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Beach House #5

Beach House Reunion

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Whisking you back to the shores of her bestselling Beach House series, Mary Alice Monroe weaves together a tale of the struggles and triumphs of the historic Rutledge family of Charleston, South Carolina. Beautifully wrought and rich with keen insight, this is an illuminating tale of new beginnings, resilience, and one family's enduring love.

Cara Rutledge returns to her Southern home on the idyllic Isle of Palms. Everything is comfortingly the same, yet each detail is rife with painful memories. Only through reconnecting with family, friends, and the rhythms of the lowcountry can Cara release the hold of the past and open herself to the possibility of a new love, career, and hope for the future.

Meanwhile, her niece Linnea, a recent college graduate who doesn't know where her life will take her, leaves her historic home in Charleston, with all its entitlement and expectations, and heads to her aunt's beach house. On the island, she is part of the freer, natural ocean lifestyle she loves, rejoining the turtle team, learning to surf, and falling in love. Remembering the lessons of her beloved grandmother, Lovie, the original "turtle lady," Linnea rediscovers a meaningful purpose to her life and finds the courage she needs to break from tradition.

In this heartwarming novel, three generations of the Rutledge family gather together to find the strength, love, and commitment to break destructive family patterns and to forge new bonds that will endure long beyond one summer reunion.

389 pages, Hardcover

First published May 22, 2018

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About the author

Mary Alice Monroe

86 books4,597 followers
Mary Alice Monroe is the New York Times bestselling author of 27 books, including The Summer of Lost and Found, the latest installment of her beloved Beach House series.

Monroe has also published children’s books which complement the environmental themes she is known for in her adult novels. Monroe’s middle grade series, written with Angela May, The Islanders, debuted #2 on the New York Times Best Sellers List in 2021. The second book in the series, Search for Treasure, debuted #3 on the New York Times Best Sellers List.

Nearly eight million copies of her books have been published worldwide.

Mary Alice has earned numerous accolades and awards including induction into the South Carolina Academy of Authors’ Hall of Fame; South Carolina Center for the Book Award for Writing; the South Carolina Award for Literary Excellence; the SW Florida Author of Distinction Award; the RT Lifetime Achievement Award; the International Book Award for Green Fiction; the Henry Bergh Award for Children’s Fiction; and her novel A Lowcountry Christmas won the prestigious Southern Prize for Fiction.

Mary Alice is also the co-founder of the popular weekly web show and podcast Friends & Fiction.

The Beach House is a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, starring Andie McDowell. Several of her novels are optioned for film.

Mary Alice has championed the fragility of the earth’s wild habitat. The coastal southern landscape in particular is a strong and important focus of many of her novels. For her writing, Monroe immerses herself in academic research, works with wildlife experts, and does hands-on volunteering with animals. She then uses the knowledge and experiences to craft captivating stories that identify important parallels between nature and human nature. Sea turtles, bottlenose dolphins, monarch butterflies, shorebirds are among the species she has worked with and woven into her novels.

Mary Alice is also an active conservationist and serves on several boards including the South Carolina Aquarium board emeritus, the Pat Conroy Literary Center Honorary Board, and the Leatherback Trust, which she received the Leatherback Trust Lifetime Achievement Award in 2022. She is especially proud to be a state-certified volunteer with the Island Turtle Team for more than twenty years.

Mary Alice splits her time between her home on the South Carolina coast and her home in the North Carolina mountains. When she’s not writing a novel, she is with her family or busy working with wildlife somewhere in the world.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 859 reviews
Profile Image for Julie .
4,031 reviews58.9k followers
June 28, 2018
Beach House Reunion by Mary Alice Monroe is a 2018 Gallery Books publication.

Summer just wouldn’t be summer without a visit to Cara Rutledge’s beach house!

Just when you think this series couldn’t get any better- it does!

It’s been three years since Cara’s life turned on dime… again. After a huge emotional gut-punch, Cara rose to the occasion and battled to find her way again. Despite her determination and bravery, I still felt her fragility permeating from the pages, even though we left her in a very stable frame of mind and in a good place.

But, I was still very relieved when I found out we would get a chance to check in with Cara again. However, I never would have imagined the course her life has taken since we last touched base with her.

Cara FINALLY gets her chance at motherhood after adopting a child. She knows deep in heart she wants Hope to be raised at home, with her friends and family nearby, at her beloved beach house, where the spirit of her mother still lingers. So, she leaves Tennessee and heads back to South Carolina where life brings her even more challenges and a few wonderful surprises.

