The Summer Wives
By: Beatriz Williams
Publication Date: 7/10/2018
My Rating: 5 Stars New York Times bestselling author Beatriz Williams brings us the blockbuster novel of the season—an electrifying postwar fable of love, class, power, and redemption set among the inhabitants of an island off the New England coast . . . In the summer of 1951, Miranda Schuyler arrives on elite, secretive Winthrop Island as a schoolgirl from the margins of high society, still reeling from the loss of her father in the Second World War. When her beautiful mother marries Hugh Fisher, whose summer house on Winthrop overlooks the famous lighthouse, Miranda’s catapulted into a heady new world of pedigrees and cocktails, status and swimming pools. Isobel Fisher, Miranda’s new stepsister—all long legs and world-weary bravado, engaged to a wealthy Island scion—is eager to draw Miranda into the arcane customs of Winthrop society.
But beneath the island’s patrician surface, there are really two clans: the summer families with their steadfast ways and quiet obsessions, and the working class of Portuguese fishermen and domestic workers who earn their living on the water and in the laundries of the summer houses. Uneasy among Isobel’s privileged friends, Miranda finds herself drawn to Joseph Vargas, whose father keeps the lighthouse with his mysterious wife. In summer, Joseph helps his father in the lobster boats, but in the autumn he returns to Brown University, where he’s determined to make something of himself. Since childhood, Joseph’s enjoyed an intense, complex friendship with Isobel Fisher, and as the summer winds to its end, Miranda’s caught in a catastrophe that will shatter Winthrop’s hard-won tranquility and banish Miranda from the island for nearly two decades.
Now, in the landmark summer of 1969, Miranda returns at last, as a renowned Shakespearean actress hiding a terrible heartbreak. On its surface, the Island remains the same—determined to keep the outside world from its shores, fiercely loyal to those who belong. But the formerly powerful Fisher family is a shadow of itself, and Joseph Vargas has recently escaped the prison where he was incarcerated for the murder of Miranda’s stepfather eighteen years earlier. What’s more, Miranda herself is no longer a naïve teenager, and she begins a fierce, inexorable quest for justice for the man she once loved . . . even if it means uncovering every last one of the secrets that bind together the families of Winthrop Island.
Buy the Book
I received my print copy of Beatriz Williams' The Summer Wives today. Stunning! ARC provided by HarperCollins Publishers' Page Turners. Review to follow.
Love the flap on the front and back cover to use as a bookmark, plus the hi-quality of the cover (iridescent), and the pages (texture is divine). A "definite" for any home library. I also own the print copy of Cocoa Beach, making an impressive pair. Of course, all her covers are always glamorous and keeping with the historical era. However, The Summer Wives is a stand-out!
“The Summer Wives is an exquisitely rendered novel that tackles two of my favorite topics: love and money. The glorious setting and drama are enriched by Williams’s signature vintage touch. It’s at the top of my picks for the beach this summer.” (Elin Hilderbrand, author of The Perfect Couple)
Longtime Williams fans, readers of historical fiction and mysteries, and anyone seeking engaging plot twists will find satisfaction in these pages.” (Booklist )
“With just the right touch of bitters, Williams mixes a satisfyingly tempestuous—and eminently beachworthy—[follow-up] to her beloved Schuyler Sisters series.” (Kirkus (starred review)
"Engrossing and gripping, you will finish this book in one sitting.” (St. Louis Post Dispatch )
”Another hot book for summer from the prolific Williams... A romantic, multilayered tale.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)
“The author displays a mastery of character building while thoughtfully planting evocative details about the setting and the era’s social structures. The intricate and complex web of relationships within stated conventions are skillfully created and add depth to the narrative. Longtime Williams fans, readers of historical fiction and mysteries, and anyone seeking engaging plot twists will find satisfaction in these pages.” (Library Journal)
“Williams transports readers to a time and place replete with glamour, drama and secrets. Delving into the inner sanctum of wealthy families to expose the dark sides of their lives is something Williams excels at. Readers are swept away into the opulent three dimensional world where they see and feel along with her believable, engaging characters. As always the backdrop is well drawn and the plot compelling, making this a hard-to-put-down read and one you’ll want to savor.” (RT Book Reviews)
“The Summer Wives is a compulsively readable story that will make you swear you can smell the salt air.” (Popsugar)
“This book is what the term “beach read” was made for.” (Buzzfeed)
“Romance, class issues, dark secrets, and murder—it’s all here in this deliciously rich novel.” (Bustle )
About the Author
Beatriz Williams is the New York Times bestselling author of A Hundred Summers, The Secret Life of Violet Grant, Along the Infinite Sea, A Certain Age, and several other works of historical fiction. A graduate of Stanford University with an MBA in Finance from Columbia University, Beatriz worked as a communications and corporate strategy consultant in New York and London before she turned her attention to writing novels that combine her passion for history with an obsessive devotion to voice and characterization. Beatriz’s books have been translated into more than a dozen languages and appear regularly in bestseller lists around the world.
Born in Seattle, Washington, Beatriz now lives near the Connecticut shore with her husband and four children, where she divides her time between writing and laundry. Read More