it made me a bit envious. I'd LOVE to get my college roommates together for a week away, however with jobs, kids, husbands traveling or lack of help with kids, aging parents, etc, plus us being in 4 different states even a weekend away happened in 25 years!!! That aside, I loved this book. I loved that it had "an ending" and then an epilogue. There were parts that could have been shortenend - if I read one more time "Mel got in the front & drove with Sara besid ...more
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Cathy Holton continues to entertain readers with her stories of strong, intelligent women trying to survive in an often hostile world. The Boston Globe says “Holton has a lively, fluid style that shifts easily among the viewpoints’ of several characters and goes down as easily as sweet tea,” while Entertainment Weekly calls her prose “Sharp, witty, and warm.”

Although grateful for the critical pra
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