The Means
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

The is the story about the Means family. They live in NYC and are the proud owners of a plot of land in the Hamptons. Their land is fairly small, triangular, and infested with ticks. That won’t stop Shelly and her husband George from moving forward with their plan to build a beach house.

As one would expect, Shelly and George are not on the same page about the plans for beach house. George is practical and budget conscious. Shelly, on the other hand, has a vision board that includes every luxury item she could think of. Especially a Japanese toilet. Ever since their trip to Tokyo years ago, she’s been pining for a Japanese toilet and is fixated on getting one for the beach house.

Can the Means manifest their beach house dreams into reality? As a one-income family living in NYC, with two kids in private school, they’ll have to stretch their budget. Of course, on top of that, everything seems to get in the way of their plans, including the HOA board. Not one to give up easily, Shelly is determined to do whatever it takes to build the beach house.

This is a character-driven story that started out strong, but then fizzled. At the beginning, I liked the quirky characters, snarky dialogue, and various characters Shelly enlisted to help move the beach house plans forward. The story seemed to be poised to be an entertaining and full of wry humor. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.

Here’s what I didn’t like:

  • The talking dog. Yes, Twix (the family dog) can talk to Shelly. I could’ve done without that.
  • Everyone Shelly encounters is identified by race. I found it odd, since it wasn’t relevant to the plot or storyline.
  • The book is plagued by non sequiturs about random subjects, social issues, and opinions. These are all delivered by the talking dog.

As for the ending of the story, I actually liked it. It’s fitting, funny, and very Shelly. Overall, I’m glad I gave this book a try, even though as it turns out I only liked the beginning and the end of the story 😏.

I listened to the audiobook and thought the narrator did a fantastic job. If you want to give this book a try, I recommend the audiobook.

Have you read this book yet?