This story covers three generations- Lovie, whose spirit still haunts the beach house, her choices and decisions still reverberating as Cara learns all about motherhood, and Cara's niece, Linnea, struggles against old school southern mores, hoping to break the chain of destructive family traditions and create a new path for her family that will give her the chance to pursue her dreams and make her family proud.

I love this series! The beach house is truly one of my favorite places to escape to.

As I said in my review of the first book in this series, where Lovie's actions were revealed, this family dynamic is very realistic. In this novel, Mary Alice Monroe examines fathers passing macho- strong-man- qualities down to their sons, placing the women in their lives in certain set roles they dare not deviate from, which tragically ends up becoming a vicious cycle unless someone steps up and challenges that authority and begins to chip away at traits that bring misery and unhappiness to everyone.

Here, we see Palmer, who despite being unlikeable in so many ways, is really a man drowning, caught in a trap, unable to see a way out of it. Deep down he’s a good guy, and just as much a victim of his father’s abuse as Lovie and Cara were. Sadly, he’s headed right down the same path as his father, working hard to pass his hard -nosed ways and traditions down to his son, who also feels like he must do what he’s told to make his father happy and his family proud. There seems to be no end or relief in sight- until our strong southern women step in to intervene.

As always, each chapter begins with an interesting and related detail about the turtles. This story, while working to dispel generations of bad traditions, still upholds and passes on the strong Turtle club traditions that Linnea embraced, and will no doubt pass on to future generations, as Cara will do with Hope. I really loved the correlations between Linnea and Cara. Cara was a wonderful influence on Linnea, and her choices gave Linnea the courage to make a stand.

It never occurred to me that Cara would have, or even consider having, a second chance at love, and you could have knocked me over with a feather when I realized who her love interest would be! I LOVED this! I also enjoyed seeing how everyone else is doing and was quite pleased with Linnea’s romantic interest as well.

Previous installments in this series have touched on many important issues. The ecology and climate changes are gently addressed, as is the importance of respecting sea creatures, especially in a tourist environment. The family unit, relationships, the curveballs life throws at us are realistically portrayed, and never fails to evoke a gamut of emotions from frustration and anger to heartbreak to laughter and immense pleasure at seeing these strong southern ladies prove their mettle.

But, never has a story in this series crackled with this level of taut suspense. One stormy scene, in particular, had me on the edge of my seat. It was absolutely riveting, unnerving, and incredibly intense. While there were some edgier moments in this one, the ‘beach read’ atmosphere is still intact, with the calm after the storm restoring a long overdue peace, which is inspirational and rejuvenating. The conclusion could not have been any more fitting!

Do not head to the beach this summer without this book!!
Profile Image for Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews.
1,055 reviews1,376 followers
May 23, 2018

Two women coming home for two different reasons to the place they loved and the place with many memories.

Linnea had finished college, and Cara was coming home to be with family.

Linnea came home from college and had no choice but to return, and really didn’t want to be in her childhood home with all the drama and the rules.

Cara came home because her husband had passed away a few years earlier, she adopted a friend’s baby, and she wanted to have her daughter grow up where she grew up with family and summer beach memories.

Both women needed something, and with Linnea being Cara’s niece, the problem was solved because Linnea was going to be Cara’s nanny. That would save Linnea from staying with her parents all summer and would be a warm remembrance of her childhood times at the beach house, Primrose Cottage. Cara would get to spend time with her niece to catch up and have someone to finally help her so she wasn’t alone.

BEACH HOUSE REUNION was a very pleasant, heartwarming read that made you want to for the most part be in the Rutledge family and in Primrose Cottage as well as Sullivan's Island.

Everything about the book was comfy and inviting.

The characters and the beachy setting were quite pleasant.

Learning about loggerheads, surfing, seeing the love between family members and others, and joining in the family fun are some of the reasons you will want to read this book.

I actually want to learn more about the sea turtles (loggerheads). It sounded fascinating, and the excitement the characters had about them had me wanting to learn more.

