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Beach Trip – Book Review

beach-trip “See Lola, you’re the only one with nothing to confess. You’re the only one who’s never done anything rotten enough to ask for forgiveness.”

Lola put her had back and laughed, a bright swelling laugh that made the others smile to hear it.

“Why are you laughing?” Mel asked.

“What’s so funny?”

“If only it were that easy,” Lola said. – From Beach Trip

Beach Trip, Cathy Holton’s third novel, brings together four women in their forties  for a reunion on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Although best friends at a small Southern college during the 1980’s, all four have taken different paths in their lives – and all four are hiding secrets. Sara is married with two children and struggles with the recent autism diagnosis of her son; Annie, also married with two children, has spent her whole life obsessively cleaning and making the world around her perfect while a decision from her past weighs heavily on her shoulders; Lola finds herself married to a controlling bully and has lost herself in prescription medications; and Mel, a twice divorced novelist covers her loneliness with humor, alcohol and meaningless sex.

Holton fully develops each character by weaving the present with the past and moving back and forth between each woman’s point of view. Throughout the novel, there is a sense of mystery and unspoken truths which creates the tension that drives the narrative. By gradually revealing each of her characters, Holton allows the reader time to get to know them. Despite her crassness, I found myself appreciating Mel the most – a character who perhaps is the most damaged, yet faces life head on with a spirit I could admire.

Beach Trip falls squarely in the genre of women’s fiction. Holton captures the essence of female friendship – the intimacy laced with conflict, the warmth and self-deprecating humor, and the comradery which develops when faced with crises. It is an enjoyable read with a surprising twist at the end. Holton’s prose is often funny. The reader gets the feeling that Holton cares deeply about each of her characters and their lives.

Beach Trip is recommended for readers who enjoy women’s fiction and are looking for a good summertime read.


Read an excerpt of Beach Trip.

Read more reviews offered through TLC Book Tours.


  1. June 15, 2009    

    I’m touring this at the end of the month, so I’m glad to see it’s good.

  2. June 15, 2009    

    TOTALLY agree with your review! I liked Mel too but identified most with Sara.

    Wendy, thanks so much for the time and energy you put into all your reviews. You’re amazing and I really appreciate all your hard work. Thank you!

  3. June 15, 2009    

    Kathy: I hope you’ll like it as much as I did!

    Lisa: Thank YOU for the opportunity to get these books to review. I really feel an obligation to give them the time they deserve, and I am happy to be one of the bloggers who reviews for TLC!

  4. June 15, 2009    

    Looking forward to this one this summer; glad you enjoyed it. i enjoyed your review.

  5. June 17, 2009    

    Diane: Hope you’ll like the books as much as I did!

  6. June 17, 2009    

    I don’t read books like this often, but it does sound like a good one. Thanks for bringing it to my attention, Wendy.

  7. June 20, 2009    

    WendyCat: I really enjoyed this…but I tend to like Women’s Fiction a lot.

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