How Do You Learn Not To Run Away?
The First in a Series with Great Promise
Born to storytelling, Nadine Laman starts out with big ideas. Kathryn's Beach is not only the first in
a series, but it is a gentle romance, a soft mystery, and borders on mainstream as well.
The book opens with a young woman, a social worker by trade, working as a bartender in the Midwest. She has run
away from Los Angeles, if not the city she loves, then the beach. In doing so, she has abandoned good friends like
Maggie, a persistent fellow social worker, Karen, a tough boss with a sweet streak, and a child-abuse case that has
gone awry. By gathering her courage to go back, the woman opens the way to making new friendships, rekindling old
ones, and finding love.
Lamanís characters are memorable. I especially like the main characterís new neighbor, Mr. Goldstein. and her
new boss, a nun with a passion for doing good and a bit of a beach-streak of her own. I like that Laman tells the
story in first person, so we can come to know the protagonist through internal dialogue -up close and personal.
What I don't like about this book is that it is part of a series. I don't like prestidigitators, Rubic cubes,
or the old Batman segments that left me wondering if Robin would be alive when I went back to movies the
following Saturday. Most Romance readers have come to expect series, indeed to love them. I believe they will
find this book exceptionally well done. I may even read the next one myself because, unfortunately, this series
stuff -at least Laman's series stuff- works on me whether I like it or not.