BEACH HOUSE REUNION is an easy, sweet read that will be a perfect addition to your summer reading list. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher and NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for Lisa Wingate.
Author 44 books10k followers
May 12, 2018
Isle of Palms, turtle rescue, tragedy, recovery, and complicated family dynamics combine to make Mary Alice Monroe's newest a true gem. The bonds of friends, family, neighbors, and generations take center stage in Cara and Linnea's story. Both have lessons to learn and lessons to deliver. Past pain need not be the predictor of a painful future. We all have the ability to change old habits, choose new paths, and forge the future into something beyond our imaginings. Mary Alice can always be counted on for a beach read that's as compelling and refreshing as a day at the shore.
Profile Image for Lisa.
625 reviews236 followers
March 31, 2018
Beach House Reunion
Mary Alice Monroe

MY RATING ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️▫️
PUBLISHER Gallery Books
PUBLISHED May 22, 2018

Beach House Reunion is light and breezy and a joy to read.

Beach House Reunion is the fifth novel in the Beach House series by Mary Alice Monroe. The series weaves together the triumphs and struggles of the Rutledge family of Charleston South Carolina. Beachhouse Reunion is a tale of new beginnings, as Cara Rutledge, 53, returns from Tennessee to live once again in her beloved beach house on the Isle of Palms, with her newly adopted baby, Hope. In need of childcare, Cara hires her niece, Linnea, to help her for the summer. Linnea has recently graduated from college and is struggling to figure out her next steps and relishes the idea of living with her aunt at the beach until she knows what she wants to do. Both women join the “turtle team,” make new friends, explore new directions for their lives and find the strength to attempt to break destructive family patterns.

A perfect book for a day at the beach. It’s light and breezy and a joy to read. A delightful tale that can either be devoured in a day or savored over several. Mary Alice Monroe is known as an active conservationist, particularly regarding sea turtles, and sea turtles alway plays a meaningful role in the Beach House series. While you don’t need to read each book in the series in order, if you are anything like me, after reading one, you are going to want to go back and read the others. Now, I consider Cara Rutledge a good friend and totally enjoy reading her ongoing story Thanks to Netgalley, Mary Alice Monroe and Gallery Book for an advance reading copy in exchange for an honest review.

Profile Image for Dale Harcombe.
Author 14 books298 followers
September 10, 2019
Four and a half stars.
Cara Rutledge returns to the Beach House on the Isle of Palms in her early fifties. This time she is coming back to the place that has been a critical part of her life, minus her husband Brett who died three years earlier but also with a baby she has adopted. Baby Hope is a year old. Cara wants to be there for her baby but even though she has inherited the Beach House, she will still have to find some sort of work to support them both. But the bonus is, she will have family around her. After graduating from college, Linnea, Cara’s niece, is also back on the Isle of Palms, while she sorts out her career situation. Maybe they can help each other out? And maybe help other family members who are struggling with various issues at the same time? And let’s not forget the turtles who make an appearance. Each chapter stars with a snippet of information about loggerhead turtles.
This book has a lovely relaxed feel to it. Having read all the other four books in the beach house series, it was like catching up with old friends to be back with these characters, sharing their lives again. It’s a story of family, friendship, parenting, parents who try and force their offspring into their own image, and romance. Interesting, well developed characters and and a beautiful beach setting make this the perfect beach read. I even learnt a bit about how to surf. Not that I am ever likely to put it into practice at this late stage.
A pleasant and joyful book and more intense moments, especially when disaster strikes a family and a hurricane is on the way. From start to finish, I was engaged with this family and their daily lives, joys and struggles.
Profile Image for Sherri Thacker.
1,243 reviews244 followers
June 3, 2018
Good summer read. Read this in a day. This is my 3rd book by Mary Alice Monroe.
Profile Image for Chris.
659 reviews15 followers
September 8, 2018
A very predictable beach read with various family members getting together to solve problems from the past and in the present. Of course the cottages, ocean, beaches and marsh are beautifully described, as well as the nesting and gestation and hatching of the island’s loggerhead turtles.

I wanted to read this book as my salute to the end of summer, sand, flip flops and tank tops but I was sorely disappointed. It was just another redundant beach novel.
Profile Image for Toni.
644 reviews203 followers
June 16, 2018
"Her Mama used to say that barrier islands protected the mainland from the storms. But in truth, the marshes protected the islands from the stress of the mainland."

