Goodreads ratings
4.16 / 5

Estimated read time: 5 min read

One Sentence Summary

A lifelong friendship between two women is tested through the ups and downs of love, loss, and personal growth.


In "Beaches" by Iris Rainer Dart, readers are taken on a heartfelt journey of friendship, love, and loss. This bestselling novel, which was later adapted into a popular film, explores the bond between two women from different backgrounds who form an unbreakable connection. With its emotional depth and relatable characters, "Beaches" touches upon themes of loyalty, forgiveness, and the power of enduring friendship.

Brief Synopsis

The story of "Beaches" revolves around the lives of two women, Cee Cee Bloom and Bertie White. Cee Cee, a loud and ambitious girl from the Bronx, and Bertie, a shy and reserved girl who hails from a wealthy family, meet as children on the beaches of Atlantic City. Despite their initial differences, they quickly become inseparable friends and embark on countless adventures together.

As they grow older, Cee Cee pursues her dreams of becoming a famous actress, while Bertie focuses on her studies and eventually becomes a lawyer. Throughout their lives, they offer each other unwavering support, even in the face of personal hardships. The story follows their journey through various milestones, including marriages, careers, and the challenges that come with them.

Set against the backdrop of different cities, such as New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, "Beaches" captures the essence of each location and its impact on the characters' lives. The contrast between the vibrant, fast-paced world of show business and the more traditional values of family and stability creates an intriguing dynamic within the narrative.

Main Characters

Cee Cee BloomA talented and ambitious actress from the Bronx who dreams of stardom. She is bold, outspoken, and fiercely independent. Cee Cee's larger-than-life personality often leads her into both triumph and heartbreak.
Bertie WhiteA reserved and introverted girl from a wealthy background who becomes a successful lawyer. Bertie is kind-hearted and gentle, providing a stabilizing presence in Cee Cee's life. She values loyalty and is always there for her best friend.

Summary of Story Points over Chapters

Chapter 1: Childhood Friendship

Cee Cee and Bertie meet on the beaches of Atlantic City and form an instant bond. They spend their summers together, sharing secrets and dreams.

Chapter 2: Teenage Years

As teenagers, Cee Cee and Bertie navigate the challenges of high school and support each other through their individual struggles. Cee Cee dreams of becoming an actress, while Bertie focuses on her studies.

Chapter 3: Pursuing Dreams

Cee Cee moves to New York City to pursue her acting career, while Bertie attends law school. Despite the physical distance, they remain close friends and provide support during times of triumph and heartbreak.

Chapter 4: Love and Loss

Cee Cee experiences the ups and downs of relationships, while Bertie finds stability in her career. Both face personal tragedies and rely on each other for strength and understanding.

Chapter 5: Reconciliation

After a period of estrangement, Cee Cee and Bertie reconnect and reconcile their differences. They realize the importance of forgiveness and the enduring power of their friendship.

Main Events

  1. Cee Cee and Bertie meet on the beaches of Atlantic City and form a lifelong bond.
  2. Cee Cee pursues her dreams of becoming an actress, while Bertie focuses on her studies and becomes a lawyer.
  3. Both women experience personal triumphs and heartbreaks in their careers and relationships.
  4. Cee Cee and Bertie face personal tragedies and rely on each other for support.
  5. After a period of estrangement, the two friends reconcile and reaffirm the strength of their friendship.

Themes and Insights


  1. Friendship: The novel explores the profound impact of a deep and lasting friendship on the lives of its characters, highlighting the importance of connection and support.
  2. Dreams and Ambitions: "Beaches" delves into the pursuit of dreams and the sacrifices and challenges that come with them.
  3. Loss and Grief: The story examines the ways in which characters cope with loss and navigate the grieving process.
  4. Forgiveness: The theme of forgiveness is central to the narrative, as characters learn to let go of past hurts and reconcile their differences.


  1. The power of enduring friendship: Cee Cee and Bertie's friendship serves as a source of strength and stability throughout their lives, demonstrating the profound impact that true friendship can have.
  2. The importance of forgiveness: The novel highlights the transformative power of forgiveness, showing how it can heal old wounds and mend broken relationships.
  3. The resilience of the human spirit: Despite the challenges they face, the characters in "Beaches" demonstrate resilience and the ability to persevere, offering inspiration and hope to readers.

Reader's Takeaway

"Beaches" is a poignant and emotionally charged novel that celebrates the power of friendship and the resilience of the human spirit. Through its relatable characters and compelling storyline, the book offers valuable insights into the complexities of relationships, the pursuit of dreams, and the importance of forgiveness. Readers will be moved by the deep bond between Cee Cee and Bertie and will be reminded of the enduring power of true friendship.


"Beaches" by Iris Rainer Dart is a timeless tale of friendship, love, and loss. With its relatable characters, engaging plot, and exploration of universal themes, the novel has captivated readers for decades. Dart's storytelling prowess and ability to evoke deep emotions make "Beaches" a must-read for anyone seeking a poignant and heartwarming literary experience.

Beaches FAQ

  1. Who is the author of 'Beaches'?

    The author of 'Beaches' is Iris Rainer Dart.

  2. What is the genre of 'Beaches'?

    'Beaches' is a novel in the genre of contemporary fiction.

  3. What is the story about?

    'Beaches' is a heartwarming tale of a lifelong friendship between two women, CeeCee Bloom and Bertie White. The story follows their journey through ups and downs, tackling themes of love, loss, and personal growth.

  4. Is 'Beaches' a movie adaptation?

    Yes, 'Beaches' was adapted into a popular movie in 1988, starring Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey.

  5. Is 'Beaches' a standalone book or part of a series?

    'Beaches' is a standalone book.

  6. What are some memorable quotes from 'Beaches'?

    Some memorable quotes from 'Beaches' include: 'But enough about me, let's talk about you... What do you think of me?' and 'Underneath it all, we are all the same.'

  7. Are there any major themes in 'Beaches'?

    Yes, major themes in 'Beaches' include friendship, loyalty, personal transformation, and the power of human connection.

  8. Is 'Beaches' suitable for young readers?

    'Beaches' is more suitable for mature readers due to its themes and content.

  9. How long is the book 'Beaches'?

    The length of the book 'Beaches' varies depending on the edition, but it is typically around 400-500 pages.

  10. Where can I purchase 'Beaches'?

    'Beaches' can be purchased at most major book retailers, both online and in physical stores.