Read The House on Mermaid Point Online

Authors: Wendy Wax

Tags: #Fiction, #Romance, #Contemporary, #Contemporary Women, #Family Life

The House on Mermaid Point

BOOK: The House on Mermaid Point
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While We Were Watching Downton Abbey
is a tribute to the transformative power of female friendship, and reading Wendy Wax is like discovering a witty, wise, and wonderful new friend.”

—Claire Cook, bestselling author of
Must Love Dogs
Time Flies

“Quite a clever, fun little novel . . . If you’re a sucker for plucky women who rise to the occasion, this is for you.”

—USA Today

“Wax’s trendy premise makes for a surprisingly poignant and enjoyable story about friendship.”


“In the style of Karen Joy Fowler’s
The Jane Austen Book Club
 . . . The book engrosses its reader in the drama of these women’s love lives and emotional struggles.”

—Deseret News

“You needn’t be a fan of
Downton Abbey
to enjoy
While We Were Watching
—the show is simply the pop-culture hook that gives the main characters an excuse to ‘meet cute’ but nevertheless create a realistic friendship of such depth and strength, even the Dowager [Countess] would approve.”

—RT Book Reviews


“Just the right amount of suspense and drama for a beach read.”

—Publishers Weekly

“Wax does a wonderful job of carrying new readers into the story and all the many characters she juggles so well . . . The plot raises both questions and deep emotions to keep readers racing to the end to find out what happens.”

—RT Book Reviews

“Wax puts on display what most would expect when this many women live and work together in the same environment: laughs, tears, anger, occasional cattiness, and every emotion in between.”

—Fresh Fiction

“Beautifully written and constructed by an author who evidently knows what she is doing . . . One fantastic read.”

—Book Binge

“[A] very talented writer who knows how to craft a great story with complex characters [and] a great plot, and plug in just enough steamy romance to satisfy everyone. Finely done!”

—The Best Reviews


“Great escape reading, perfect for the beach.”

—Library Journal

“If you loved Jennifer Weiner’s
Fly Away Home
for its wise and witty look at the lives of people grappling with personal setbacks . . . then try
Ten Beach Road
 . . . [a] warm, wry novel.”

—St. Petersburg Times

“Showcases three women who rise above their shattered realities with grace, determination, and a little elbow grease.”

—Publishers Weekly

“Fun . . . heartwarming . . . A loving tribute to friendship and the power of the female spirit.”

—Las Vegas Review-Journal

“A near-perfect summertime read . . . Beautiful setting and lovable characters . . . Full of laughter, heartache, secrets, loyalty, and courage.”

—Night Owl Reviews

“A lovely story that recognizes the power of the female spirit, while being fun, emotional, and a little romantic.”

—Fresh Fiction

“Funny, heartbreaking, romantic, and so much more . . . This story about recovery and restoration on so many levels is just delightful!”

—The Best Reviews


“Wax, the author of
The Accidental Bestseller
, writes with breezy wit and keen insight into family relations.”

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“An honest, realistic story of family, love, and priorities, with genuine characters.”


“Bittersweet . . . Vivien’s an easy protagonist to love; she’s plucky, resourceful, and witty.”

Publishers Weekly

“Atlanta-based novelist Wendy Wax spins yet another captivating tale of life and love in this wonderfully entertaining book.”

Southern Seasons Magazine


“It’s a definite must for any beach bag this summer . . . Wax does a fantastic job giving readers an insight into the cutthroat world of New York publishing, and the story provides inspiration to budding novelists.”

—Sacramento Book Review

“A warm, triumphant tale of female friendship and the lessons learned when life doesn’t turn out as planned . . . Sure to appeal.”

Library Journal

“A wise and witty foray into the hearts of four amazing women and the publishing world they inhabit. This is a beautiful book about loyalty, courage, and pursuing your dreams with a little help from your friends. I loved this book!”

—Karen White,
New York Times
bestselling author of
The Time Between

“A terrific story brimming with wit, warmth, and good humor. I loved it!”

—Jane Porter, author of
The Good Wife

“A wry, revealing tell-all about friendship and surviving the world of publishing.”

—Haywood Smith,
New York Times
bestselling author of
Out of Warranty

“Entertaining . . . Provides a lot of insight into the book business, collected, no doubt, from Wax’s own experiences.”

St. Petersburg Times

Also by Wendy Wax











Published by the Penguin Group

Penguin Group (USA) LLC

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014

USA • Canada • UK • Ireland • Australia • New Zealand • India • South Africa • China

A Penguin Random House Company

This book is an original publication of The Berkley Publishing Group.