Cara agreed with her Mama, life was different on the islands, and that's why she was coming back to stay. After three years away, the death of her husband, Cara, now 53, has quit her job and is returning to the beloved Beach House on the Isle of Palms, off the coast of South Carolina, that her mother left her after her death the previous year. There is one difference, she's bringing her one year-old, adopted daughter, Hope with her.
Cara feels being near friends and family is what she and Hope need most now, as she begins her own consulting business. She hires her niece, Linnea, recently graduated from college, to help with childcare while she's in the job search process. A win-win solution.
Linnea's brother Cooper, has just graduated HS and is enjoying a summer of graduation parties and is looking forward to attending college in the fall; but not the one his father has planned for him.
Palmer, Cara's big brother (Linnea & Cooper's Dad) seems to be under a lot of stress lately, and is drinking more than he should, much like his father did. Cara has noted that Julia, his lovely wife, has had to intervene in several unpleasant and public family squabbles.
The Ruttledge family members will bond with old friends, form new relationships, break old patterns and heal old wounds together. There's pain, discovery and celebration. It's worth coming to this reunion, whether for the first time, or as an old friend. Don't miss it!

Thank you NetGalley, Gallery Publishing, and Mary Alice Monroe

Note: I found the "turtle facts" that open each chapter both informative and delightful, especially since our author is involved in their conservation herself. (Lovie, Cara's Mom, was the original "Turtle Lady" on the Isle of Palms.)
Profile Image for Mary.
629 reviews
December 12, 2018
Another wonderful journey back to the beach. MAM's writing is flawless as always. Her stories make me long for a family, a beach house, the ocean. And the sea turtle stories still choked me up. This is more than a beach read. There's so much information about wildlife and conservation, done in an entertaining way. Loved it.
Profile Image for Ann.
5,207 reviews60 followers
May 6, 2018
I adore this series and love just about everything Mary Alice Monroe writes. She pulls you into the tale as if you're sitting on the beach with Cara and Linnea. Isle of Palms, South Carolina sounds like my dream home when it's off season. I love "hearing" all the ladies reminiscing about Lovey and her Turtle Rescue program. The story centers on Cara returning to the Beach House and getting involved with the rescue program. She welcomes her niece Linnea who has graduated from college but is at loose ends. Always lots of family interaction and multi-generation bonding. The perfect summer read with romance, ecology and family drama. Also helpful is the information about the endangered Loggerhead turtle gives you food for thought. I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Profile Image for Chris Conley.
915 reviews11 followers
June 7, 2018
The Beach House books are so lovely. Each one is like a visit to the low country. The turtle ladies have a wonderful surprise in this book. Cara also seems to have resolved her life in a delightful way.
Profile Image for Linden.
1,479 reviews1 follower
March 2, 2018
Have you ever read a book that pulls you in from the very first sentence? That’s how I felt reading Mary Alice Monroe’s new novel, Beach House Reunion. Cara, widowed for three years, is coming home to the Isle of Palms, bringing Hope, the baby she recently adopted. When she finds she needs child care help to successfully work from home, she asks her niece Linnea, a recent college graduate who has not yet found a full time job to stay with her for the summer. They are both members of the Turtle Team, a group that helps sea turtles. Cara, who for the first time since her husband’s passing, considers the possibility of love, and Linnea, who falls for a handsome neighbor teaching her to surf, are but two of the characters who are drawn with depth and understanding by this exceptional author. The beauty of the natural world and the importance of friends and family are essential to this novel, and help to make it something more than a simple beach read. Once I started reading Beach House Reunion, I couldn’t put it down--highly recommended
Profile Image for Obsidian.
2,736 reviews940 followers
December 20, 2018
Spoilers for readers who have not read the Beach House series. You do not want to start with this fifth book since it will spoil events from the prior books.

Wow. This was great. I do wish that Monroe didn't feel the need to always have two female characters to focus on in these books. I was fine with just following along with Cara's story personally. Us shifting back and forth between her and her niece Linnea. Even though I gave this book five stars, I just didn't find myself too engaged with Linnea's romance personally, though I thought it was a nice closing the circle moment for long-time readers. I was just thinking I would love to read a story told from Cara's sister in law's point of view.

It's been three years since Cara Rutledge left Isle of Palms for Tennessee. After the death of her husband Brett, Cara spread her wings to go to someplace that would not have her thinking of him every moment. Now returning home, she has someone new to think about she wants to be around her friends and family. I really can't tell you why Cara returns home, it will end up spoiling things for long-time readers. I can just say though that this was a satisfying conclusion to Cara's story. Cara is a consultant and ends up needing another pair of hands to help her out and thinks of her niece Linnea who is struggling to find a job after graduation.

