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The Family Beach House
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The Family Beach House

2.82 of 5 stars 2.82  ·  rating details  ·  267 ratings  ·  49 reviews
In this poignant, evocative novel, bestselling author Holly Chamberlin sweeps you into the picturesque town of Ogunquit, Maine, where a family in flux explores their ties to a beautiful beach house, and to each other. Some houses have a personality of their own. Larchmere is that kind of place--a splendid, sprawling home with breathtaking views that open to briny Atlantic ...more
ebook, 352 pages
Published July 1st 2010 by Kensington Publishing Corporation (first published 2010)
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This book sucked! I could not wait to finish it! None of the characters were likable. I bet there is a lot of the author in her characters. The entire book seems to have been written to promote homosexuality, as they were mentioned randomly throughout. Why mention the sexual orientation of a waiter that did not have anything to do with the story? Why mention the sexual orientation of people the characters pass while walking? Very strange unless someone has a motive. Another issue with this autho ...more
Teresa Schiltz
This is the second book by H. Chamberlin that I bought for the summer. They were both paperbacks from Sams, with a beach theme. I don't care for her writing. It almost seems as if she has some underlying issues that she wants to vent about. Both books talk a lot about homosexual couples, seemingly in a positive light. However, it almost becomes the "underlying" theme of the book. She is married to a guy and has children, so it is almost as if she is threatened by this component of society. Even ...more
Thought I would love reading about a house in the town I so love but didn't really enjoy the authors style! This book needed less literature and more emotion and heart, the latter two it lacked.
As a book centered in a family-owned home in Perkins Cove, one that had been in the home for generations, this novel lacked so much of the history of the town and times in which it took place over. You can tell the author didn't truly research the area, having lived here for only a few short years and sim
Well. Since we have a family beach house, I read this type of book for fun every summer. This book is not so fun. My main issue is with the quality of the writing; one can write a fun summer book without such mediocre prose. Within the first hundred pages we are told at least five times that the protagonist is 47 years old. Yes, I got that the first time you told me, do not need to be told over and over. For the first 150 pages the protagonist goes on and on about her dead husband, how great he ...more
A family comes together on the tenth anniversary to honor their beloved mother’s memory but as the celebration commences the truth about the family dynamic is spilled. Breaking bread and sharing spirits, the harsh reality of the mother’s favoring and long-lasting consequences handicapped her children from being able to fully live their lives. Only by putting to past to rest can they set aside the hurtful feelings and allow they to move on from the past and face the future.
Very repetitive and not in a good way. I was drawn in by the title and book cover but within the first few pages I was getting bored of the story already because the same things were being repeated over and over again. The main female character was whiny and weak yet she seemed to be the main focus of the story as opposed to "the family beach house." It is highly unlikely that I will read another book by this author.

The title "The Family Beach House" says it all. The McQueens and their extended families journey to their summer home in Ogunquit, Maine to be together on the 10th anniversary of their mother's death. Each of the siblings have their own memories of their mother - some good, some not. Add to this the announcement of their father's new fiance and tensions increase. Follow the family as they resolve personal as well as family issues and learn what becomes of the "the family beach house".
I don't know if any of you have read any of Holly Chamerlin's other books. She's written a few. This was my first of hers.
I was drawn in by the cover and the title.
I am very conflicted by this book. From the beginning the gay adgenda was in your face. This is a book about 4 siblings coming back to the family beach house for their mom's 10th anniversary memorial service.
They are together for 2 weeks. It is interesting how they resolve their own issues of middle age while back at the house. What w
This was a nice beach read. The rather large cast of characters had more going on than one normally gets in beach paperbacks. At times, it read a little like a Fodor's or a Vogue, with it's descriptions of Maine or the outfits worn. But that was okay. I'm from Maine. I have coffee at Breaking New Grounds, too. And clams at Mike's. And I'm a knitter; I get clothes.

