Written in first person, Monarch Beach is chick lit rather than romance fiction thus, no one should be surprised that conventions of the romance genre are ignored here Readers who consider adultery taboo may be turned off by Amanda s affair with Edward while she is still legally the wife of Andre Blick Frankly, I was less bothered by her unfaithfulness than by her shallowness I quickly grew weary of the endless details of couture and cuisine, and I found nothing to admire or like in Amanda s immaturity and passivity Andre has made all the decisions in their marriage, and after she leaves him, her mother takes over Amanda seems to revert to adolescence in the games she plays hiding her activities from her mother.See full review at The Romance Dish Monarch Beach is the perfect beach read of the summer I spent my Saturday laying out in the sun just enjoying this book Enjoying the story, enjoying the characters and enjoying the writing It s just one of those books you read, it s a great diversion for an afternoon yet you still think about it when it s over Amanda is a character I will remember as well as her mother and her son Amanda has found her husband cheating on her and has no idea how to proceed Her life has fallen apart in the span of just a few minutes I can t even imagine what that would be like Now unfortunately I don t have a wealthy mother to take me away for the summer, but just as well I got to escape with Amanda in this book Ms Hughes does a wonderful job making the reader feel the emotions that Amanda feels and empathizing with her Everything she felt I felt It was really great writing on the author s part And I didn t even feel jealousy or disbelief that she got to go away for the summer These things do happen and Amanda and her mother were so likable, that I was pulling for them so it didn t matter that they could escape in this way that most people can t I wanted them to and I wanted to see what would happen The characters were amazing Mostly we see Amanda since the book is about how she deals with this situation But I also enjoyed her mother, her son, her best friend and the others that were brought into the plot All were interesting and kept the plot moving.The plot never waned from the opening scene where Amanda s life breaks in two At the start she goes back in time, remembering and that really helped in getting to know Amanda and how she got to where she is and how she will get to where she will be as well Everything that is in the book really has a point and you understand it by the end I read quickly through the book while enjoying the sun on Saturday afternoon It seemed the perfect place to enjoy the book And enjoy it I did Once I finally could put the time into reading it without interruptions I could not put Monarch Beach down I wanted to know what would happen next and how Amanda would handle things I was almost sad when it was over because I was done with Amanda, yet the book came to a very satisfying conclusion for me But I had been around Amanda for several hours and I was not ready to let her go yet That to me is a hallmark of a wonderful character and book.Ms Hughes has crafted a book that while it seems simple in plot, it s not and the meaning creeps up on you at the end You feel very satisfied once you have finished it But the beauty is to get to that satisfaction you have just read a wonderful light, yet not light beach read if that makes sense While the subject matter is tough, I never felt down Ms Hughes manages to handle the subject matter in a way that never belittles it but never makes it completely depressing How she did that I m really not sure, but I loved it It never felt like it was playing down Amanda s troubles but it wasn t playing them to the hilt either It s really hard to explain without giving away the book The simplest thing to say is to read it when it comes out tomorrow It s a fabulous book that can be enjoyed by anyone who enjoys general fiction or women s fiction It s a must for your beach bag, pool bag, lake bag or any vacation bag this summer. For those of you looking for a riveting, sassy, sexy beach read, look no further than MONARCH BEACH I previewed the book by reading chapter one, and couldn t put it down for three days Unfaithful husbands, mothers and daughters, mothers and sons, friendship, and new love are explored in MONARCH BEACH It is a delicious debut in women s fiction. I received a copy of Monarch Beach from a Goodreads giveaway.I realized while reading this one that unless there is a zany main character, or a unique situation, chick lit isn t really for me I really enjoyed The Devil Wears Prada and The Nanny Diaries, for example If it s mainly just about real life struggles women go through, I start to get antsy Maybe because these types of books are too realistic and not enough of an escape for me.So take this review with a grain of salt When Amanda Blick, a young mother and kindhearted San Francisco heiress, finds her gorgeous French chef husband wrapped around his sous chef, she knows she must flee her life in order to rebuild it The opportunity falls into her lap when her very lovable mother suggests Amanda and her young son, Max, spend the summer with her at the St Regis Resort in Laguna Beach With the waves right outside her windows and nothing to worry about than finding the next relaxing thing to do, Amanda should be having the time of her life and escaping