Monroe once again shows us Cara going through a lot of changes (big and small) at the age of 53 and definitely showing she's older and wiser in this one.

Linnea is dealing with family troubles in this one and is glad to be away from her family home. Her younger brother seems to be going through some things, but her family keeps insisting things are fine.

We revisit other characters like Toy and her family (yes) and we even get characters from her other series (Lowcountry Summer) making appearances so that was pretty cool. We also get to see Heather and how her life has changed in three years since the last book.

The love interest for both women in this one were done very well. I want to applaud Mary Alice Monroe for showing widowhood in a romance novel in a realistic way. For once you didn't have the new love interest acting like a jackass that someone had loved again. And we don't have the heroine acting ashamed of that love. We have Cara still struggling to let go of Brett, but she has someone who is patience and understands what she is going through. And they are not asking her to pretend as if she didn't love someone else or was married before.

The writing was very good and honestly made me want to break open some wine and eat some boiled shrimp. Don't read this book if you are hungry.

The flow was really good in this one from start to finish.

The Isle of Palms is always a great setting. We do have Cara and her family dealing with another Hurricane that threatens everything (why do people live among the beach????) and how they deal with that.

The ending was so good though. The way things ends though you have a feeling this is the last book in the series.
Profile Image for Mary.
504 reviews61 followers
May 8, 2018
This book is a follow up to some of the other beach house books by Mary Alice Monroe. It is set on an outer bank island off Charleston, South Carolina. It follows the same families and friends as other beach books. The mix of people shares fun, love, heartache, anger, resentment and some a love of loggerhead turtles. Every few chapters begin with information about the loggerhead turtles. I have read other beach books by Monroe' and really enjoyed them but this one just didn't hold my attention. I would not recommend it to anyone.. Maybe the beach books should end. Thanks to NetGalley for ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Profile Image for Sharon Huether.
1,478 reviews10 followers
April 5, 2018
Two generations of the Rutledge family weather the storms of family life in Charleston S.C.
Cara the sister comes back to reconnect with family members and friends after she was recently widowed.
Linnea, Cara's niece comes to Cara's home on the beach to find her calling after college graduation.
With their strength they stuck together to heal the broken family.
At last Cara reveals a long held secret that gives her brother's family hope.
I won this Free book through Goodreads First reads.
Profile Image for Yvonne.
1,106 reviews245 followers
June 24, 2018
Cara Rutledge is heading home to Charleston, South Carolina where the beach house she inherited from her mother is located. Cara’s past haunts her, but she’s determined to put it behind her and start living again.

Cara’s niece, Linnea, is looking to put her life on track as well. Now that she’s a college graduate, she needs to figure out her career and what direction her life will go. Unfortunately, she has to escape her family’s plans first and go her own way. She stays with Cara at the beach house to try and accomplish this.

Cara and Linnea have much to deal with including new romantic and career possibilities. Now if they can just put the Rutledge expectations behind them, all would be well.

Mary Alice Monroe does a wonderful job of transporting the reader right to the beach in South Carolina. These are realistic characters with realistic problems to solve. I think readers can identify and care about these characters. I know I did.

The pages turn quickly and I didn’t want the book to end. I wanted to stay with the Rutledges at the beach house and see what else is in store for them. It’s a poignant, moving story of a family that truly loves each other, but is controlled by their past and can’t seem to move forward.

This is the 5th book in the Beach House series. I’ve only read #4 and now #5. I quickly became a fan. I do want to go back and read the first three books, but it feels like I already know the history. Mary Alice Monroe is quickly becoming a “must read” author for me.

FTC Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
1,071 reviews27 followers
May 11, 2018
Mary Alice Monroe is another favorite author of mine. I love most books taking place in the South and on the beach, so this is my kind of book. I have also come to love "Turtle Time." We have stayed at several resorts where turtles are welcomed and the beaches protected so that the eggs will hatch without human intervention.

I really enjoyed this book. I love the turtle information the author includes and the story brought back some of my favorite characters and added a few more! It makes me want to spend time on the beach watching the waves roll in!

Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books for the opportunity to read and review this book.
Profile Image for Patricia Romero.
1,421 reviews41 followers
April 21, 2018
I am so happy that Cara is back home on Isle of Palms. And she brought a pretty great surprise with her! Facing memories of her late husband and the special bond they had, as well as wishing her mother, Lovie, was still here to give her advice, she plows forward much like her beloved Loggerhead Turtles.

