Janine “Janey” Brown of Cedar Falls, IA, just wants to be left alone to cook huge quantities of food that she’ll never eat and hide from the strangers that cause her crippling anxiety. When her Great-Aunt Midge enters her name in a contest to win a new home on the coast of Maine, Janey is sure she won’t win.
On the other hand, Janine “Nean” Brown, also of Cedar Falls, IA, is sure she’s destined to win the giant house in Maine, desperate to get away from her boyfriend, the latest in a string of losers, and unaware of the girl across town who shares her name.
I’m sure it’s no surprise that the winner of the dream house is one Janine Brown, of Cedar Falls, IA. But which Janine Brown?
Both women show up at the house, Janey with Aunt Midge in tow, and for reasons I won’t divulge for fear of spoiling, the three women, who couldn’t be more different, learn to co-exist in the house on Shipwreck Lane. Janey is quiet, painfully shy, and loves to whip up the complicated but delicious dishes in her large cookbook collection. Nean is young and impulsive, without a dime to her name, and an expert at telling lies, even to those she loves. And Midge, who loves both girls equally, is a pillar of wisdom and experience, but also as Janey describes her, a dirty old bird.
The two Janines form an unlikely friendship, with Janey teaching Nean how to make bread, something she turns out to be exceptionally good at, and Nean giving Janey the friendship she desperately needs. They both also find love, but of course not without bumps along the way.
While I read The Good Luck Girls of Shipwreck Lane in November, it has all the makings of a good beach read, so if you’re headed anywhere warm over the holidays, take me with you! But if that’s not possible, then this book is a good one to bring along.
Notes on the audiobook: Janey and Nean are voiced by two different women, which is fitting since the story is told in first person, alternating between them. The narrator for Janey was spot on, giving her a mousy, quiet quality. Nean’s narrator gave the impression she was doing a monologue rather than reading a book, but in retrospect, it’s a fitting performance for the larger-than-life character of Nean.