Life's a Beach

Marshbury Beach Books
21
Free sample

New York Times bestseller! Chosen as a best summer read by People, Redbook, Good Housekeeping, and Good Morning America! 

Life's a bit of a beach these days for Ginger Walsh, who finds herself single at 41 and back home living in the family FROG (Finished Room Over Garage). She's hoping for a more fulfilling life as a sea glass artist, but mostly she's babysitting her sister's kids and sharing overnights with Noah, her glassblower boyfriend with commitment issues and a dog Ginger's cat isn't too crazy about. Then a shark movie comes to town, and everyone is clamoring for a close-up. 

"Midlife love, laughter, sibling rivalry and self-discovery . . . Goes down as easy as it sounds."—People 

"A gleefully quirky coming of age story."—Redbook 

"Laugh out loud."—Good Housekeeping

"As always, Cook's delightful way with dialogue and her deft demonstrations of how family members manage to support one another even while driving each other crazy, make reading this book a day at the beach."—Hartford Courant

"A funny page-turner."—Fort Worth Star-Telegram

"Perfect-for-the-beach summer novel. . . a bumpy delight."—Boston Common

 "In this lighthearted, breezy read, Cook displays a wry sense of humor and knows how to write realistic characters."—Library Journal

"Claire Cook has an original voice, a sparkling style, and a window into family life that will make you laugh and cry. Life's a Beach is filled with hilarity, sister love and sister hate, juicy arguments and hard-won reconciliations, but most of all, heart."—Adriana Trigiani

"If I had a sister, I'd want her to be Claire Cook. If I had a summer, I'd want it to be the summer that two sisters stropped their tongues and sparred over everything from fertility to photography to family. And if I could follow up the wry, wacky poignancy of Must Love Dogs with any book, it would be Life's a Beach. Claire Cook is wicked good."—Jacquelyn Mitchard

 "Life's a Beach is a delicious coming-of-age novel—about two forty-something sisters who don't quite manage that feat until it's almost too late. I devoured this slice of family life served up in Claire Cook's inimitably warm and witty style. Tender, touching, and terribly, terribly, funny!"—Mary Kay Andrews

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About the author

CLAIRE COOK wrote her first novel in her minivan at 45. At 50, she walked the red carpet at the Hollywood premiere of the movie adaptation of her second novel, Must Love Dogs, starring Diane Lane and John Cusack. She is now the New York Times, USA Today, and #1 Amazon bestselling author of 16 books and a sought after reinvention speaker.

If you have a buried dream, take it from Claire, it is NEVER too late!

Claire has reinvented herself once again by turning Must Love Dogs into a series, as well as writing her first nonfiction books, Shine On: How To Grow Awesome Instead of Old and Never Too Late: Your Roadmap to Reinvention (without getting lost along the way, in which she shares everything she's learned on her own journey that might help you in yours.

Be the first to hear about new releases, giveaways and insider extras at ClaireCook.com/newsletter.

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Reviews

3.2
21 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Marshbury Beach Books
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Published on
Feb 27, 2014
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Pages
335
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ISBN
9780989921060
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Family Life
Fiction / Humorous
Fiction / Romance / Clean & Wholesome
Fiction / Romance / Contemporary
Fiction / Romance / Romantic Comedy
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Claire Cook
First the much-loved novel by New York Times bestselling author Claire Cook. Then the romantic comedy movie adaptation starring Diane Lane and John Cusack. Now MUST LOVE DOGS is a series! 

"Voluptuous, sensuous, alluring and fun. Barely 40 DWF seeks special man to share starlit nights. Must love dogs."

Divorced preschool teacher Sarah Hurlihy's first mistake is letting her bossy big sister write her personal ad. Her second mistake is showing up to meet her first date in more than a decade. Now she's juggling her teaching job, her big, rollicking, interfering south-of-Boston Irish family, and more men than she knows what to do with. And what's up with all these dogs that are suddenly galloping into her life? 

