Wendy Wax’s latest release Ten Beach Road is a winner. It has everything I love in a good read; strong female characters, an appealing and involved plot, and an ending that is not only happy, but hopeful.
Madeline, Avery and Nicole are from opposite walks of life but they all have one thing in common – they share the same financial advisor. And when they wake one day to find their financial manager has run off leaving them wiped out, the blow is crushing. Their only hope is the rundown beachfront ‘mansion’ left to them in the financial settlement. Thinking they can make a quick sale, take the profits and run, they’re shocked to find out this ‘fixer upper’ will need lots of work before they can even see one dime.
The ramshackle mansion at Ten Beach Road isn’t the only thing that needs care. In addition to their severe financial problems, each woman is in the middle of their own personal life demolition making them reluctant to trust anyone, least of all each other. What begins as a long hot summer between strangers with lots of hard work the only thing to look forward to, turns into an adventure, that even I as a reader wasn’t prepared for. The author has skillfully used the renovation of the house as a metaphor for the restoration of three lives badly in need of remodeling. As the layers of grime are removed from the walls, so too personal upsets, hurts and disappointments tumble down revealing hope, strength and a better future.
What could have been just a rehashed story ripped from the headlines – financial advisor runs off with client’s money – goes much deeper into the lives of the people affected by this type of crime. When real life financial advisor Bernie Madoff was arrested for his Ponzi scheme, the spotlight was turned on him, receiving the lion’s share of publicity. But what about the thousands of people who were destroyed by his greed? In Ten Beach Road Wendy Wax goes beyond the lead story to the real crime – the people who had to rebuild their lives from scratch – and she expertly portrays the devastation and anguish one would suffer if they lost everything they’d worked for. But, I must reiterate, this is a story of hope. Instead of a constant reminder to the reader that life can be overwhelming and difficult to navigate, she’s created three women whose struggle back toward survival is heartwarming and realistic and serves as a reminder that anything is possible if you really want it.
Do books based on actual events intrigue you?
Maria Lokken is an avid romance reader and an award winning television producer
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