Royal Coconut Beach Lunch Club by Diane Bergner: 3***

At age 69, I am probably not the target audience for this book, but having not really read any “chick-lit” in my life and few summer beach reads, I felt I should give it a try. While a lot of people are offended by the term “chick-lit” this book sort of hits all the marks for that genre. By that I mean that this is a story about a performance venue called the Addison Center, and is located in the fictitious city of Royal Coconut Beach, Florida. It is a story about 4 ladies who are in charge of Donor relations for the center and what goes on behind the scenes in their lives, their work and their donors lives! Quite a lot to be honest and each chapter is short and specifically on point for the Chapter titles (yes, that is a big plus for the book, because I love chapter titles!). We basically follow Julia Wild, formerly a New York attorney, who moved to Florida with her husband who was transferred there by his law firm. Julia applies for and gets the job at the Addison Center and quickly finds out that it is more glamorous and scandalous than she expected. Lots of loving, gossip, cattiness and backstabbing going on throughout this book, as we find out someone took a huge donation check from her desk, how someone appears to be setting her up for a fall, and finding out that clothes are so essential in this job! We also have a lot of speculation as to love lives, and affairs (including Julie’s husband??), but the book ends with a satisfactory ending for one and all, most especially Julie who has had to navigate this minefield.

All in all it is not a bad effort by debut novelist Diane Bergner, however the plot gets bogged down with a huge over emphasis on describing the clothing everyone wears, but on the other hand that may appeal to certain readers. But a good job by Diane in her debut novel and hope she has another one planned for next beach season!

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