the drama But instead, she finds herself faced with a kind, older divorcee who showers her with attention and she discovers that the road to healing is never simple This is the sometimes funny, sometimes bitter, but always moving story about the mistakes and discoveries a woman makes when her perfect world is turned upside down.This is one of those lazy Sunday afternoon books It has the expected drama I gasped during the first page , the hot new guy, and a few sexy scenes It s enjoyable the way romantic comedies are enjoyable you go in pretty much knowing what you re going to get So, in that sense, I would say this book for the most part fulfills all those desired elements.My three star rating is mainly due to Amanda herself She didn t really have any flaws When bad things happened, they happened to her Too much of a victim, maybe The first chapter the chapters are long in this book sometimes as long as 40 pages is essentially the backstory of her relationship with sexy but lecherous Andre, her husband of ten years The chapter is bookended by Amanda catching Andre in the act She had my sympathy in the beginning What woman wouldn t side with another woman who just caught her husband cheating on her All the backstory actually hurt her case for me Red flags popped up all over the place, and I found myself thinking she was an idiot for falling for someone who even admitted that the concept of monogamy was foreign to French men Hello, Amanda Run away now The fact that he had been cheating on her for years and that she had no idea was a little unbelievable, too She didn t even have her suspicions I found it hard to feel for her the I knew about her past And, again, maybe this is how things really are Maybe lots of women marry the wrong men and want to believe so badly that they re happy that they re blind to even their own suspicions But in fiction In fiction, I want the woman to have some inkling, to have some plan of action when the sh t hits the fan, to be stronger than the rest of us out here in the real world To give those of us in this type of situation a role model for how to stand up for ourselves and get out.Amanda constantly asked her best friend what she should do, but she never had any plans of her own Then her mom swoops in and offers her an all expense paid summer vacation in Laguna Beach so Amanda and her son Max can spend some time away from Andre.Amanda s family is incredibly rich, so money is not even a thought for them Amanda often tells us about the luxuries of the St Regis, from the chauffeured Bentley that drove them all over town, to ordering exorbitant amounts of room service Beyond having a cad of a husband, she doesn t suffer from or struggle with anything, really Aside from raising Max, she doesn t work and has never had to And she very well could now, at this point in her life, since Max is in school all day Her life is pretty uncomplicated and a bit decadent A completely different world from mine.If the first chapter had been reduced to a few key things Andre is a pig Amanda s friend from prep school, Stephanie, is Andre s silent partner in his restaurant Amanda has an eight year old son , and the details of their marriage left out to be sprinkled in periodically later , I probably could have gotten past the brand name dropping With my sympathy for her already waning, her lack of life struggles only made it worse.But this might just be another example of why I m not the target audience for this book Shows like Sex and the City never appealed to me But for others, the rich life style might be something they can relate to, or something they want to live vicariously through I m not a brand name kind of girl, so mentioning her Manolo s or her Theory sundresses didn t impress me.See what I mean about the grain of salt All that said, I was able to read the book with relative ease The ending was actually a bit unexpected, which I appreciated.If you re looking for a beach book, with a bit of a vicarious woman s fantasy vibe, you ll probably really enjoy Monarch Beach. Beach is the debut book from author Anita Hughes Amanda Blick is a middle aged wife and mom who has a great life until one Tuesday morning Tuesday morning she finds her gorgeous husband, enjoying the restaurants sous chef.Now, what you need to know about Amanda is she is loaded So after finding another woman s legs wrapped around her husband, her mother suggests a getaway A getaway for the super wealthy, complete with pool waiters a stay in the lap of luxury at the St Regis Resort in Laguna Beach While enjoying their time in the sun she meets a new guy, making her realize she is than a wife and mother She soon realizes the world is still full of possibilities.I really enjoyed, Monarch Beach it was light reading with touches of seriousness It was a different from other books I ve read in the sense Amanda was so rich she could escape easily than anyone I know There is lots of name brands listed, in someways I thought it made Amanda shallow however I was reminded near the end of the book Amanda was really into fashion.I would say I never overly liked or disliked Amanda But that s ok, because I really enjoyed the book This is a fantastic book to take to the beach And I ll tell you what if you can t hit the beach this summer just grab yourself a copy of Monarch Beach, a fruity drink and stick your feet in the kiddie pool because Anita is gonna bring the beach