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New Release Tuesday: The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams

Beatriz Williams is one of my favorite authors. She's my favorite author writing historical fiction today, and what I think I love most about her books is how they remind me of classic films. Her ability to write witty, fabulous dialogue (banter) just makes me smile every time I pick up one of her books. She writes incredible characters, perfectly interwoven storylines - plus her books are like the marvel universe of historical fiction books - characters from old books are always popping up here and there. It's so much fun. If I could choose an author whose work I wish I could have written as my own - Beatriz Williams is that author.

If you haven't ever read one of her books I highly recommend her very popular Schuyler sisters trilogy, start with The Secret Life of Violet Grant, then Tiny Little Thing (my favorite of the three) and finally Along the Infinite Sea. Or A Hundred Summers. They're all amazing.

So you can imagine my absolute delight when I received a copy of her latest, The Summer Wives, from William Morrow publishing - I literally screamed in surprise and happiness when I opened the package. I know - I'm not dramatic at all. This book is the book that I notated, dog eared and flagged all through my reading of it. I took this book with me everywhere and I could not put it down. This book is my summer book of 2018.

Please believe me when I say, this is probably one of my absolute favorite of Beatriz Williams' books to date. This storyline is everything. In 1951 Miranda Schuyler arrives on Winthrop Island with her mother - who is soon to be wed to Hugh Fisher, a notoriously wealthy man whose summer home on the Island is as exclusive as it is expansive. The union between her mother and Mr. Fisher introduces Miranda to the dazzling Island elite and their impressive world of ivy league schools, cocktail parties and families.

But beyond the stayed traditions of Winthrop's summer residents there is another population of people who inhabit the island year round - a group of Portuguese residents who make their living lobstering in the harbor and operating businesses that cater to the wealthy summer patrons. Among them is Joseph Vargas, a young lobsterman who is friends with Miranda's new step-sister Isobel. Miranda finds herself drawn to Joseph's easy manner and charisma - but when a tragic event occurs one summer evening, Miranda finds herself banished from Winthrop Island and Joseph is arrested for murder.

But in the summer of 1969, Miranda returns to the island where the affluent Fisher family home is now a crumbling artists retreat, her mother and step-sister barely reminiscent of the glittering people they once were. Hiding from the world and her very public life as an actress, Miranda seeks refuge and love with those who once were her family and friends.

Perfectly paced and plotted, this book is one of my favorites this year. Williams' draws her reader in with her trademark wit and observation of a secretive elite society. It's a novel of love, betrayal and loss that is truly transporting.

An advanced review copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

The Book Gawker's buy it or borrow it recommendation: Buy It

Buy It

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