"A hilariously original tale about dating and its place in a modern woman's life." -BookPage

"Funny and pitch perfect." -Chicago Tribune

"Wildly witty" -USA Today

"Cook dishes up plenty of charm." -San Francisco Chronicle

"A hoot" -The Boston Globe 

"If Must Love Dogs is any indication of her talents, readers will hope that Claire Cook will be telling breezy summer stories from the South Shore of Massachusetts for seasons to come." -The Washington Post 

"A laugh-out-loud novel . . . a light and lively read for anyone who has ever tried to re-enter the dating scene or tried to 'fix up' anyone else." -Boston Herald 

"This utterly charming novel by Cook is a fun read, perfect for whiling away an afternoon on the beach." -Library Journal

"Claire Cook's Must Love Dogs, a book that's got more giggles than soda bread has raisins." -Hartford Courant

"Claire Cook (Must Love Dogs) has built a brand writing light-hearted women's fiction blending kernels of the absurd and comedic in compulsively readable combinations." -Shelf Awareness 

"The exuberant and charming Claire Cook is one of the sassiest and funniest creators of contemporary women's fiction." -The Times-Picayune

The Must Love Dogs series:
Must Love Dogs (#1)
Must Love Dogs: New Leash on Life (#2)
Must Love Dogs: Fetch You Later (#3)
Must Love Dogs: Bark & Roll Forever (#4)
Must Love Dogs: Who Let the Cats In? (#5)

Be the first to hear about Claire's new releases:
http://clairecook.com/newsletter/
http://facebook.com/ClaireCookauthorpage/
http://twitter.com/ClaireCookwrite/


 

 

Claire Cook
"Summer Blowout is irresistible!”—Meg Cabot

"Reading Claire Cook might be the most fun you have all summer.—Elin Hilderbrand

"Summer Blowout is primed, like Cook’s previous novel Must Love Dogs…to become a big-screen romantic comedy.”—Booklist

Bella Shaughnessy is addicted to lipstick with names like My Chihuahua Bites and Kiss My Lips, an occupational hazard, since she works as a stylist and makeup artist for her family's small chain of beauty salons in Marshbury, Massachusetts, along with her four half-brothers and -sisters. The owner is her father, Lucky Shaughnessy, a gregarious, three-times-divorced charmer with Donald Trump hair, who is obsessed with all things Italian and still carries a torch for his first wife, Bella's mother. 

After Bella's own marriage flames out spectacularly when her half-sister runs off with her husband, Bella decides she has seen enough of the damage love can do. She makes a vow: no more men. 

Then Bella meets a cute entrepreneur at a college fair, and despite their bickering, they can't seem to stay away from each other. He also gives her a brilliant business idea, one that just might allow her to share her makeup expertise with the world. A small, well-tressed dog finds her way into her life, and her heart, and she decides to chance that, too. When the whole clan heads to Atlanta for a big Southern wedding, sparks fly—in a summer blowout no one will ever forget. 

This hilarious, rambunctious novel is pure Claire Cook: full of juicy conflict and unconditional love.

Claire Cook
Don't Miss Book 2, The Wildwater Walking Club: Back on Track!

"The Wildwater Walking Club is a quick smart read that will get you thinking about walking, friendship, and making time for the things you love."—Bookreporter.com 

By the New York Times bestselling author of Must Love Dogs, a fun and inspiring novel about women and friendship—and how even big changes happen one step at a time. 

Join Noreen, Tess and Rosie as they walk and talk, talk and walk, tally their steps, share their secrets, and begin putting their lives back together. You'll be lacing up your own sneakers in no time. 

"Lively and inspiring!"—Hartford Courant 
"A great feel-good story."—Philadelphia Examiner 

After losing her boyfriend and her job in one fell swoop, Noreen has no idea what her next step is. So she puts on a new pair of sneakers and a seriously outdated pair of exercise pants, and walks. Before long she's joined by two neighbors as lost as she is and figures out time flies and fitness is actually fun when you're walking with friends. Throw in a road trip to Seattle for a lavender festival, a career-coaching group that looks like a bad sequel to The Breakfast Club, some terrific romantic comedy twists and turns, a quirky multigenerational cast of supporting characters, and the result is a tribute to female friendship that will inspire you to pick up the phone and call all your old friends—or maybe even start your own walking group. 

Walking Group Guide and Book Club Questions included. 

"Readers who enjoy a celebration of friendship will want to walk the beach alongside the Wildwater trio."—Midwest Book Review 

"The Wildwater Walking Club reminds us of what's important in life - the joy of friendship, the power of a brisk walk, and of course the importance of a good book. I couldn't put it down.—Anisha Lakhani 

"The woman of The Wildwater Walking Club are a delightful trio, full of heart and determination. As they - literally - put one foot in front of the other, the three new friends find unlikely paths that point them toward more fulfilling lives. Their journey left me genuinely inspired (and with the curious urge to go out and buy a clothesline)."—Jean Reynolds Page 

Claire Cook
Library Journal named Best Staged Plans one of the best Women’s Fiction Books of the year!

"HGTV addicts will drool."—Booklist

“Sandra is a professional home stager based out of the Boston area. Knowledgeable about home design and full of ideas, she somehow can’t manage to get her own house ready for the market, thanks to her slacking-off husband and son. When she gets an offer to stage a boutique hotel in Atlanta, she leaps at the chance to run away and get some distance and perspective. She soon starts to wonder whether her whole life, not just her home, needs a makeover. Fans of HGTV and of Cook’s previous charming fiction (Seven Year Switch; Must Love Dogs) will adore this light, funny read.”—★ STARRED Library Journal review!!

"Ms. Cook's writing only gets better with each new book."—New York Journal of Books 

Sandy Sullivan is a professional home stager who lives and works in the Boston suburbs. So getting rid of her own house and downsizing should be a breeze, right? Well, best staged plans and all, Sandy's husband, Greg, is dragging his feet and their son, Luke, has returned home and moved into the "bat cave" in the basement. Sandy reads them both the riot act and takes a job staging a boutique hotel recently acquired by her best friend's boyfriend. The good news is that she can spend time in Atlanta with her recently married daughter, Shannon. The bad news is that Shannon soon receives a promotion and heads back up to Boston for training, leaving Sandy and her Southern son-in-law, Chance, as reluctant roommates. And Sandy finds herself in another delicate situation when she suspects her best friend's boyfriend may be seeing another woman on the side. Fixing up houses  may turn out to be easier than fixing up lives.

“Conflict between happy family memories and the need to move forward is tempered by a great running gag about reading glasses, realistic relationships with friends and children, and much needed perspective from a stranger in need... Addicts to HGTV marathons will drool over Sandra’s tips for paint samples and thrift-store bargains. Cook’s likable heroine is charming without being silly, and her story is very well paced all the way to a genuinely delightful conclusion.”—Booklist 

“Midlife craziness...crowd-pleaser for empty nesters...charmer...Cook knows the territory of secret longing and snappy dialog.” —Publishers Weekly

“Genuine, deftly drawn characters…[Cook’s] poignancy and sassy humor resonate with readers; her theme of reinvention uplifts and inspires….It’s the perfect companion for an afternoon under a beach umbrella with sand between your toes.” —Savannah Magazine

 “The exuberant and charming Claire Cook is one of the sassiest and funniest creators of contemporary women’s fiction,”—The Times-Picayune

Claire Cook
“[A] beach chair worthy read."—New York Times 

"[A] hot summer beach book."—USA Today

"Bestseller Cook charms again in this lively, warm-hearted look at changing courses mid-life."—People 

Just when Jill Murray has finally figured out how to make it on her own, her husband Seth is back, proving he can't even run away reliably. Now Jill has to face the fact that there's simply no way she can be a good mom without letting her ex back into her daughter Anatasia's life. They say that every seven years you become a completely new person, and it takes a Costa Rican getaway to help Jill make her choice - between the woman she is and the woman she wants to be. 

