Review: Lighthouse Beach by Shelley Noble

Title: Lighthouse Beach by Shelley Noble
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction
Length: 400 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss


From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shelley Noble comes a heartrending and uplifting novel about friendship, love, and what we’re willing to sacrifice for our dreams.

What was supposed to be an idyllic wedding leads to an unexpected journey of self-discovery…

When Lillo Gray pulls up to Kennebunkport’s most exclusive hotel wearing a borrowed dress and driving a borrowed VW van, she knows she’s made a big mistake. She’s not even sure why Jessica Parker invited her to her posh wedding. They haven’t seen each other since they were unhappy fourteen-year-old girls at fat camp. And now they’re from two completely different worlds. There’s no way Lillo fits in the rarefied circles Jessica travels in.

Jess isn’t sure she’s ready to go through with this wedding, but she’s been too busy making everyone else happy to think about what she wants. But when she and her two closest friends, Allie and Diana, along with Lillo, discover her fiancé with his pants down in the hotel parking lot, she’s humiliated…and slightly relieved. In a rush to escape her crumbling life, Jess, Allie, and Diana pile into Lillo’s beat-up old van and head up the coast to Lighthouse Island. Once there, she hopes to figure out the next chapter in her life.

Nursing broken hearts and broken dreams, four lost women embark on a journey to find their way back into happiness with new love, friendship, and the healing power of Lighthouse Beach.


Lighthouse Beach by Shelley Noble is a beautiful novel of friendship and healing.

Although Lillo Gray has not heard from her childhood friend Jess Parker for several years, she reluctantly decides to attend Jess’s upcoming wedding. Barely recognizing her formerly overweight friend, Lillo senses all is not right with the bride-to-be. Her instincts prove to be correct when she, Jess, Jess’s friends Allie Lusano and Diane Walters catch Jess’s fiancé in flagrante delicto in the parking lot of the hotel. Defying her overbearing father, Jess cancels the wedding and runs off with Lillo, Jess, Allie, and Diane to Lighthouse Beach, Lillo’s small hometown on the coast of Maine. Lillo is a reluctant hostess who gradually come to enjoy the new friendships she is forging as she reconnects with Jess.  With their departure date fast approaching, the women support one another as they face their problems head on. But will Jess continue to resist her controlling father’s extreme efforts to bring her back into the family’s stranglehold?

Lillo’s family unexpectedly provided her with the opportunity to fulfill her dream of becoming a doctor. On track to become a surgeon, she returned home, heartbroken, devastated and unwilling to talk about what precipitated her decision to leave her residency.  Feeling overwhelming guilt about her parents’ sacrifice to pay for college and med school,  Lillo avoids talking to them now they have moved to Florida. She leads a very solitary life and ekes out a paltry living as she works a variety of odd jobs.  Having Jess, Allie and Diane stay with her in her cozy cottage is at first a huge inconvenience yet oddly enough, their presence slowly forces her to confront her demons.

Jess’s wealthy family has eroded her self-worth as they bullied her into her agreeing to marry a man she does not love or particularly like. She lets them walk all over her and finds it easier to give in their demands.  Allie and Diane are shocked at the change in her behavior and they, along with Lillo, give Jess the courage she needs to reclaim her life. But will Jess remain firm about her decisions when confronted with her father’s wrath?

Diane is the CEO of company that develops phone apps and she is confident and outspoken. A chance encounter with Ian Lachlan, the town’s  brooding and troubled veterinarian, provides her with the chance to reconnect with her love of horseback riding. Diane is not put off by Ian’s taciturn and moody company as she mucks stalls in return for riding his horses. Diane is taken off guard by her unexpected attraction to Ian but will she break through the walls he has erected to protect himself from further pain?

Allie is a bit of an enigma since she is a bit reticent, shy and intent on keeping the peace.  At first planning to leave Lighthouse Beach, she changes her mind although she is rather uneasy about extending her time away from home. She begins to come out of her shell and in the process, Allie begins to heal from a heartbreaking loss.  The  future for Allie and a man she is smitten with is rather murky as her vacation draws to a close.

Lighthouse Beach is a delightfully engaging novel with a wonderful cast of eclectic characters.  The women’s newly formed friendships are believable and their interactions are endearing. Shelley Noble brings the beach setting vibrantly to life and her descriptive prose makes it very easy for readers to picture the beach, lighthouse and tight-knit community. An uplifting and heartwarming novel that will appeal to readers of contemporary women’s fiction.

1 Comment

Filed under Contemporary, Lighthouse Beach, Rated B, Review, Shelley Noble, William Morrow Paperbacks, Women's Fiction

One Response to Review: Lighthouse Beach by Shelley Noble

  1. Timitra

    Thanks for the review Kathy