I picked up Clare Cook’s novel Life’s a Beach because I was in the mood for a book to give me a jolt of laughter the way thoroughbreds get a jolt of energy and nutrients when given horse supplements. I was not disappointed.
Ginger is a fun-loving, woman a bit older than I am (specifically, in her early forties), with a sister about to turn fifty. She’s still living in her parent’s garage apartment (she hates the term FROG – finished room over garage), with her cat named Boyfriend and her non-committal boyfriend, a glass-blower named Noah. Glass is a trend in Ginger’s life. Between real jobs, she’s been trying to find herself, and her current incarnation involves making sea glass jewelry.
Against the background of her mother’s entree into the Red Hat Society, her father’s unwillingness to downsize and sell the family home, and her sister’s upcoming birthday, Ginger is a breath of fresh air, but living in denial, so when her eight-year-old nephew Riley gets tapped to be an extra in a horror movie, she is more than willing to go to the set and act as his guardian.
Clare Cook, who previously gave us Must Love Dogs, sends us on a wonderfully funny, sometimes sappy journey to the shore and beyond, all the while holding up a rather forgiving mirror to those of us who know that fifty really is the new thirty.