The overall feel of the book was soothing, like a good walk on the beach thinking through life's puzzles.
This book was too boring for me. Family gets together at their lakeside house, Larchmere. All the siblings and father together to commemorate Mom's 10th year of death. Father has met a new women. Kids are uncomfortable with this. One sister is dealing with her husbands death; other is a married in a lesbian relationship; the other is just out of school; one brother is controlling and has anger issues-is divorced with a new 'thing' accompanying him on the trip with his two kids from a previous ma ...more
I really wanted to write this book, it has 3 things I love:
*old family house passed through generations
*the beach

But I found this story slow-moving. Also, the author quotes way tooo many authors, philosphers, etc. It's almost as if she's trying to prove how well-read she is by having her characters quote so many written works. The characters also do way too much philosophizing, having whole conversations on various philosohipes of life - who does that? It came off as very flat and boring,
Absolutely terrible. Could not decide what the point of this book was for many, many pages into it. Not even good for mindless beach reading.
The story is ok. If you love and know Ogunquit you'd probably love it, but it reads like it was written by the Chamber of Commerce.
There were entire monologues in this book that I just skipped: irrelevant to the tale and irritating. The characters need major development - the reader never understands WHY they do what they do - and the dead mother is flogged mercilessly as a cold-hearted wench with no defense from anyone. The ending was a bit tidy with no view to what the future held for any of the characters - a short epilogue seemed to have been added because one of the initial readers recommended it - but it's half-hearte ...more
Juanita Bland
Felt all the characters had baggage. Felt they were a little dysfunctional. Thought the gay story was a little in your face.
Karen Fitzpatrick
had to hang in there thru the first section, but I did like it in the end
Beth Gosser
good ending although reading this book I really didn't like any of the characters until the last 12 pages
Very disappointing.
I liked it...good beach read:)
Deb Cornell
A tedious read!
Mar 06, 2014 Donnajo marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
bought at well read
Dianne Heidersbach
Enjoyed this book even though the family was very dysfunctional.
Good beach read.
mmk4 Koenen
Nice summer read, a bit of moral message throughout. There were a couple of good quotes that I enjoyed: "Home is the place where when you have to go there, they hgave to take you in"(Robert Frost) and "And who of you being worried have added a single hour to your life?"(New Testament). There was one that seemed very important to the main character but just left me flat and wondering what it meant: "And shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well"...Whatever!
I made it 1/3 of the way through the book and could never get interested in it. Rather than force myself to finish it, I decided to stop reading and find a book I would actually enjoy.
I was hoping this would be a fun, beach book. Instead it was about a family with dynamic characters that got annoying fast. The main character is a widow, still mourning her husband. There is a nasty older brother who is verbally abusive, a gay older sister who cannot seem to commit to parenthood, and a wanderlust brother. The father is in a relationship that his kids feel threatened by. The story follows the family over a few weeks.
Cece's servant
Jun 19, 2014 Cece's servant marked it as to-read
I couldn't finish this story...
Jill Madsen
This was an easy summer read... although parts of it were repetitive. I didn't want to hear one more time how much Tilda missed her husband; while loss is terribly hard I felt like I would be more like her mother (if she had been alive) and shaking her to move on! Adam was just a jerk and I wanted to hit him over the head anytime he was a part of the plot. Interesting family dynamics when siblings and family come together.
Dale Harcombe
Actually I gave up part way through. I found the writing style, which persistently used weak verbs. Eg 'was feeling impatient,' instead of 'felt impatient,' 'were racing' instead of 'raced,' annoying. Those two were just in half a page and there were others on that page and nearly every page. Also I found the characters introspective and unengaging.
This is possibly one of the worst books I've read. The main character has no personality an all she does is whine, though the WHOLE book! I kept expecting it to get better, but it just droned on and on and on....Really? At 47 she's thinking she too old and dried up to date? In his day and age?
So...nothing really changed from my update midway thru this book. A nice, tidy predicted. Really, this almost read like a YA novel. Not sure that I'll try anymore of her writing, but I suppose everyone deserves a second chance...
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Holly Chamberlin is a native New Yorker, but she now lives in Portland, Maine - the aftermath of stumbling across Mr. Right at the one moment she wasn't watching the terrain. She's been writing and editing - poetry, children's fantasies, a romance novel or two, among many other genres and projects - her entire life. She has two cats, Betty and Cyrus, and when she's not writing her hobbies include ...more
More about Holly Chamberlin...
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“Voltaire—you know him? He said that a man should cultivate his own garden. Guess I’m with him on that.” 0 likes
“Memories were your most intimate legacy. But if those memories were compromised in some way, would your continued existence be compromised, too?” 0 likes
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