Trigger Warning: This novel and review discuss the following: sex, paternity, classism.
Goodreads Rating: 4 Stars
I will admit, I stayed away from this novel because I thought it was going to be some fluffy summer read, but man was I wrong.
Main character Miranda Schuyler uncovers- much by accident- a secret almost two decades old, and Williams keeps her readers guessing what’s to come right up until that very moment.
Flashing back from the present time of 1969, to the summer of the “incident” in 1951, Miranda recalls the first summer she spent on Winthrop Island. Having lost her father in WWII, Miranda’s mother is taken away by the stunning high society man, Hugh Fisher, eventually marrying in a rather quiet, tasteful ceremony. His daughter, Isobel, tries to take Miranda, or “Peaches” as she is soon nicknamed, under her wing and shows her the glamourous life that is summering off the coast of New England with money and men at their disposal. However, Miranda isn’t too comfortable with such a life, and ends up making friends with a local resident, lobsterman Joseph Vargas.
From there, Williams creates a whirlwind romance, where the lines between family, friendship, and love are all blurred. Engagements are broken, secrets are revealed, and Miranda must follow her gut- and her heart- in order to prove that the man she fell in love with was not a murderer.
Without trying to give too much away, I really enjoyed Williams’ ability to create such a delicate plot line, and to have revealed only so much as to keep you reading for more. She did an excellent job creating flawed but believable characters, and I even got a little Gatsby-esque feel from her atmospheric writing- think Gatsby watching across the bay for that little green light. Rather romantic- which speaking of, there is no lacking of steamy scenes, either.
Overall, I could easily see myself reading this book in the summer on a beach- or curled up in the middle of winter, and being taken away to warmer days.
TL/DR: The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams is a historical fiction family drama and love story about the residents of Winthrop Island.
Read it? Yes, this was a really entertaining and quick paced read, perfect for summer.
Recommend it? Yes, to those who enjoy love stories, historical fiction, or those looking for an atmospheric summer read.
Buy it? Yes!
If you liked this novel or review, check out these similar reads:
- The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
- Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald