The Summer Wivesby Beatriz Williams Published 10 Jul 2018
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New York Times bestselling author Beatriz Williams brings us the blockbuster novel of the season—a spellbinding novel of romance, murder, class, power, and dark secrets set in the 1950s and ’60s among the rarified world of a resort island in the Long Island Sound . . .
In the summer of 1951, Miranda Schuyler arrives on elite, secretive Winthrop Island in Long Island Sound as a naive eighteen year old, still reeling from the loss of her father in the Second World War. Although a graduate of the exclusive Foxcroft Academy in Virginia, Miranda has always lived on the margins of high society. When her beautiful mother marries Hugh Fisher, whose summer house on Winthrop overlooks the famous lighthouse, Miranda is 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 has enjoyed an intense, complex friendship with Isobel Fisher, and has a catastrophe that will shatter Winthrop’s hard-won tranquility and banish Miranda from the Island for nearly two decades.
Now, in the 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 naive teenager, and she begins a fierce, inexorable quest for justice to the man she once loved . . . even if it means uncovering every last one of the secrets that bind together the families of Winthrop Island.
"The Summer Wives" Reviews
Thank you so much to TLC Book Tours and William Morrow Books for this gorgeous free copy of THE SUMMER WIVES by Beatriz Williams - all opinions are my own.
This is my second Beatriz Williams novel and it was everything I hoped it would be: a story with mystery, murder, drama, and romance, told in alternating time periods, spanning decades with two narratives that only Williams can execute so flawlessly. Miranda Schuyler arrives at Winthrop Island located in Long Island Sound in the summer of 1951. Her mother is set to marry Hugh Fisher and she is then to move in with her new family including her soon to be stepsister, Isobel. While on the island, Miranda meets and is smitten with the lighthouse keeper’s son, Joseph Vargas. Before summer’s end, tragedy strikes and Miranda leaves the island for nearly two decades before she returns.
This story revolves around several characters, but every one of them does have a distinct purpose, so it’s more enjoyable not to rush it. I really enjoyed the personalities of the two narrators, Miranda Schuyler Thomas and Bianca Medeiro. Williams is a master at writing vivid, picturesque, and dreamy descriptions that make you immediately want to go wherever she writes, drinking many many cocktails with her characters. And it was interesting to see the difference between the local, hardworking residents versus the wealthy, vacationing at their summer home, seasonal residents. All of the characters were well-thought-out and basically leaped off the pages. The novel starts with an intriguing murder mystery and proceeds to take you through a compelling, thoughtful story with fantastic and interesting characters. It’s the perfect summer read!
I really enjoyed this book! Told in alternating time periods between 2 women, only Beatriz Williams can pull this type of narrative off SO well. I loved the setting...a little island...and how she was able to evoke the details of the time and place so that I felt I was there, sipping one of MANY cocktails with the characters in the story. I thought she weaved a fantastic story and although I may have had a tiny issue with an event at the end, it wasn't enough to influence my enjoyment of the way the story unfolded. I can finally say I've found a summer must read that I can highly recommend! Whew I was beginning to get worried.
Miranda has come back after eighteen years to the island where she has spent every summer since her mother married into the prestigious Fisher family. She hasn’t told anyone the reason why she has returned to Winthrop’s Island with bruises that no one mentions, but since she stays for a relatively long time, the reason can be assumed even though it might be the wrong guess.
Miranda's return isn’t a welcome event even after all of this time, though, because of her testimony at the trial of the lighthouse keeper’s son back in 1951 when she was eighteen and in love with the accused.
Miranda hadn’t grown up with the elite and wealthy. When her mother married Hugh Fisher after her father was killed in WWII, she is introduced to that life and also sees how the year-round residents who fish and work as domestics live.
THE SUMMER WIVES goes back and forth from 1930 to 1951 and then to 1969. We learn about Miranda’s life, the lives of the Fisher and Monk families, the lives of other island residents, and how the lives of the domestic help are all connected by one specific incident during those years.
I enjoyed the story from the 1950’s the best. It was the most interesting and the least confusing. The 1930’s didn’t make sense to me how it fit in, but as I kept reading, I found out that it kept a secret and held a BIG surprise.
Ms. Williams has written another book that will hold your interest but has a bit of confusing story line with all the back and forth.
THE SUMMER WIVES is a story of the typical antics and lives of privileged families. We learn that most of the Winthrop Island families may have had money, but most of them are not happy.
THE SUMMER WIVES has a great setting, good story line, and has characters with problems and secrets both past and present.
I enjoyed Ms. Williams’ latest even though it dragged a bit at times, but the ending had it all coming together and was very satisfying. 4/5
I received an advance copy. All opinions are my own.
Thanks to TLC Book Tours and William Morrow Books for this free review copy!
Set on an exclusive island of elite wealth in Long Island Sound, THE SUMMER WIVES bounces between 1930, 1951 and 1969. Williams masterfully weaves these storylines and events together while always maintaining a taut tone of romance and suspense revolving around two very different families on the island - one year-round Portuguese family and one of the wealthy New England summer clans.
There is really something for most readers in this tale ~ forbidden love warring with dutiful marriage, a movie star, mystery, murder and a gorgeous Atlantic coastal setting. Definitely one of my very top picks for summer 2018!
Why I Love It
by Liberty Hardy
There’s no time like the present to sink into an enchanting historical novel. I present to you The Summer Wives, a fantastic page-turner set on a New England island where the very privileged live and play. There’s mystery! There’s romance! There are waves crashing and hearts pounding! It’s perfect.
It’s 1951 on Winthrop Island and Miranda Schulyer has returned from boarding school to spend the summer at her new stepfather’s home. Here she will meet Joseph, a friend of her icy new stepsister, and attempt to navigate the complicated politics of privilege and status that separate the wealthy “summer people” from the islanders. Dining at the elite country club one moment and cruising in a fisherman’s boat the next, Miranda finds herself caught between two worlds—especially after tragedy strikes. Eighteen years later, now a star of stage and screen, Miranda returns to the island to face the truth of what happened all those years ago.
The story is engrossing and Williams’ writing is luxurious. And there’s something delightful about reading a book set in a time when all the answers can’t immediately be found on someone’s phone. This was the perfect read for lounging in a hammock and escaping the world. Get yours today! (Hammock not included.)
Read more at: https://www.bookofthemonth.com/the-su...
With a sophisticated scalpel, Beatriz Williams dissects long-held passion, prejudice, and mistrust lurking in an insular (did I mention the book takes place on an island?) community with secrets that go back for generations. Pour yourself a gin and tonic, and don’t rush this ravishing novel by New England storytelling’s reigning queen. Set in the 50s and 60s, THE SUMMER WIVES offers profound relevance for today’s times, As we ask ourselves, who belongs here and who doesn’t?