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Beach House Memories [Audiobook, CD, Unabridged] [Audio CD]

Mary Alice Monroe , Inc. Brilliance Audio
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 8 2012
Autumn brings its own haunting beauty to the sun-soaked beaches and dunes on Isle of Palms, where Olivia “Lovie” Rutledge lives in her beloved Primrose Cottage with her daughter, Cara. Looking back as summer fades, Lovie can remember many island summers, but especially one. . . . In 1974, America was changing, but Charleston remained eternally the same. Lovie had always done what was expected — marrying the son of a historic Charleston family, Stratton Rutledge, and turning over her fortune and fate to his control. But one thing she steadfastly refuses to relinquish: her family’s old seaside cottage. The precious summers spent on the barrier island are Lovie’s refuge. Here, she can escape with her children from the social expectations of her traditional Southern mother, and her overbearing husband’s ambition and philandering. Here, she indulges her lifelong vocation as a “Turtle Lady,” tending the loggerhead sea turtles that lay their eggs in the warm night sand and then slip back into the sea. This summer, however, is different. Visiting biologist Russell Bennett arrives on the island to research the loggerheads. What begins as a shared passion for the turtles changes to a love far more passionate and profound than Lovie has ever known — but one that forces her to face the most agonizing decision of her life. For Charleston’s elite, divorce is an unforgivable scandal, and Stratton’s influence is far-reaching. If Lovie dares to dream beyond a summer affair, she risks losing everything: her reputation, her wealth, even her precious children. Beach House Memories — a poignant and emotional tale of a strong, passionate woman torn between duty and desire, between the traditions of the old South and the social changes sweeping America — will capture your heart. For Lovie, it is an empowering journey of seasons of self-discovery. Until this autumn, this time of changing tides, of holding on and letting go. . . . “This luminous tale — set in the South Carolina Lowcountry that we both love so deeply — was hard to put down. Fans of The Beach House will at last discover what happened during the summer of 1974. But readers new to Mary Alice Monroe need not worry, for this emotional story of love and loss stands alone.” — New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank

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"Monroe knows how to weave a tale and this is one of her very best. She creates vibrant characters [who] live and love in the paradise-like world of the South Carolina low country. It is a magical place in many ways, especially in the words with which Monroe describes it. Every summer deserves one book that is THE summer book, and for beach reading you couldn't make a better selection than this one. Mary Alice Monroe knows how to pull readers into this world instantly and keep them there till the very last word on the very last page." (The Huffington Post)

“Magical! Mary Alice Monroe’s writing is always sensitive and true, as inspiring as the natural wonder about which she writes.”

New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank

“Monroe’s usual resplendent storytelling shines even brighter in BEACH HOUSE MEMORIES, which offers startling insights into the intimate connection between nature and the human heart.”

New York Times bestselling author Patti Callahan Henry

“Mary Alice Monroe takes us back to the mid 1970’s when sea turtle conservation was in its infancy. The efforts by “turtle lady” Lovie Rutledge to document the number of loggerhead nests each season on the Isle of Palms was largely unappreciated or even ridiculed by locals. Then a kindred spirit comes into her life and fills her with self-worth, resolve and bittersweet beach house memories. BEACH HOUSE MEMORIES is another in a remarkable trilogy that has increased sea turtle volunteerism and conservation efforts. I highly recommend it.”

—Sally R. Murphy, DNR Sea Turtle Coordinator
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Mary Alice Monroe is the New York Times bestselling author of The Butterfly’s Daughter, Last Light over Carolina, and Time Is a River for Gallery Books. The recipient of the 2008 Award for Writing from the South Carolina Center for the Book, she is also an active conservationist in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. Visit her at

