“Memorial Day, 1938: New York socialite Lily Dane has just returned with her family to the idyllic oceanfront community of Seaview, Rhode Island, expecting another placid summer season among the familiar traditions and friendships that sustained her after heartbreak. That is, until the Greenwald’s decide to take up residence in Seaview.
Budgie and Nick Greenwald are an unwelcome specter from Lily’s past: her former best friend and her former fiancé, now recently married – an event that set off a wildfire of gossip among the elite of Seaview, who have summered together for generations. Budgie’s arrival to restore her family’s old house puts her once more in the center of the community’s social scene, and she insinuates herself back into Lily’s friendship with an overpowering talent for seduction…and an alluring acquaintance from their college days, Yankees pitcher Graham Pendleton.
But the connection binding Lily to Nick is too strong to ignore as it draws the two into long-buried dreams, despite their uneasy secrets and many knotted family ties. Under the scorching summer sun, the unexpected truth of Budgie and Nick’s marriage bubbles to the sruface, and as a cataclysmic hurricane barrels unseen up the Atlantic and into New England, Lily and Nick must confront an emotional cyclone of their own, which will change their worlds forever.”
-Synopsis from inside front cover
A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams was my second pick for the Summer Reading Challenge being hosted by Jules at The Literary Lifestyle. You can check out my first post about the challenge here.
July’s prompt was to read a book set at the beach. As you can tell from the cover of this book, much of the story takes place at the beach in Rhode Island.
It has been a while since I’ve read a historical fiction novel that did not center of a significant moment in history. As such, this book was incredibly refreshing for me. I loved the setting of 1930s, which is not an era I have read much about.
I was instantly drawn into Lily, Budgie, and Nick’s stories. Their meeting in 1931 is brief before the story jumps to 1938 and everything has changed dramatically. From there, the chapters alternate between 1931/2 and 1938 as the truth about Lily and Nick, and Budgie, and even Graham, come to light. I was so curious the entire time I was reading to find out what happened to Nick and Lily. That made it a fast read, because each chapter brought answers but even more questions. As the truth spills out little by little, there is a sense of suspense as to what will happen in the present timeline.
I would recommend this book if you are looking for something light and summery to read over a long weekend. I found the story to be compelling but not overbearing. I enjoyed the east coast setting and was itching to go to the beach the entire time I was reading.
I’m so glad that I picked this book for the summer reading challenge, and I will be keeping Beatriz Williams’ books on my radar in the future!