The Florida Bar

Florida Bar Journal

Sand Moon

Book Reviews

Sand MoonI’m sitting on a beach on the gulf, enjoying the peace of my brief escape from the pressures of work and life, reading a novel about a young woman living life full-out on a beach during her brief escape from the pressures of work and life.

It’s life imitating art, beautifully.

Jennifer Westlake’s Sand Moon is a reminder of how changing one’s physical surroundings, if even for a short time, when coupled with an open and “anything’s possible” attitude, can reconnect oneself with one’s own inner peace.

Andie, the novel’s protagonist, is a recent high school graduate, undecided about which college to attend, or even if to attend college, working for the summer at a local news station. Casey is her boss/mentor, who as a producer at the news station, wisely (and probably intuiting that Andie needs help) assigns Andie to “go find your inner peace.” Andie is assigned to travel to a location of her choosing for one month and write a story about her experience.

Sand Moon, the small and quirky beach town where Andie stays, is a character itself. Westlake describes Andie’s midnight swims off the beach, spending the night sleeping in the sand and waking up with the sunrise, the starry nights, and how barefoot is the expected footwear of choice in the town, especially for beach parties.

Other characters include two endearing sisters who share the beach cabin next door (longtime Sand Moon visitors from out of state), Andie’s city apartment roommate (who unexpectedly enjoys the healing powers of Sand Moon herself when she visits Andie), two local brothers (both who end up as love interests) and Andie’s overbearing but loving mother.

Does Andie decide to stay and live in Sand Moon? Does she decide to attend college? Does she finish her news story for her boss? Does Andie find her inner peace? Perhaps these questions are best answered by another character in this story: Andie’s beachside cabin. Andie eventually gives her cabin the name, “Home,” where there is “the feeling of complete joy and happiness, no worries at all.”

If you want to get lost in searching for your own inner peace, this easy-to-read novel is a great place to start.

Claire Hancock is a member of The Florida Bar.