Copyright © 2014 by Wendy Wax.

Excerpt from
While We Were Watching Downton Abbey
copyright © 2013 by Wendy Wax.

“Readers Guide” copyright © 2014 by Penguin Group (USA) LLC.

Penguin supports copyright. Copyright fuels creativity, encourages diverse voices, promotes free speech, and creates a vibrant culture. Thank you for buying an authorized edition of this book and for complying with copyright laws by not reproducing, scanning, or distributing any part of it in any form without permission. You are supporting writers and allowing Penguin to continue to publish books for every reader.

BERKLEY® is a registered trademark of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.

The “B” design is a trademark of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.

eBook ISBN: 978-1-101-59940-2

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Wax, Wendy.

The house on Mermaid Point / Wendy Wax.—First edition.

p. cm.

ISBN 978-0-425-26332-7 (paperback)

1. Female friendship—Fiction. 2. Mansions—Conservation and restoration—Fiction. 3. Bed and breakfast accommodations—Fiction. 4. Reality television programs—Juvenile fiction. 5. Success in business—Fiction. 6. Man-woman relationships—Fiction. 7. Florida Keys (Fla.)—Fiction. I. Title.

PS3623.A893.H68 2014 2014002096



Berkley trade paperback edition / July 2014

Cover design by Sarah Oberrender

Cover photo: porch overlooking ocean © Gentle & Hyers / Botanica / Getty Images.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.



Praise for the Novels of Wendy Wax

Also by Wendy Wax

Title Page





Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-one

Chapter Twenty-two

Chapter Twenty-three

Chapter Twenty-four

Chapter Twenty-five

Chapter Twenty-six

Chapter Twenty-seven

Chapter Twenty-eight

Chapter Twenty-nine

Chapter Thirty

Chapter Thirty-one

Chapter Thirty-two

Chapter Thirty-three

Chapter Thirty-four

Chapter Thirty-five

Chapter Thirty-six

Chapter Thirty-seven

Chapter Thirty-eight

Chapter Thirty-nine

Chapter Forty

Chapter Forty-one

Chapter Forty-two

Chapter Forty-three

Chapter Forty-four

Chapter Forty-five

Chapter Forty-six


Readers Guide

Special Preview of
While We Were Watching Downton Abbey


I am embarrassed to admit that although I was born and raised in Florida, I didn’t make it to the Keys until I decided to set this book there. I had originally planned on a Key West location, but my husband and I stopped off in Islamorada on the drive down to visit friends Justine and Elliott Fine. There, Justine shared her knowledge and love of Islamorada history, natural beauty, lifestyle, and people in a way that made me fall in love, too. The moment I set foot on Tea Table Key, I was a goner. I knew I’d found William Hightower’s home.

Heartfelt thanks are owed to Justine, who shared far more than could ever be included in one novel and who read every word I wrote so that I’d get it as “right” as possible given that this is a work of fiction and I make things up for a living.

Additional thanks go to Larry Gabor, who showed me the fabulous private island on which I based Mermaid Point and who shared everything from aerial photos to his feelings about life, music, and the astounding natural beauty of the area in which he lives. I hope he will forgive me for the liberties I’ve taken. Any mistakes are my own.

When I realized William Hightower would have to be a backcountry fisherman Larry sent me to Rick Kendrick, who took pity on me and talked me through what I needed to know about fly tying and flats fishing. One afternoon in his driveway, I discovered just how little talent I have for casting, and I am deeply grateful that it isn’t necessary to be good (or even competent) at something to write about it. Thanks, Rick, for the help and for keeping your laughter to yourself.

Thanks also to Sam Holland, owner of the fabulous Conch House Heritage Inn in Old Town Key West, for sharing his renovation experiences and family history. We had a great stay there and hope to be back soon.

Once again I have to thank designer and friend Rebecca Ritchie, who has been such an incredible help on all of the Ten Beach Road books. She designed William Hightower’s home and outbuildings and talked me off the ledge several times. I still don’t know how someone who belongs to a family that’s not allowed to own tools because they require medical attention after using them came to write a series that revolves around renovation. I do know that I couldn’t have done it half as well without Rebecca, who does pretty great work on real houses, too.

As always, my undying friendship and gratitude go to Karen White and Susan Crandall, without whom the act of writing would not be the same. I’m very proud to be a member of the Nittie Club.

BOOK: The House on Mermaid Point
2.07Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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