Our favourite beach reads

by Richard Kipling

There is nothing better than getting stuck into a good book when you’re lying on the beach with the warmth of the sun on your face. We have chosen a selection of great books, which offer a little light escapism.

The Beach by Alex Garland

This exhilarating novel is Garland’s finest. The story begins in Bangkok, where backpacker Richard is given a hand-written map to a secret beach from a strange character who calls himself Daffy Duck. From this point forward the book lurches its readers into a fast-paced journey to an idyllic paradise, which is unspoilt by modern civilisation. What could possibly go wrong? What makes this book such a popular read is the many levels in which it operates. Not only is the book an action-packed adventure story, it also makes important comments about people, how we relate to one another and how we often destroy paradise when we finally find it.

On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan

Edward and Florence are recently married and have decided to stay at Chesil Beach for their honeymoon. The couple are very much in love, but the relationship is fraught with tension - they have yet to consummate their marriage. Their conflicting thoughts on the issue, combined with the tensions of the 1950s and 1960s form the basis of this exquisite novel. This is a story about love and loss – McEwan has an uncanny ability to pick up on everyday subtleties - unsaid words, exchanged glances and to turn them into rich flowing prose. A perfect beach read.

Thanks for the Memories by Cecelia Ahern

When Joyce Conway starts having memories of places she has never visited and dreams of a small girl with blonde hair she strives to think where they are coming from and why. After a terrible accident and marriage breakdown, Joyce’s life begins to fall apart. Meanwhile a man called Justin is talked into donating blood, which leads to him being the recipient of several thank you cards and gifts – who is sending such items and how will Joyce and Justin’s lives come together? This story intertwines several people’s lives in a seemingly unbelievable tale, which is an absolute joy to read.

Message in a Bottle by Nicholas Sparks

This is the story of a female columnist who chances upon a message of love in a bottle on the beach. She begins to fall in love with the stranger’s words and decides find him. This book takes its readers on a sumptuously written romantic journey. It’s about love, loss, fear and hope. Readers are in for a literary treat.

The Beach House by Jane Green

Nan is an independent widow who doesn’t care what others think of her. She lives in a house alone, as her family have long since flown the nest and when the neighbours are away she doesn’t think anything of swimming naked in their swimming pools – she’s free spirited after all! After realising that her finances are gradually dwindling, Nan decides to rent out some of the rooms in her house for summer, attracting a wealth of characters. The house is suddenly filled with energy and life – something Nan has been missing. Things are changing dramatically; Nan’s son returns home for summer and an unexpected visitor turns up, changing things forever…

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