"A beach tote couldn't ask for more."—Kirkus Reviews

"Seven years ago, Claire Cook told us we 'Must Love Dogs." But must we also love ex-husbands?…Cook takes a closer look at a complex situation."—New York Post

“Roll out your beach blanket for this sweet summer read about making mistakes and moving on.”—Publishers Weekly

"A lot of fun to read? Definitely!"—Redbook 

"With wit and tenderness, Claire Cook sweeps us into the life of Jill Murray, a feisty single mom trying to stitch together a future after being abandoned by her husband. This is a delightful story of love, loss, and the surprising events that healed her heart. I cheered for Jill the entire way."—Beth Hoffman

"A perfect beach read. Claire Cook once again demonstrates that she's a master in creating funny, warm, relatable characters you root for from the very first page."—Allison Winn Scotch

"Smart, truly hilarious, and entirely sympathetic. Like a hot bubble bath or a holiday at the beach, you won't want it to end."—Cecily Von Ziegesar


Claire Cook
A More Magazine Don’t Miss pick by the New York Times bestselling author of Must Love Dogs. 

"Her quirky voice and sense of humor are as strong as ever." -The Orlando Sentinel 

March Monroe and her daughter Olivia are going to college. March knows that Olivia is going, naturally, since she and her husband have just made their first exorbitant tuition payment. But Olivia doesn’t exactly know the arrangement . . . yet. Imagine Olivia’s surprise when one day she shows up for training at a local radio station and finds out that one of the other interns is . . . her mother. 

"very funny...with plenty of giggles." -The Hartford Courant 

“Cook has a gift for telling an entertaining and funny story that is light enough for a beach read, yet weighty enough to get under your skin and into your heart. Her characters are quirky and inconsistent, good-hearted folks who make mistakes and have regrets, but none of the damage is lasting. Love and forgiveness beat out hate and revenge.” —Patriot Ledger 

“Cook’s ability to make families foibles ring true -- and funny -- ensures a delightful read.”—Library Journal 

“Claire Cook infuses her novels with that sassy kind of off-beat humor that makes you giggle, shake your head, and then keep reading. And isn’t that what you want a beach book to do?” —Florida Today 

“Cook's characters are delightful and quirky, and the storyline is fast paced and lively with just the right touch of humor and romance.” —Fresh Fiction 

“Nobody does the easy-breezy beach read with a lighter hand than Claire Cook.” —Hartford Courant  

Book 5
From Claire Cook, New York Times bestselling author of the novel turned romantic comedy movie starring Diane Lane and John Cusack, comes Must Love Dogs: Who Let the Cats In?, Book 5 of the fun and fabulous Must Love Dogs series.

Sarah and John are buying Sarah’s family house, and they’re hoping their relationship will survive it. Sarah’s dad is part of the deal, and so is the litter of kittens they’ve discovered under the front porch. Finding a contractor isn’t as easy as they thought it would be, one of the parents at Bayberry Preschool is driving Sarah crazy, and a big nor’easter is barreling toward town.

The Must Love Dogs series:

Must Love Dogs (#1)
Must Love Dogs: New Leash on Life (#2)
Must Love Dogs: Fetch You Later (#3)
Must Love Dogs: Bark & Roll Forever (#4)
Must Love Dogs: Who Let the Cats In? (#5) 

PRAISE FOR MUST LOVE DOGS:

“Must Love Dogs has already been a major motion picture, and now New York Times bestselling author Claire Cook’s hilarious and heartwarming series is begging to hit the screen again as a miniseries or a sitcom.”—Nancy Carty Lepri, New York Journal of Books

“Reading about how life goes for this wacky marvelously lovable family becomes addictive.”—Pamela Kramer, Examiner 

