‘When pillar-of-the-community Harry Stewart dies of a sudden heart attack, the whole village is devastated – except for his wife Karen, who knew what an abusive alcoholic Harry had become.
But Karen is wracked with guilt about the circumstances of Harry’s death. Her only comfort in her grief and isolation is William, the sympathetic local vicar.
William’s listening ear soon becomes a shoulder to cry on, and before long Karen realises she is falling in love. But William has a wife and teenaged daughter, not to mention a parish to watch over – and be watched by.’
This book was just what I needed to read – I’ve read quite a few brilliant but heavy going books lately, and a few tense mysteries, and I just wanted a light, quick read to cleanse my reading palette.
Meet Me On The Beach is, ultimately, a love story. Karen and William are in love with each other, against the odds, and they can’t do anything about it. She’s recently widowed, with her step-daughter, who she is constantly at odds with, living with her. He’s married, with a daughter, and he’s a vicar to boot – eyes are on them already, and the scandal that an affair would cause could ruin both of their lives.
The only place they feel they can be together and be honest about their feelings is the beach. It becomes their meeting place, and becomes the backdrop for a lot of the book’s scenes.
I really enjoyed this book – it didn’t require huge concentration to follow, there weren’t too many characters to make it confusing or complicated, and the story was straight forward. There weren’t multiple narratives, no jumps in the timeline, and no flashbacks.
The author deals with alcoholism, grief, depression and illness with sensitivity – she doesn’t shy away from it and it’s not gratuitous, it’s an integral part of the story and they are hugely necessary to the plot, and for understanding the characters.
It’s just a lovely book to read. The ending is fairly obvious from the start, there are no major surprises, no shock moments, just a happy ending, and an epilogue that takes place four years after the ending (which is brilliant, I do love a good epilogue!)
I’d recommend it to any fans of an easy read, any fans of chick-lit, and fans of a love story.