Bantam, April 2003, 6.50, 336 pp.
An anonymous benefactor is willing to contribute to a wellness center if the residents of Martha's Vineyard show they want it. Doctor Hastings comes up with the idea of a breast cancer support group to show how much the center is needed and asks Rita Blair-Rollins to be the head of it. She reluctantly agrees because she wants what is best to help see her three charges through their ordeals.
Katie is a teen-age rock star who won't start treatment until she gives birth to her baby; her father, who molded her career, doesn't want to recognize his daughter's different priorities. Hannah, has to emotionally support her weak husband and wild fifteen-year old daughter while she is undergoing chemotherapy. Faye, a Boston businesswoman, thinks she has nothing to live for now that her cancer has reoccurred. These four women share their trials and triumphs and in the process form a bond that can never be broken.
If the audience seeks a happily ever ending, BEACH ROSES is not the book to read. However, the plot provides courage and hope when survival seems dimmer than a black hole. These intrepid women cannot ignore their troubles, but find faith with one another and some other caring friends. Jean Stone writes a poignant drama that focuses on human triumph during the most traumatic faults and frailties.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner