13015220-200x300I work in a profession where I see the results of the utter devastation that occurs when a life is shattered overnight. Prior to starting my career, I’d carefully considered how people reacted when their lives changed overnight due to death, job loss or infidelity and Monarch Beach by Anita Hughes covers the latter. I received Monarch Beach as a free book from Librarything to read and review and it appeared like just another summer novel where the woman prevails after the man does her wrong, at first glance. After reading it, however, there was more substance to Monarch Beach.

Amanda Blick has what most would consider a rich, fulfilled life. She is an heiress married to a handsome restaurant owner and has a mischievous son. She lives the American Dream in a way that many cannot fathom and in a community that embraces her. While she gave up her career dreams, she was content with the life she had with her husband and her son, Max right up until the day she found her husband in a compromising position with a woman at his job. At the same time, she gets devastating news about her beloved mother, who is her remaining parent. How Amanda chooses to handle the situation is what this novel is about and our glimpse into Amanda’s healing process is intriguing. As Amanda struggles to move forward, we see that she is not as strong as she thinks and that her vulnerabilities lead her into making some decisions, even at the end of the novel, that seem rather dubious. Overall, the plot is excellent and the character is real. Amanda feels like a friend of ours that makes us cringe, makes us cheer, and makes us sigh because we wonder if she will really get it together. Ultimately, the book left me wondering if she would. This isn’t your typical beach read, but it was easy to read and a good book that was well worth my time and entertaining.