While she settles back into life at Primrose Cottage, her niece, Linnea, has graduated from college and is at loose ends. Feeling stifled in her family's Charleston mansion, she heads to the beach. Home to Cara and Primrose. With no expectations to be anything other than happy.

With new love a possibility and her mother to guide her, Cara will pull her family together and break a long cycle of bad behavior, freeing them all to be who they are and live their best lives.

This series is so loving and beautiful. While the bad habits in a family can be broken, the strong bonds of these women can not. Very well done!

Netgalley/SimonandSchuster May 22, 2018
May 20, 2018
#FirstLine ~ All roads lead home.

Nothing says summer like a great book from Mary Alice Monroe. Beach House Reunion is such a delight. I love this entire series. There is something for everyone in this book and in the series. You get a wonderful setting, a great story and characters that you cannot help but adore. There are truths about life in this story. Truths that readers will relate to, truths that they will connect with and truth that will move the reader throughout. This story captures good and bad as well as struggles and successes in perfect unison. Mary Alice Monroe can take bittersweet moments and provide the reader with hope and healing through her brilliant storytelling. A must read for summer!
Profile Image for Susan.
286 reviews
July 18, 2018
A HUGE thank you to Mary Alice Monroe for writing this Beach House series!! I enjoyed it SO much!!! This final book brings everything to a conclusion with the characters. If you have been reading heavier stuff - you may just might like a change - take yourself to Primrose Cottage on the Isle of Palms (a future trip for my husband I sooner than later I hope) and enter into the lives of Lovie and her family and extended friends - you will not be sorry. And each book teaches you about endangered loggerhead turtles. 🐢
Profile Image for Linda Zagon.
1,345 reviews104 followers
April 16, 2018
“Beach House Reunion” by Mary Alice Monroe, is an entertaining, captivating, emotional and heartwarming novel. “Beach House Reunion” is the fifth book in the Beach House Series, but it can be read by itself. The Genres for this book are Fiction, Women’s Giveaway, with an essence of ghost-like feeling. The timeline of this story is set in the present, unless it goes to the past where it pertains to the characters or events. The story takes place in Charleston, South Carolina and the southern family beach-house on the Isle of Palms.

The author describes her characters as complex, and complicated. Most of the characters have problems of their own. Cara Rutledge, a 53-year-old widow with a young baby returns to her Grandmother’s Beach- House. Cara is leaving a professional life but wants to give her daughter a better life. She has to revisit connections with friends and neighbors, and yet work at some type of job. Since her husband’s death, Cara has not moved forward until now. What lies in store for her?

Cara’s niece, Linnea, has just graduated from college and goes to the Beach House as well, to try to figure out what she is going to do with her life. She becomes a babysitter-nanny for Cara. Linnea has left her dysfunctional family at home, and looks forward to the beach and the ocean. Linnea loves being part of “the Turtle Team”.

I appreciate that Mary Alice Monroe describes the importance of family, emotional support, friends, neighbors, love, faith and hope. Is it possible to break the toxic problems of the past? The author discusses growth, strength and courage for her characters to make better choices. I would recommend this novel to those reader of Women’s Fiction. I received an ARC from NetGalley for my honest opinion and review.
Profile Image for Amanda Earnhardt.
5 reviews4 followers
March 17, 2018
Cara Rutledge returns to her cherished family beach home in Isle of Palms, South Carolina after living in Tennessee for three years. She has missed her support system of friends and family and desperately needs their help because of a sudden life altering decision that she has made. In Beach House Reunion, the reader is reconnected with characters from the previous Beach House books including a very comforting ghost. Mary Alice Monroe is a gifted storyteller who seamlessly weaves themes of marine wildlife and ocean conservation, grief, substance abuse, alcoholism, destructive family patterns, motherhood, love, romance, friendship and resilience into this compelling story.
Once again, Mary Alice Monroe triumphs with the fifth book in her beloved beach house series. When I began Beach House Reunion I could not put it down and finished in one day, savoring every word. Monroe's readers will be enthralled with this beautifully crafted and poignant novel.

Profile Image for Bonnie Plante.
167 reviews2 followers
May 17, 2018
Reading this book is like swinging on a porch swing with a glass of cold sweet tea on a sultry summer afternoon. It is just that comfortable. Maybe it's because I'm from the south & have grown up going to the coast nearly every summer of my life, or maybe it's because I'm a sucker for a good beach read, I'm not sure. I just know that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. For me, it was just a feel good story. There is something magical about salt, sand and sea breezes. When you add in a couple of love stories, some family drama and the bond of friendship, it becomes so much more. Definitely worth the time it takes to read. By the end of the book, the characters feel like friends. While this book is #5 in the series, I had no trouble reading it as a stand alone book. I do look forward to going back and reading the other books in the series.

Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC of this book.
Profile Image for Debbie.
1,751 reviews95 followers
June 5, 2018
First off, I want to say that this book in the series was much better for me than number 4, it was too morbid and sad. It's a beach and holiday book. Let's not get tied down with sad things.

And now my review:

We are back on Isle of Palms and the Rutledge family is in turmoil brought about by previous family influences and a more common destroyer of families.

Cara has big changes in her life and lets Palmer in on a very big secret. One that has plagued him for years.

Hurricane Irma hits the coast.

"Big Girl" revisits the island and causes quite the commotion.

Lovie returns in spirit and I liked it!

A much better read, while still some sad things happen, they are not emphasized over and over and over again. I did enjoy this one and seriously look forward to the next installment.

Thanks to Gallery, Threshold Pocket Books and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
Profile Image for Ann-Marie "Cookie M.".
1,112 reviews121 followers
December 2, 2019
"Beach House Reunion" is a good end to Mary Alice Monroe's Beach House series. Cara Rutledge finally has the life and love she has longed for, her friends are in good places and her family members are safe and happy. What more can I say?
I received this book free from Gallery Books in exchange for an honest review on Goodreads.
Profile Image for Marla.
1,260 reviews217 followers
June 18, 2018
Very enjoyable summer read. Even though this is book 5 in a series, I think you can enjoy it without reading any of the ones before it. I happened to have read book 4 but not 1-3 and I enjoyed both of them. I liked the characters although I wanted to smack Palmer, he was such an ass.
Profile Image for Janet Friesner.
940 reviews9 followers
May 24, 2018
A nice addition to the Beach House series. Loved the paragraphs at the start of each chapter with the information about the sea turtles. Was priviledged to see them laying their eggs many years ago when we first moved to Florida. Enjoyed the novel. Read the whole book yesterday. Loved the ending where the family came together as they did. Would truly recommend it. But like others, they mean so much more when you read the whole series.
Profile Image for Sue .
1,653 reviews97 followers
March 11, 2018
It was a chilly grey Saturday in my part of NC but I spent the weekend at the beach and never left home! Reading a Mary Alice Monroe book is like taking a vacation at the beach - her love of the lowcounty shines through in her books and her descriptions of the area make you feel like you're there.

This is book 5 in the Beach House series. It can be read as a stand-alone but all of the books in the series are so good that you need to read them all! In this book, Cara Rutledge returns to Primrose Cottage on Isle of Palms. She left three years earlier after her husband died but felt like it was time to go home to raise the new baby that she's adopted. When she tries to work from home, she finds out that it's difficult so asks her niece Linnea to move to the cottage to take care of the baby while she's job hunting. They both lead a more relaxed life style at the beach with lots of friends and a bit of romance for both of them. Through their time together and the beauty of the island, the Rutledge family is about to become even closer despite issues that have been passed down from previous generations.

This is a beautiful story of love and family, new beginnings and learning to live in the future instead of the past. As with all of Mary Alice's books, her love of the environment shines through her novel. In this book, its the loggerhead turtle and every chapter starts with a fact about sea turtles. There is also a lot of information about how pollution in the ocean hurts the turtles and other sea animals. So along with my mental trip to the beach, I was able to learn more about sea turtles! I highly recommend this book!

Thanks to the author for a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Dele Haynes.
218 reviews13 followers
October 4, 2018
This book is a little light reading for the summer. The story takes place on the Isle of Palm, one of the outer islands around Charleston. Cara returns to the island to rise the daughter she has adopted in the cottage she inherited from her mother, Lovie.
There is a lot of family dynamics going on in this story. Her niece moves in to nanny, Hope, while she decides what to do with her life. Her brother, is a staunch authoritarian that is drives his family away. Especially his son, Copper, who is driven to drink and drugs because he can't tell his father he wants to live his own life.
The story revolves around the sea turtles that return to the Isle of Palm to lay their eggs every year. Each chapter is introduced with a bit of Sea Turtle science.
This is a sweet little story, not really my cup of tea. I do enjoy a story that is based in the South. I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a little light reading.
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