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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars July 4 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Excellent summer read. Mary Alice Monroe gives you a visual of South Carolina!
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5.0 out of 5 stars MARY ALICE MUNROE Dec 21 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This past summer I had the pleasure of reading a fabulous trio of books by Mary Alice Munroe. I started with "The Beach House", then "Swimming Lessons", and finished with "Beach House Memories". These stories are very beautifully told. I can honestly say "Beach House Memories" is the BEST book I have ever read! After finishing it I fell asleep with the book on my chest and tears running down my cheeks.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars Sept. 12 2014
By May
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Love all of Mary Alice Monroe's books.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  158 reviews
60 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A First Reads Winner May 8 2012
By Dgeorge - Published on
About 10 years I bought a paperback "The Beach House" to take to the beach. I didn't know the author but I liked the cover. As I read the first few pages I fell in love with the writing of Mary Alice Monroe and a few pages more I fell in love with the book. It grabbed my heart and wouldn't let go. I've reread it many times and have had to replace that original copy because it was worn out and remains one of my very favorite books.
What a thrill I had last year when I discovered Mary Alice was writing a prequel to The Beach House. Lucky me, I won a hardcover copy from First Reads! I was not disappointed. It took me right back to the beauty of Isle of Palms, the warmth of Primrose cottage, the strength of Lovie Rutledge "The Turtle Lady" and the wondrous story of the loggerhead turtles. I loved this book!!!
This is really Lovie's story as she is dying of cancer and in her last hours she thinks back to that memorable summer of 1974. I won't tell you more of the story but I will tell you that this "Southern Fiction" will draw you in, maybe remind you of your childhood, a love you might have had or give you hope that things can be better or just something to dream about. You will not be disappointed.
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beach House Memories May 8 2012
By Trish - Published on
First I have to say that Mary Alice NEVER disappoints when she writes a book, she is truly one of my favorite authors! She can draw you into a story like no other!
So many of us have waited so long to hear more of story that started with "The Beach House" and "Swimming Lessons" and "Beach House Memories" was so worth the wait!!
It is set in 1974 and it tells Lovie's story of that fateful year when she fell in love with Russell Bennett! Mary Alice's descriptive prose and beautiful writing makes you feel like you are right there experiencing everything that Lovie experiences. She is truly a gifted writer!! Get yourself a copy of "Beach House Memories" and be prepared to be totally entertained and moved by this story!!
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Vivid Breath-taking Story! May 8 2012
By Beth H - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Lovie, Olivia, has spent her grown life being the perfect wife, homemaker and best mother she could be. Her husband shows little appreciation for what Lovie does for his family and business as long as she keeps his cultivated professional appearance. Deciding to further his career goals her husband decides to go to Europe and not spend time with his family this summer.

Lovie takes her 2 children to her beach home, the only place she finds solace and can be herself. The people of Isle of Palm know Lovie as the Turtle Lady, she has been keeping track of the nesting turtles for over 10 years...a love she learned from her father.

This year Dr. Russell Bennett, sea turtle specialist, arrives on Isle of Palm to do an impact study on the development of the North end of the island on the nesting turtles. After a rocky start Dr. Bennett is extremely impressed with Lovie's journals and information she kept on the turtles and it begins a strong friendship and camaraderie. I once again am not going any further because I don't want to accidently give anything away, so here's my thoughts on Beach House Memories...

First off, I have to admit I'm a little bias because I already have a passion for Sea Turtle Conservation. I highly recommend that everyone should experience sea turtle at least once! That being said, Mary Alice Monroe wrote this beautifully vivid story of love, loss, growing up, friendship and life that will touch your heart. Her colorful and expressive story of the South Caroline coast makes you feel like your feet are engulfed in the warm sand and the mosquitoes are buzzing in your ears. Although, at times I wanted to throttle the female character's choices, I do realize I'm living 30+ years in the future and the women back then did have different circumstances. Wonderful story telling, heart-felt read and turtles, what else can I say but I loved it.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Read.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BEACH HOUSE MEMORIES May 12 2012
By Meggie - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It comes as no surprise to me that BEACH HOUSE MEMORIES is yet another outstanding novel by author Mary Alice Monroe. This author not only entertains readers with a wonderful story line, but transports you to the wonderful world of the Lowcountry. It teaches, entertains, and mesmerizes the reader. You fall in love with the main characters, relax at Primrose Cottage, and become a Turtle Lady. What could be any better?
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating! May 11 2012
By A Book a Day - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I too began to read Mary Alice Monroe after reading The Beach House and I haven't missed any books since that day. I found Beach House Memories to be extremely captivating and once again was drawn into the plight of the loggerhead turtle and the societal expections of the southern wife and mother. Working beside Dr Russell Bennett, the marine biologist, Olivia displays her love for the loggerhead turtles and all she has learned from many summers of maintaining logs of the turtle nestings. Slowly Russell and Olivia discover the soulmates they are. The book certainly brought back memories of the lifestyle in the 1970's, cute little white gloves and all the do's and don'ts.

After finishing Beach House Memories, my next stop was the used book store to locate The Beach House and Swimming Lessons for a second round. This time I won't be so foolish as to give them away. All are definite KEEPERS!
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