OCEAN BEACH is a novel about relationships and new
beginnings. A group of women, somewhat unlikely friends
bonded by adversity, come together in Miami's South Beach
prepared to work hard on renovating a historic home for a
television pilot they hope will renovate their careers and
Avery, the architect, needs to prove she's not a dumb
capable of leading the large-scale renovation effort on her
own. Nicole, the former upscale matchmaker, puts her
skills to work as she rebounds from the scandal and
treachery of her Ponzi-scheming brother. Kyra, the
relatively new mother, is crafting a new life for herself
and her child after her Hollywood career went bust.
Madeline, Kyra's mother and the resident den mother, is
along to ensure her grandson is well taken care of while
Kyra contributes to the renovation and while she figures
what she wants from her twenty-six year marriage, a
relationship severely damaged by losses resulting from
Nicole's brother's treachery, and Deirdre, Avery's mother
and former upscale interior designer, lends her expertise
the project while she attempts to build a relationship with
the daughter she abandoned at a young age to pursue her
Then there's Max, the former vaudevillian whose wife passed
away leaving him tasked to renovate the house and to find
the son that went missing years ago.
Problems begin upon the women's arrival, when they learn
what they thought would be a renovation show has turned
a 24-7 reality show, putting their work—and their rocky
relationships—on full view.
Unlike what is often the case with women's ensemble novels,
there's no single character here whose story stands out, to
whom the rest of the cast plays supporting roles. In OCEAN
BEACH, all of the characters are central to the story and
all of their stories progress as the story moves forward.
Thus, it can be difficult at times to keep up with what is
happening with all of the women, especially if one did not
read the preceding novel, Ten Beach Road, but after a few
chapters, it gets easier as the characters establish their
personalities and problems.
Wax puts on display what most would expect when this many
women live and work together in the same environment:
laughs, tears, anger, occasional cattiness and every
in between. The women challenge themselves and each other
in ways that are not always pretty but always cause them to
change and grow, as worthy relationships do. Wax also
deftly incorporates the mystery of Max's son, making it a
rallying point for these disparate women. Readers may
figure it out early on but will keep reading to see how
things play out for these unlikely reality show participants
—and for Max, the lovable nonagernarian whose dilapidated
home brings purpose to the women's lives.
Renovating one dilapidated beach house got unlikely friends
Madeline, Avery, Nicole and Kyra a television show.
Renovating their second one may make them bona fide stars—
or reality has-beens. A once grand historic house on
Miami’s South Beach has seen better days, which makes it
the perfect project for their new show, “Do Over.” But
restoring it to its former glory poses new challenges. As
the women work together on their newest project, they each
also find themselves struggling with their own personal
renovations in life, work and love.
As Avery tries to handle the logistics of a now long-
distance relationship and deal with her overbearing mother,
Kyra is torn between two men who make their livings on
opposite sides of the camera—and one of them is the father
of her son. Nicole is once again playing matchmaker, while
coming to terms with the fact that she’s too old for the
South Beach nightlife, and Maddie is trying to hold the
whole project—and her marriage—together. As the hurricane
season looms, the four friends wonder just how they’ll
weather life’s storms...