Moon Shell Beach

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2009-06-23
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books
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The "New York Times"-bestselling author who delighted readers with her Hot Flash Club series returns with this vibrant novel in which two women struggle to rekindle a childhood friendship damaged by harsh words, betrayal, and the passing years.

Author Biography

Nancy Thayer is the New York Times bestselling author of The Hot Flash Club, The Hot Flash Club Strikes Again, Hot Flash Holidays, The Hot Flash Club Chills Out, and Between Husbands and Friends. She lives on Nantucket.

From the Hardcover edition.


Chapter One


"Hi, Mrs. Laney, where's Lexi?" Clare ambled into Laney's Dry Goods Emporium, bringing a gust of crisp October air with her. Her curly brown hair was held back with a tartan headband and she was glowing from the morning's game. Her sophomore year in high school, she was throwing herself wholeheartedly into team sports.

Myrna Laney was rining up a sale. "Did we win?"

Clare pumped her fist. "Whalers four, Wareham a big fat egg!"

"Good for you girls!" Mrs. Moody, who led the community chorus, looked up from signing the charge card. "Only one more game before the tournament, right?"

"Right." Clare held up crossed fingers.

Myrna slipped Patricia Moody's purchase into a bag. "Lexi's just cleaning up the dressing rooms," she told Clare. "Go on back."

At the far end of the store were four dressing rooms. Lexi was there, scooping up discarded clothing and fastening them back onto the hangers. "Hey, Doe." Seeing Clare's face, she said, "Well, I can tell you guys won."

"Victory is sweet!" Clare did a little dance, then picked up a sweater and folded it, helping Lexi. "I really wish you'd try out for the field hockey team."

"Right. Because I'm such a jock."

"I think you could be if you tried."

Gangly Lexi gave her a stare.

"Well," Clare amended, "I think you could be better than you think you are."

"Doesn't matter," Lexi said. "I've got to work here after school and on Saturdays. I don't even have time to watch field hockey. The only time my parents let me off is for the homecoming football game."

"I know." Clare ran her hands down a pair of wool slacks, smoothing them. "It's not fair."

"Oh, Clare, it's fine," Lexi argued amiably. "I'm such a spaz, I don't enjoy sports. Besides, I'm saving money for the class trip to New York."

"New York? I thought you were going with the French class to Paris in the spring."

Lexi slumped against the wall. "Didn't I tell you? That's out. No way can I make enough money for that."

"But I thought the school was paying for part of the trip. What have we been holding the car washes and lotteries for?"

"Mom and Dad got a letter from the school. We still have to come up with a thousand dollars. No way can we raise that."

"That sucks." Clare chewed her lip, thinking. "Well, if you don't go, I won't go."

"You have a chance to go to Paris and you won't take it! That's crazy."

"I won't have any fun if you're not there," Clare said loyally. With a pile of clothing over her arms, she followed Lexi out of the dressing room area back into the store. "Anyway, I don't care about Paris. What I really want is for you to come cheer for us at the Division II tournament in November."

"If the Whalers win next weekend."

"We will. So you have to come to the tournament, okay?" She tugged on Lexi's shirt, doing her best annoying child imitation. "Please, pretty please?"

Lexi laughed. "Go harass my mother. She makes the scheduling decisions."

The bell over the door chimed as Mrs. Moody left. Now that no customers were around, Clare approached Lexi's mother. "Mrs. Laney, can Lexi have Saturday off in two weeks to come to our tournament?"

"I'm already letting Lexi off on Thursday afternoon so she can go to the Cape while you get your braces fitted," Myrna reminded Clare.

"But if we play the Vineyard?" Martha's Vineyard, "the other island," was Nantucket's fiercest rival for all sports.

Myrna gave in. "All right. I

Excerpted from Moon Shell Beach by Nancy Thayer
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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