Summer is drawing to an end, the kids will be heading back to school, and more hectic schedules are about to begin. If you would like to squeeze in one last summer read that will make you feel like you're at the beach, I would like to suggest The Beach House by Mary Alice Monroe. This is a story that takes place in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. It is about the relationship between a mother and daughter, a romance, and some of life's most enduring lessons: "true love involves sacrifice, family is forever and the mistakes of the past can be forgiven". However, what I enjoyed even more about this story is the knowledge I gained about loggerhead sea turtles. Aside from the portion of the fictional story that provides information about the turtles, each chapter opens with just a short blurb about the life of these majestic and endangered creatures. The author lives in South Carolina, is a member of The Island Turtle Team, and is involved with the SC Aquarium, so she is able to provide interesting and accurate information on this topic.
I first read this book several years ago when it was chosen as a selection by my friend Susan, for our book club at work to read. When the group met to discuss the story, Susan brought some information about sea turtles that she obtained when visiting South Carolina. I became even more intrigued about these creatures and finally understood more about the many turtle nests my family and I had seen roped off on the beach when vacationing is southern Florida. So whether you're in the mood for some "Southern Fiction", a romance, getting lost on the beaches of the Isle of Palms, or learning about the sea turtles, this story will not disappoint you. Both the characters of this story as well as the plight of the loggerheads will stay with you long after you read the last page and close the book.