to you I m definitely recommending Monarch Beach for your beach bag I really wanted to like this book and it started out very promising But somehow, as the story progressed I couldn t wait to be finished Why Well here goes WARNING SPOILERS TO FOLLOW 1 Amanda Blick the main character flat out annoyed the living daylights out of me Naive, spoiled, confused, lazyshe highlights everything that I am and don t want to be Joke Kind of She isn t the first person to be cheated on and won t be the last She isn t the first person who has to pull it together to take care of a her child either which she doesn t In any case, Amanda s mother picked up the pieces for her and still Amanda complained and wallowed I m not sure who Amanda s character appeals to but she didn t appeal to me in the least.2 The plot was too predictable Shady rebound fling Check Rich mom whisking her away to a beautiful place where she doesn t have to worry about anything Check Neat, happy little ending Check I m all for a tidy beach read but this one just didn t work 3 The writing quality was not good As the story progressed the author seemed hell bent on name dropping instead of actually making sure the story had structure and the characters had personality I think I learned about fashion in this book then I did in the last issue of InStyle Sorry to be so harsh with this review As I said I really wanted to like this book, especially since I love the Monarch Beach resort and think living there would be heavenly But this just didn t work for me. This book was just odd to me I get why Amanda left Andre because of the cheating Then, when she met Edward can t put my finger on it, but, he was just weird Too good to be true and somewhat fake Then , she finds out he cheated on her too Amanda confides in her mother and she convinces her to follow her dreams of going to Parsons School of Design in NYC Now, on the last day, Amanda is having a cocktail at the hotel bar and Edward pops in to join her He tells her how sorry he is about his cheating and asks if he can visit her in NY for Thanksgiving Amanda says yes.what I would have told him where to go personally Her son runs into the hotel with a butterfly and he tells her to hold it and make a wish She makes a wish didn t mention what the wish was and releases the butterfly The story ends Huh Not sure if there is a sequel or not but it just seemed like so much was missing from this storyalmost like it was a general outline written down but was missing so much that could have made it sooooo much better Ok, I m done I thoroughly enjoyed this book After reading several deep and thought provoking books, I needed a change of pace This was a light, quick read and exactly what I needed. Anita Hughes Monarch Beach Is An Absorbing Debut Novel About One Woman S Journey Back To Happiness After An Affair Splinters Her Perfect Marriage And Lifewhat It Means To Be Loved, Betrayed And To Love AgainWhen Amanda Blick, A Young Mother And Kindhearted San Francisco Heiress, Finds Her Gorgeous French Chef Husband Wrapped Around His Sous Chef, She Knows She Must Flee Her Life In Order To Rebuild It The Opportunity Falls Into Her Lap When Her Very Lovable Mother Suggests Amanda And Her Young Son, Max, Spend The Summer With Her At The St Regis Resort In Laguna Beach With The Waves Right Outside Her Windows And Nothing To Worry About Than Finding The Next Relaxing Thing To Do, Amanda Should Be Having The Time Of Her Life And Escaping The Drama But Instead, She Finds Herself Faced With A Kind, Older Divorcee Who Showers Her With Attention And She Discovers That The Road To Healing Is Never Simple This Is The Sometimes Funny, Sometimes Bitter, But Always Moving Story About The Mistakes And Discoveries A Woman Makes When Her Perfect World Is Turned Upside Down This book is definitely chick lit, but it was good, surprisingly good since I don t read too many romance, beachy novels But I was hooked within the first few pages The writer does a great job making her characters likeable and very real The book is mainly about Amanda Blick She is a young, 30 something mother who also happens to be a rich California heiress One day she walks into her husbands restaurant to find him literally wrapped around his sous chef in the kitchen He s French and tries to win Amanda back by telling her it is normal for Frenchmen to take a lover and it means nothing, but Amanda is having none of it She takes her son Max and escapes to the St Regis Resort in So Cal to recuperate and decide her future However, she soon meets a kind, older divorcee who starts to shower her with attention But don t be surprised if this novel catches you off guard The ending was a different one than I anticipated This was a great book to escape too I loved how rich and extravagant Amanda and her mom s lifestyle was Fun, fun book to read I will put this author on my too read list for sure I received this book as part of the Goodreads Firstreads program.
Anita Hughes was born in Sydney, Australia She attended UC Berkeley s Masters in Creative Writing program She is the author of MONARCH BEACH, MARKET STREET, LAKE COMO, FRENCH COAST, ROME IN LOVE, ISLAND IN THE SEA, SANTORINI SUNSETS, CHRISTMAS IN PARIS, WHITE SAND, BLUE SEA, EMERALD COAST, CHRISTMAS IN LONDON and CALIFORNIA SUMMER, and CHRISTMAS IN VERMONT published by St Martin s Press ROME I
- 282 pages
- Monarch Beach
- Anita Hughes
- 19 May 2017 Anita Hughes