Discovering new authors is one of the joys of receiving Proofs or Advanced Reader Copies of books through giveaways. Received as a Goodreads First Reads giveaway, this latest novel, Whisper Beach, is no exception. This is the first time this pedometer geek read a book by Shelley Noble, but it definitely won’t be the last. Hopefully, there may even be a sequel to this story. Here is the extended review.
by Shelley Noble
Published by William Morrow, 2015
an imprint of HarperCollins Publisher
You can’t go home again, or can you? That’s the premise behind the chick-lit novel, Whisper Beach. Shelley Noble writes a tale of a woman who returns to her home town of Whisper Beach, New Jersey. For Vanessa Moran (known as Van to her friends and family), this seems to be the truth behind her return…can she go home again? Does she even want to?
As the back cover blurb indicates, fifteen years earlier, at age seventeen, Van fell in love and lost her virginity, but not to the same boy. Pregnant, desperate, and humiliated, she fled town with her secret intact.
Reappearing after all this time for her cousin Gigi’s (and her best friend while growing up) husband’s funeral, Van plans to make a brief appearance and then leave right after the event. Unresolved issues from her past seem to overwhelm the girl, now a woman, who is otherwise in control and successful as a businesswoman in New York City.
Despite this, old friends (Suze and Dorie especially) welcome and convince her to stay on for a few days, at least. However, her lingering issues are still at the forefront even as new troubles loom and perceptions of the past change.
A few days become a week, and then two when Van helps Dorie reorganize and streamline the Blue Crab, Dorie’s restaurant. Van also reconnects with her old love, Joe, but it is not a smooth transition as both are dealing with lingering hurt from the past. He has never stopped loving her (and she, him), but he is wary about trusting her again.
As the summer progresses, trouble comes from unexpected sources, which will have Van rethinking the past and re-evaluating the friendships she once took for granted.
The characters of Van, Dorie, Suze, Joe, Gigi, Dana, and others are well drawn. The dialogue is realistic as is the setting of a beach town, making this a perfect beach read. Yet, some heavy issues like abuse are also present in the story so the story isn’t all fluff.
If this is a standalone novel, the ending is like life…who knows where it will take these characters next. If there is a sequel planned, so much the better as the ending left so much up in the air as to the resolution of some issues with which the protagonist is dealing. Personally, this reader would like to know what next for Van and the other characters.