May 13, 2015

Firefly Beach. Luanne Rice

book cover
Firefly Beach
Luanne Rice
Published: Bantam
Date: 2001
Format: Paperback
Pages: 378
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Source: Own book
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Coolly sophisticated and steadfastly single, Caroline Renwick has always been the sister everyone could count on. As she and Clea and Skye gathered at Firefly Hill, their childhood home, Caroline thought that they had all put the past behind them. But as summer gets under way, a mysterious man arrives—a man who has the power to bring it all back....

Joe Connor was only six when his father died at Firefly Hill. Though he and Caroline had never met, the five-year-old girl reached out to him. They became pen pals and friends, until a teenaged Joe finally learned the truth about what had happened to his father that night. Now, after years of silence, Joe is suddenly here ... and Caroline still feels a connection. But she can't help but wonder if this handsome man holds the key to her family's healing—or its destruction. And in his presence, how long will she be able to guard her heart?
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Firefly Beach by Luanne Rice is the first in her Hubbard's Point/Black Hall series.  I became interested in this series when I read Beach Girls by this author earlier in the year. 

This book is about the complicated relationships of parents, children, brothers and sisters and lovers. It is also about the simple and undying love of a dog for its owners.  Caroline, Clea and Sky are the daughters of Augusta and Hugh Renwick.  He is a complicated, talented artist - a man who was unable to be faithful, made decisions that had serious ongoing results for his family, especially his girls.

Caroline is the one that always seems to be there for the others, in a crisis she can be relied on.  Clea is the only one happily married, Skye is married but the only thing her husband seems to be able to do is lead her every more deeply into depression and alcoholism.

Joe Connor is a scientist and treasure hunter. He once had a relationship with Caroline through letters but as a teenager he learned how she had always known about the circumstances of how is father died and never told him.  Feeling betrayed, he cut off all ties with her.  Yet how could she have shared what she knew? 

Sam is Joe's half brother, like Joe a scientist and Sam has always looked up to Joe, but never really experienced that deep brotherly bond with Joe that he craves.

One summer they all meet, and it is time to face the past, admit what they really want and take the risk, turn their back on fear and reach for love.

This story explores the relationship of guns in people's lives, how alcoholism covers up the pain that can't be faced.  It also explores the bonds in family, that while people may be flawed ultimately love can triumph.

I didn't fall deeply in love with this story as I did with Beach Girls, but it was still a thought provoking read and I fully felt for these characters and the circumstances they were caught up in.

4 stars


  1. This does sound like a thought provoking novel. Thanks for your great review Kathryn.

  2. It has been a while since I read this one! Will need to read it again sometime.

  3. This sounds like one I'd like but since I didn't particularly enjoy my first Luanne Rice (Little Night) I might give her another go but try the one you loved ... Beach Girls!

    1. Yeah Beach Girls was one I really liked. I know you got put off by Luanne Rice by Little Night which I haven't read, and won't now! Her Lemon Orchard one was very good although I hated parts of it, not because of the book but because what happened to people coming across the Mexican/USA border illegally.


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