Monarch Beach

Anita Hughes. St. Martin’s Griffin, $14.99 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-0-312-64304-1
A divorcée discovers a new life—and possibly new love—in Hughes’s overwrought debut. Raised amid San Francisco’s rich old families and living with her eight-year-old son and handsome husband in picturesque Marin County, Amanda Blick has what appears to be the perfect life. But when she catches her husband, a French chef, with his sous chef, Amanda jumps at her widowed mother’s invitation to the St. Regis Resort in Laguna Beach. In between obsessing about her ex, deliberating about her wardrobe, exercising, and sunbathing, Amanda meets Edward—another chef. Can she allow herself to trust again and fall in love? Amanda’s immaturity about relationships is compounded by Hughes’s flat prose and painfully awkward descriptions of sex. Combined with her monied entitlement and deferential, almost childlike attitudes, the result is a protagonist who lacks agency or any real sense of responsibility. Escapism is one thing, but Amanda’s incessant brand name-dropping grows tiresome, as do the marketing brochure–worthy descriptions of the resort. Agent: Melissa Flashman, Trident Media Group. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/09/2012
Release date: 06/19/2012
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Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-250-01584-6
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