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Mary Alice Monroe

New York Times Bestselling Author

Beach House Memories

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Series: The Beach House Series #2
Published by: Gallery Books
Release Date: April 9, 2013
Pages: 432
ISBN13: 978-1439170946

 
Synopsis

Continuing the saga of her bestselling novel The Beach House, Mary Alice Monroe skillfully weaves together issues of class, infidelity, and domestic abuse set in the tumultuous South in 1974. Beautifully wrought and rich with keen insight, this is an unforgettable tale of marriage, resilience, and one woman's private strength and commitment.

Autumn brings haunting beauty to the sun-soaked dunes on Isle of Palms, where Olivia “Lovie” Rutledge lives in her beloved Primrose Cottage. As the seasons change, Lovie remembers one special summer…

In 1974, America is changing, but Charleston remains eternally the same. When Lovie married aristocratic, well-connected businessman Stratton Rutledge, she turned over her fortune and fate to his control. But she refused to relinquish one thing: her family’s old seaside cottage. Precious summers with her children on the barrier island are Lovie’s refuge from social expectations and her overbearing husband’s philandering. Here, she is the “Turtle Lady,” tending the loggerhead turtles that lay their eggs in the warm night sand and then slip back into the sea.

Then, in the summer of ’74, biologist Russell Bennett visits to research the loggerheads. Their shared interest brings them together, and soon it blooms into a passionate, profound love—forcing Lovie to face an agonizing decision. Stratton’s influence is far-reaching, and if she dares to dream beyond a summer affair, she risks losing her reputation, her wealth, even her children.

This emotional tale of a strong woman torn between duty and desire, between tradition and change, is an empowering journey through the seasons of self-discovery. Until this autumn, this time of winds and tides, of holding on and letting go.

Reading Group Guide

 

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Praise

"Magical! Mary Alice Monroe's writing is always sensitive and true, as inspiring as the natural wonder about which she writes. This luminous tale-set in the South Carolina Lowcountry that we both love so deeply-was hard to put down. Fans of The Beach House will at last discover what happened during the summer of 1974. But readers new to Mary Alice Monroe need not worry, for this emotional story of love and loss stands alone."
—Dorothea Benton Frank, New York Times bestselling author

"Monroe's usual resplendent storytelling shines even brighter in Beach House Memories, which offers startling insights into the intimate connection between nature and the human heart."
—Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author


Excerpt

Chapter One

Lovie Rutledge believed memories were like the tides. Sometimes they rushed in with a pounding roar to topple you over. At other times they gently washed over you, lulling you to complacency and then tugging you back to halcyon days that, with the passing of years, seemed ever sweeter.

She seemed to spend more time with her memories of late, especially on evenings such as this one when the red sun lazily descended over the Intracoastal Waterway, and the jeweled tones of the sky deepened. From the trees, the pensive cries of birds called all to roost. Lovie sat on the windward porch, still and silent, attuned to the moody hour. Sunset was her favorite time of the day, an introspective hour when the sky brought down the curtain on what she knew were her final days.

Read the full excerpt