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The Beach House

(Beach House #1)

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  22,436 ratings  ·  1,673 reviews

Caretta Rutledge thought she’d left her Southern roots and troubled family far behind. But an unusual request from her mother coming just as her own life is spinning out of control has Cara heading back to the scenic Lowcountry of her childhood summers. Before long, the rhythms of the island open her heart in wonderful ways as she repairs the family beach house, becomes a

Paperback, 491 pages
Published April 25th 2006 by Mira Books (first published 2002)
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The Beach House by Mary Alice Monroe is a 2012 Mira publication. (Originally published in 2002)

I fell in love with Mary Alice Monroe’s ‘Lowcountry series’, and couldn’t wait to read more of her books.

I decided to start with the ‘Beach House’ series when I found out there will be a new chapter released this coming June. If I hurry, maybe I can catch up before the new book is published!

This story centers around Caretta Rutledge, a high powered, fiercely independent, career woman, who receives a
May 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was a great summer beach read. An endearing story about relationships and letting the past go. There were a few times I had to wipe away the tears. Great cast of characters and I loved the beachy flair of the book and turtle facts! Highly recommend!
It's chic-lit written well. It's predictable, no-brainer, relaxing, light. No surprises. It's a lesson in southern charm, and southern food and southern morals. And a moral quest to save sea turtles.

Then there's family dynamics, a cruel history with secrets waiting to burst forth, and a flourishing future. There's a romance and a few other elements to boot - like the few billion books, following the exact same blueprint, in the same genre.

Not a bad book for the right audience. I'm not. And that
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Beach House is a magical feel-good South Carolina Lowcountry novel, the first in a series.💛 I read book #4 last summer and was surprised to see this is a series, I loved it and knew I had to read them all!
Daughter Caretta, Chicago IL is requested to come home to her mama Lovie’s beach house on Isle of Palms SC. Once she arrives home she begins to experience all she’s been missing in the last 20 years since leaving there - love of family, real friendships, true love, and becoming a ‘turtle la
Loggerheads, Barrier Islands, and family secrets all collide in this novel.

This is my first by Mary Alice Monroe, and I wasn't disappointed. Had all the good makings of a great novel, however didn't quite come together perfectly for me. A little too much jargon got in the way, along with trying to throw way too many things into one book. Betrayal, family rivalry, abuse, a teenage pregnancy, saving seaturtles, romance, and to top it all off add in a hurricane!

Caretta Rutledge comes home to Isle o
Jul 25, 2016 rated it did not like it
This novel was so predictable that I anticipated every twist by the end of the first chapter. Not only was the story line predictable, but also the character roles, the description of setting, the use of weather in the story, the tenor of the dialogue, etc. This was an easy to read story of family reconciliation perfect for the Lifetime Channel.
With the flair of a true wordsmith, Mary Alice Monroe has penned a beautiful, poignant tale centered on the mending of a broken mother/daughter relationship. It gives the story of three women and the memorable summer they share together. The storyline and delivery are excellent and each character portrayed is richly developed.

Set in lovely Charleston, SC with the main story unfolding on the Isle of Palms, the author’s descriptive details easily pulls the reader into this journey, making this ba
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Beach House is a wonderful summer beach read. It is the first novel in the series. There are five novels in the series -- can't wait to get to them all! The characters slowly reveal themselves as I grew emotionally attached to them. Could easily picture myself sitting on the porch of the beach house having tea. Talking and staring at the dunes and the ocean contemplating life. This novel reminded me to slow down and enjoy every moment -- get out of the rush.

"If I made one mistake it's that
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always intended to read "The Beach House." I think the Carolina Low Country is just about one of the prettiest places in America. But I just never got around to it until I won an ARC of the fifth novel in the series. You go, me!
So, I had to dive right in. The saga starts with a beautiful sea side beach house, loggerhead turtles laying their eggs and a badly broken family.
The matriarch, Lovie, calls her daughter, Cara home for the first time in 20 years, hoping she will answer the summons thi
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A perfect summer beach read exploring the tenuous bonds between a mother and daughter and the opportunity for renewal.

Caretta Rutledge left Charleston and the Low Country behind when she was 18. Now 40, Cara has a high powered marketing job in Chicago, but things are spinning out of control there. She gets an unusual request from her mother to come spend the summer at her mother’s beloved Primrose cottage on the Isle of Palms. When Caretta arrives there she finds that both the beach hous
It was fluff, it was predictable, it was unrealistic, it was sappy. But it was also an easy read, an eye rolling read, yet an amusing read, and I have to admit I loved the bits at the beginning of each chapter about the loggerhead turtles. So it earns an extra star for the turtles! Two stars for the story, one bonus star for the turtles.
Nancy LiPetri
May 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although I started out thinking the writing was a bit corny at times, I give it 5 stars for all the wonderful, clever and moving analogies between women/life and loggerhead turtles and their amazing life cycle. It was fitting that the first part to move me to tears, about motherhood, I read on Mother's Day on a plane headed back to where I was hatched. That was about 20% into it, and the story only got better and better from there, winning my hanky rating with a predictable but beautiful and tho ...more
May 28, 2012 rated it liked it
I hoped to enjoy this book, especially since I previously lived in Charleston, SC -- and, I did. The author put the "happily ever after" spin on all the storylines; that's what I prefer. There was just enough of everything: mystery from the past,simmering romance (with a hero who would have swept me off my feet), personal redemption, coming of age and 'seize the day'. Plus, the main character is thankfully 40. (I'm not keen on reading about teenage love!)

