The Beach House by Jane Green

Start Your Free Trial

Download The Beach House Study Guide

Subscribe Now


Beloved women's fiction author Jane Green returned in 2008 with her novel The Beach House. Sixty-five-year-old Nan lives on the island of Nantucket, off the coast of Massachusetts. A widow of twenty years, Nan cares very little what others think of her behavior. For example, she does not think twice about skinny-dipping in her neighbors' pool. She braves the elements to cycle around the island while others run for cover. With no hesitation, Nan even "relocates" some of her neighbors' flowers.

When Nan learns that she is in dire straits financially, she resorts to renting rooms in her rambling home. Nan's house quickly fills with summer boarders, and suddenly Nan finds herself and her home busy and bustling with energy. Nan's life soon becomes intertwined with those of her boarders. Each of her guests is facing a crossroads. Recently separated Daniel must face something he has known his entire life. Taking a break from her teenage daughter while on the rebound from heartbreak, Daff is recently divorced. Nan's son, Michael, joins the houseguests while fleeing a tempestuous affair. Perhaps most shocking is the person who is connected to not only one of the renters but also to Nan. This unexpected guest turns everyone's life upside down, resulting in plot turns and twists that keep readers engaged.

Replete with secrets, the characters in The Beach House slowly work toward reconciling their individual situations before they must return home at the end of the season. Whether grappling with sexual identity, financial woes, or failed relationships, the characters in The Beach House all arrive on Nan's doorstep with more emotional baggage than actual baggage.

Nan's historic, beachfront home, Windermere, sets a breathtaking backdrop against which The Beach House unfolds. Even though she is in need of money, Nan fights the good fight against developers who try to convince her to sell her beloved home so that they can build spectacular mansions for the island's elite. Charmed by the author's descriptive writing, some readers are rumored to have even searched the island of Nantucket for the home on the bluffs that served as the inspiration for Windermere and Green's heartwarming novel.