Beach House for Rent, due out in June, 2017, is the fourth in a series by Mary Alice Monroe, one of my favorite authors. Monroe never fails to entertain her readers with descriptions of the low country so lifelike you can almost taste the salt air. Her characters capture your heart while they educate you almost without you even knowing it.
Along with loggerhead turtles, Beach House for Rent explores the antics and habits of the many shore birds of the Atlantic coast as artist, Heather Wyatt, under commission from the U.S. Postal Service, rents the house for the summer while painting the birds for postage stamps. Heather is extremely shy, and though not quite agoraphobic, she seldom ventures outside her comfort zone. Then she meets Bo Stanton. Soon she is rescuing injured birds, as well as painting.
This is an enchanting story of love and tragedy set against a background of life in a small costal town where the people care for each other, and for the wildlife and the environment. They commiserate about how much of the beach has been lost to the dunes being swept away in storms due to climate change. They wonder at the loggerhead turtles, and they warn visitors not to swim with or feed the dolphins.
Their reverence for the world and all its inhabitants is awe inspiring without being preachy. Then there are comments about the historic beach cottages that were once oceanfront property with panoramic views. That is, before the dunes were flattened, paved, and littered with McMansions.
Although this book is not yet on store shelves, I am already anxious for the next one. I want to know what happens to these wonderful characters.
What Made This Book Reviewer Grumpy?
Not much — only the occasional split-infinitive, and sentence begun with a conjunction.