Noble delivers another compelling beach read, just in time to pack it in your tote beside your sunscreen and beach towel. Lighthouse Beach is a quaint, coastal community, and Noble does a great job of setting the laid-back, cozy scene. The lives of four very different women — five if Mac counts — are thrown together after an ill-fated wedding weekend, and their layered stories reveal more than what appears at a surface-level observation. Each of the five women is inherently likable (though some are pricklier than others to get to know), and readers will enjoy each journey of self-discovery and growth. Their stories feel incomplete, however, as if there is more to be told. Additionally, Jess’ father is more than a bit over the top.
Lillo Gray, in her borrowed dress and borrowed clunker-van, feels out of place at her friend Jessica’s society wedding at Kennebunkport’s fanciest hotel. Not to mention that she’s not even sure why she was invited; after all, she and Jess have barely kept in touch since that summer at fat camp when they were fourteen. When Lillo, Jess and Jess’ closest friends, Allie and Diana, catch Jess’ fiancé cheating on her, Jess’ parents insist the wedding is still on. Staging an intervention to help Jess escape her parents’ controlling demands, the four women head for Lighthouse Beach — a town which promises that once you visit you’ll never be the same. (WILLIAM MORROW, Jun., 400 pp., $15.99)