- Fizzy Thoughts: The Last Beach Bungalow

The Last Beach Bungalow

Friday, July 31, 2009

last beach bungalow
The Last Beach Bungalow
Jennie Nash
February 2008
288 pages

Synopsis (from barnesandnoble.com):

After five cancer-free years, April Newton should be celebrating, but instead she's restless. She feels her husband slipping away, and though the spectacular, stylish house he's building for her should be a fresh start, April finds herself wanting something more. As their move-in date approaches, she becomes obsessed with winning the right to buy the last bungalow in Redondo Beach, convinced that the quirky, lived-in little house represents comfort, completeness-everything she is missing in her life. And though her quest for the bungalow will take some surprising twists, it may put back together the pieces of her heart.

Like Care, I read this one after I read The Only True Genius in the Family, and while enjoyable, it didn’t quite impress me as much.  I think I need to take a break between books by the same author, otherwise I usually end up a little disappointed.

Also, like Care, I didn’t fall in love with April, probably because we have nothing in common and I thought she was just floating along, complaining about her unhappiness, but not really taking steps to confront or fix anything.  But the bungalow.  Oh, the bungalow.  I definitely fell in love with that, and it’s owner.  The bungalow scenes and stories were actually my favorite parts of the book. 

I think part of the reason why I wasn’t as excited with this one, compared to True Genius, is that the families are a bit similar.  There is a loving husband and a wife who is vaguely dissatisfied/unhappy.  In both stories the husbands are supportive, but remain in the background while the wife muddles through her emotions and unhappiness largely on her own.  And then she comes to a measure of understanding and resolution by the end.  Don’t get me wrong, both books are well written and enjoyable reads, but I think I did them a disservice by reading them back-to-back.

9 comment(s):

rhapsodyinbooks said...

It's true, after reading the same plot over and over your sympathy wanes a bit. But the bungalow part does sound good, at least!

bermudaonion said...

I haven't read any of Nash's work, but I want to. After reading your review, it sounds like I should start with True Genius.

Diane said...

I really enjoyed The Last Beach Bungalow when I had read it. I have not read True Genius.

Ti said...

The premise of this one sounds interesting to me but I don't like to read about women that just "float" along. I like strong, female characters so this one probably wouldn't do it for me.

BTW...hope you are having fun in the sun.

Jenners said...

I know what you mean about reading similar books by the same author too close together ... one will suffer by comparison!

Dawn - She is Too Fond of Books said...

I want to read this just to fall in love with the bungalow! I think when the kids go back to school I need to do some nesting and re-vamping around our abode!

Beth F said...

I haven't read either book! If I do pick up this author, I make sure to space out my reads.

Natasha @ Maw Books said...

I read this book first and enjoyed it but I LOVED The Only True Genius in the Family! Of the two, I'd recommend the latter more.

Jennie Nash said...

Thanks for reviewing THIS book, too. Your reaction is very interesting. It's great for me to read reviews by the same person on two books, because it's easy to contrast and compare. I'm working on novel #3, and while I don't know that it's going to be vastly different from the first two (I mean, not science fiction, not a historical love story), I HOPE that it will be better. BTW I was just on the central coast -- Pt. Reyes area. It was gorgeous!

In a real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot or will not read. It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish. ~S.I. Hayakawa

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
~St. Augustine

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.
~Mark Twain

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