Well-known Lowcountry author, Mary Alice Monroe, has a new installment in her very popular, best-selling Beach House series. This novel, “On Ocean Boulevard” continues the generational saga of the Rutledge women and their devotion to family, their much-loved beach house and the sea turtles that make their annual trek to the beaches of Sullivan’s Island.
Beginning with Lovie, the “turtle lady” who decades ago started the “turtle team”, the love of turtles has now been passed on to a third generation. Lovie’s daughter Cara, now serves as the director of conservation at the South Carolina Aquarium, while granddaughter Linnea is back home looking for a new career. She will find that and so much more.
After 16 years away, Cara has returned to the Carolina coastline and is excited to begin planning her wedding to David. With all of the Rutledge family now living on the island, there is a lot going on, including the building of a new beach house, various family dramas and the introduction of some fascinating new characters.
This is turning out to be a summer to remember for all. But no spoilers here. Get this book and plan to be fully engaged start to finish.
In true Mary Alice Monroe style, family relationships and the sultry ambience of the coastal Lowcountry play major roles, providing the good “feels” in this book.
Loyal fans and new readers alike will love the pace, the ties to tradition and the always magical experience of finding the season’s first turtle nest or the poignant image of a mama turtle headed back out to sea. “On Ocean Boulevard” is arguably the best story in this memorable, collectible series from Monroe.
Monroe’s love for sea turtles is evident in this book, which includes a poem title “Odyssey.”
A resident of the Charleston area, Monroe supports the work of the nonfiction Sea Turtle Care Center at the South Carolina Aquarium, whose motto is “Rescue, Rehabilitate, Release.” Working with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, they are a powerful force in protecting the sea turtle and the beaches that provide the habitat for their continued survival and hopeful prosperity. All seven species of sea turtles are listed as threatened or endangered.
From May to October, the focus is on identifying and documenting sea turtle activity and nesting sites, protecting the sites and educating the public. The rest of the year is devoted to research, education, rehabilitation of inpatient turtles, among other work, all with the long view of preserving these ancient creatures so that our planet’s wildlife and wild places will be preserved for many future generations.
Monroe has written more than 20 novels, most set in the Lowcountry, where she resides. In 2018, she was inducted into the South Carolina Academy of Authors’ Hall of Fame. “On Ocean Boulevard” was released on May 19, and is available on Amazon and booksellers nationwide.
Glenda Harris is a freelance writer and editor, nature lover and aspiring novelist.