The book was not a 4 or 5 for me because
Dec 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Loaned to me by a friend, who is anxious for me to read Mary Alice Monroe's books.
This was a very good novel about a prestigious Lowcountry South Carolina family. It contains numerous references to loggerhead turtles and their nesting habits on Isle of Palms, where the author is a member of the Turtle Team, just as her main characters were. While I do not normally like these "family sagas," I quickly became engrossed in the lives of the family and their friends and was pleased that it ended exac
Dec 03, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to say, this book surprised me! Looking at it, I would have assumed it was a generic romance novel like many of the other books on the shelves at my club. But I wouldn't even call it a romance novel. There is some romance in it, but it's very clean, and that's definitely not the central focus of this book.

One thing I didn't like and it almost put me off at the beginning of the book is something I consider a lazy authoring technique -- having the characters say things to each other like "y
Kathryn Long
Aug 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Beach House is a story that evoked a multitude of emotions in me. I laughed and cried, my heart broke, and yet filled with warmth and happiness. Monroe sent me on a roller coaster ride of moods and feelings, leaving me fullfilled at the end. It was truly an experience I wouldn't trade for anything.

I am a mother with two grown daughters. After finishing the book, I told them that even though I don't ask much from them, I am asking them to please read The Beach House. Those who have read it w
Just like your favorite cake recipe - if you add all the good stuff and cook it right, you get a sweet experience. This is a beach flavored love story with very likeable characters, appropriately all scratched with an acceptable flaw that can be properly bandaged through the rollout of the tale. Round up climax with a weather event and a newborn, add one inevitable end, sprinkle with baby sea turtles, and follow the acknowledgements with a taste of the sequel.

Predictable, formulaic, and pedestri
Nov 29, 2007 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Beverly Duffy
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 50-states
What a nice sweet beach read. Wonderful story about love and forgiveness.
Jill Althouse-Wood
Jul 10, 2020 rated it liked it
After so much heavy reading, this book felt like a vacation. I listened to this as an audiobook read by the author. My overall impression of the book was that it would make a good Hallmark movie. Then lo-and-behold, I found that it had indeed been made into a Hallmark movie (though I have not seen it). It had a tried and true formula of hardworking career woman who becomes softened by a new local and the relaxed nature of a new beau. I say "beau" because like this word, this book had a very old- ...more
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library-books
I read this many years ago and somehow missed entering it into my reading journal. I am so glad I forgot to log it in, because most likely I would not have picked it up for a reread. Don't let the cover or the genre (women's fiction / chick lit) fool you. This is not a fluff read. I absolutely loved it! What a gem!
Lin Stepp
Jun 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
I am a big Mary Alice Monroe fan ... and this was another of her fine books.
It is a rich, sweet story with warmth and a lovely link to the cycles of nature and sea turtles.
Cara return home to the island and her mother's house after 22 years of living independently, having a successful career - back to her family's 1930s beach cottage. She's just been fired as exec director in a Chicago ad agency over losing an account.
Arriving at the island, she learns her boyfriend hasn't been upfront with her
The Beach House is my first Mary Alice Monroe book and I loved it!!! Cara Rutledge comes back to her home after being fired from her high-level advertising job in Chicago. Her mother, Olivia, is totally involved in the nesting of the loggerhead sea turtles but welcomes her daughter back home. Olivia is dying and the summer becomes one of bittersweet healing for both women. This will be a book that will stay with me for a long time.

Go Cards! L1C4!!
Nov 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, one of my favorites that my friends and I still talk about and its been years since I've read it!
Apr 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Any title or book cover about summer beach days has me captivated. How many love the beach where every sense is enhanced. Mary Alice Monroe's The Beach House fulfilled my desire to be at the beach. Her writing was descriptive and easily predictable. The characters were well developed and likeable. The issues presented were numerous but not overwhelming. The information about the loggerhead turtles blended so well with the plot.
"The secret of a Southern woman: strength, resilience and beauty." Al
❤Marie Gentilcore
Aug 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, audiobook, series
I had this book on my TBR for a long time and I’m glad I finally got around to reading it. The story started off a little slow, but then it got really good. I enjoyed the characters and I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series. Hopefully, it won’t take me years to get to them. ;-)
Diana Parker
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful read...hard to put down!
Kevin Kern
Jul 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kev-5
I enjoyed this book and learned so much more about the turtles. They are fascinating creatures.
The human characters were very typically southern, but I enjoyed them, too. There are more beach house books, but I don't know if they are sequels or not.
Nadine Schwartz
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Truly tugs at your heart strings!
Jun 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
4+ Great beach read.
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Chicks On Lit: The Beach House (by Mary Alice Monroe) July schedule 93 82 Aug 02, 2016 12:00PM  

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Mary Alice Monroe is the New York Times bestselling author of 23 novels, including On Ocean Boulevard, which is the sixth installment of the Beach House series.

More than 7.5 million copies of her books have been published worldwide, and she’s earned numerous accolades and awards, including: Induction into the South Carolina Academy of Authors’ Hall of Fame; the Southwest Florida Author of Distinct

Other books in the series

Beach House (6 books)
  • Swimming Lessons (Beach House #2)
  • Beach House Memories (Beach House #3)
  • Beach House for Rent (Beach House #4)
  • Beach House Reunion (Beach House, #5)
  • On Ocean Boulevard

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