I bought Beach Read by Emily Henry because I saw it recommended on tons of blogs and lists, and because I thought it was kind of hilarious and bold to name a beach read “Beach Read.”
Based on the cover, the title, and a brief description–two rival writers find themselves living in neighboring vacation cabins–I expected a light, funny book, an actual beach read.
Well, it’s not really. It is funny in parts, and I enjoyed it very much, but it was a total tearjerker! I don’t want to spoil too much of the plot, but one of the pair, January, inherited the cabin from her father when he died. She found out about it at his funeral when his mistress showed up with the key to give her. As you might imagine, January has Feelings about finding out that her beloved father had an affair and that she is now living in the cabin where it happened. The other author, Augustus, has a host of his own issues to work out.
Also–it doesn’t take place on a beach! The cabins are a short walk from one of the Great Lakes, where there is kind of a beach, but it’s not a sunny warm beach like the cover shows, nor do the characters spend much time at all on the water. This of course does not affect the quality of the book at all, but I was surprised given the cover art.
Had I known it was a tearjerker, I probably wouldn’t have picked it up, and I would have missed out on a great book, so the deception turned out for the best. There are some unrealistic plot twists, but the heart of the book is the relationship between January and Augustus and how they come to trust and depend on each other. That part rings true and is genuinely moving.