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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

(35)The Good Luck Girls of Shipwreck Lane by Kelly Harms

The Good Luck Girls of Shipwreck Lane

Pages: 304
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: July 9, 2013

After a rough day at the bridal shop in Cedar Falls, Iowa where Janine "Janey" Brown works as a seamstress, Janey is enjoying a quiet dinner with her Great-Aunt Midge.  She knows something is up when her eighty-nine year old Aunt is adamant they watch a specific show. But Janey is completely unprepared when she hears her name being announced on television.  Her feisty Aunt entered her name into the drawing for the Home Sweet Home Network's Dream House giveaway.  And she won.  Before she knows it there is a camera crew in her face and she is being told that they have to be in Maine to sign the final paperwork by June 9th. 

Across town  another Janine "Nean" Brown just got off work as a fry cook at the local Hardees and is beyond excited to watch the Dream House giveaway.  She didn't expect to run into the obstacle of her drunk boyfriend.  She has just cold-cocked her drunk, abusive boyfriend with her coffee mug after he got abusive with her. It was all worth it when she hears her name being announced - "Janine Brown of Cedar Falls, Iowa!"  Nean is thrilled, but not surprised, because  Nean just KNEW that she was going to win this house and it would give her the escape and life that she has always dreamed of having. 

The two Janine Browns are completely oblivious to each other, but cross paths when they both show up at the house on Shipwreck Lane thinking they each won the dream house.   Janey has social anxiety so bad that she breaks out in hives and vomits at the thought of talking to new people.  Nean has had the roughest life imaginable - from a drug addicted mother to one bad boyfriend after another, Nean has had no stability in her life at all. When the lawyers prove that Janey is the rightful owner of the house, Aunt Midge convinces Janey to let  Nean stay until she gets things sorted out.  Soon the three women settle into their routines, Nean bakes the bread, Janey makes the meals, and Aunt Midge takes it all into the homeless shelter in town.  Throw the hot young gardener, JJ, and the handsome vegetable farmer, Noah, into the mix and you have a fun story perfect for the beach. 

The Good Girls of Shipwreck Lane was a fun (!!) read (listen?) for the return trip home from Iowa.  Both Janine's were fun characters and Aunt Midge was a hoot. I get Janey's extreme social anxiety, but I loved how she blossomed in the book, especially with Noah.  And Nean kind of blossomed, too.  She never really had the kind of family who looked out for her and with Aunt Midge she really felt the unconditional love that one feels when loved by family. Even though her and Janey spent so much time bickering, it almost felt as if they were sisters.  Of course there are fights and there were trying circumstances, but The Good Luck Girls of Shipwreck Lane is a sweet, funny story that is perfect for a summer read. 

Bottom line, The Good Luck Girls of  Shipwreck Lane is a fun read about love, friendship, and family.  The characters are sweet, funny, and their own kind of  family. If you are looking for your first beach read of the season, put this one at the top of the list! You will love it, I promise!