“Wildly witty"—USA Today

"Cook dishes up plenty of charm."—San Francisco Chronicle

"Funny and pitch perfect."—Chicago Tribune

"A HOOT"—The Boston Globe 

"A hilariously original tale about dating and its place in a modern woman's life."—Book Page

"This utterly charming novel by Cook is a fun read, perfect for whiling away an afternoon on the beach."—Library Journal

 

Claire Cook
“[A] beach chair worthy read."—New York Times 

"[A] hot summer beach book."—USA Today

"Bestseller Cook charms again in this lively, warm-hearted look at changing courses mid-life."—People 

Just when Jill Murray has finally figured out how to make it on her own, her husband Seth is back, proving he can't even run away reliably. Now Jill has to face the fact that there's simply no way she can be a good mom without letting her ex back into her daughter Anatasia's life. They say that every seven years you become a completely new person, and it takes a Costa Rican getaway to help Jill make her choice - between the woman she is and the woman she wants to be. 

"A beach tote couldn't ask for more."—Kirkus Reviews

"Seven years ago, Claire Cook told us we 'Must Love Dogs." But must we also love ex-husbands?…Cook takes a closer look at a complex situation."—New York Post

“Roll out your beach blanket for this sweet summer read about making mistakes and moving on.”—Publishers Weekly

"A lot of fun to read? Definitely!"—Redbook 

"With wit and tenderness, Claire Cook sweeps us into the life of Jill Murray, a feisty single mom trying to stitch together a future after being abandoned by her husband. This is a delightful story of love, loss, and the surprising events that healed her heart. I cheered for Jill the entire way."—Beth Hoffman

"A perfect beach read. Claire Cook once again demonstrates that she's a master in creating funny, warm, relatable characters you root for from the very first page."—Allison Winn Scotch

"Smart, truly hilarious, and entirely sympathetic. Like a hot bubble bath or a holiday at the beach, you won't want it to end."—Cecily Von Ziegesar


Claire Cook
THE MUST LOVE DOGS SERIES: Must Love Dogs (#1) Must Love Dogs: New Leash on Life (#2) Must Love Dogs: Fetch You Later (#3) Must Love Dogs: Bark & Roll Forever (#4) Must Love Dogs: Who Let the Cats In? (#5) Must Love Dogs: A Howliday Tail (#6) From Claire Cook, New York Times bestselling author of the novel turned romantic comedy movie starring Diane Lane and John Cusack comes Must Love Dogs: A Howliday Tail, Book 6 of the hilarious and heartwarming Must Love Dogs series. Apparently buying the family house also means hosting the holidays, and Sarah's only goal is survival. They've got a house full of animals and a renovation in full throttle. Sarah's single and pregnant teaching assistant Polly is staying with them, too, as is her brother Johnny, whose marriage is on the rocks, and Sarah has just been made chair of the Bayberry Preschool holiday performance. Can she and John survive all this? PRAISE FOR MUST LOVE DOGS: "Must Love Dogs has already been a major motion picture, and now New York Times bestselling author Claire Cook's hilarious and heartwarming series is begging to hit the screen again as a miniseries or a sitcom."-Nancy Carty Lepri, New York Journal of Books "Reading about how life goes for this wacky marvelously lovable family becomes addictive."-Pamela Kramer, Examiner "Funny and pitch perfect." -Chicago Tribune "Wildly witty" -USA Today "Cook dishes up plenty of charm." -San Francisco Chronicle "A hoot" -The Boston Globe "A hilariously original tale about dating and its place in a modern woman's life." -BookPage Praise for Claire Cook: "Claire Cook (Must Love Dogs) has built a brand writing light-hearted women's fiction blending kernels of the absurd and comedic in compulsively readable combinations." -Shelf Awareness "The exuberant and charming Claire Cook is one of the sassiest and funniest creators of contemporary women's fiction." -The Times-Picayune "[Cook's] poignancy and sassy humor resonate with readers; her theme of reinvention uplifts and inspires." -Savannah Magazine
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