Buy, read, and discuss Lighthouse Beach:
Shelley Noble is a former professional dancer and choreographer and has worked on a number of films. She lives at the Jersey shore where she loves to visit lighthouses and vintage carousels. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and Romance Writers of America.
Shelley Noble has, over the years, become one of my favorite writers of “beach books,” as most of her novels are set in coastal locations. (I grew up on the Jersey shore, and it’s still the home of my heart, so even when a story takes place in Maine, as Lighthouse Beach does, I feel like I’m visiting the beaches of my childhood.)
In this book, she combines two of my favorite things: beach settings, and women supporting other women, which may be the ultimate combination of storytelling. Each of the five women in this story: Lillo, Jess, Allie, Diana, and Mac, are a bit broken, a bit lost, a bit in need of a restart. In “kidnapping” Jess from a wedding she truly didn’t want to go through with, and using Lillo’s Lighthouse Beach community as their sanctuary, each of them begins to heal. (Mac is a longtime resident, but her story becomes intertwined with that of the other four, so it seems wrong not to include her.)
Friendships between women are things to be treasured, and while some of the friendships among these five people exist at the start of the story, others form as the tale is told. Never once does anything feel contrived. Noble’s characters all have distinct voices and personalities, and they feel like the women we all know.
While Lillo and Jess are the true heart of this book, I found myself (likely because I’m three months away from turning 48) identifying with Mac a lot. Maybe it’s because I’ve always harbored a secret desire to live in a lighthouse (or at least in the keeper’s cottage).
While the women in this book are the main characters, there are men, lovely men, in the story as well. Ned, Ian, Clancy – all have their moments to shine, and all are as distinct and interesting as the women who interact with them.
As I was reading this, I found myself wishing I could join the group in Maggie’s kitchen or Lillo’s living room, or on the beach. It doesn’t matter if it’s wine or beer or tea or some of each. What matters is the support we get from our circle of friends, and Shelley Noble has captured that with humor, wit, sincerity, and real dimension.
Goes well with a glass of cabernet sipped while sitting in the sand on a chilly coastal evening. Sweaters, jeans, and bare feet recommended. Bonfire optional.
Tuesday, May 29th: Bibliotica
Wednesday, May 30th: BookNAround
Thursday, May 31st: Instagram: @theloudlibrarylady
Friday, June 1st: Instagram: @megabunnyreads
Monday, June 4th: Instagram: @oddandbookish
Tuesday, June 5th: Tina Says…
Wednesday, June 6th: A Chick Who Reads
Thursday, June 14th: Ms. Nose in a Book
Tuesday, June 12th: From the TBR Pile
Wednesday, June 13th: Wall-to-Wall Books
Thursday, June 14th: Jessicamap Reviews
Friday, June 15th: Literary Quicksand