Friday, July 06, 2018

Review: The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams

Title: The Summer Wives
Author: Beatriz Williams
Published: July 2018, William Morrow
Format: ARC Paperback, 384 pages
Source: Publisher

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 helps his father in the lobster boat, 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.

My thoughts: Oh, how I adore Beatriz Williams and that love just grows more and more with each book! If you haven't picked up one of her books yet - what are you waiting for?!?! I love nothing more than getting lost in her stories. There is just something about her books - they are the perfect blend of historical fiction, compelling characters and fantastic writing that bring me back time and again. I just can't get enough of this perfect combination!!!

I loved the way this story was told with the changing narrators and changing time periods. There are a lot of characters and some overlap in the different time periods, but each of the narrators - Bianca Medeiro and Miranda Schuyler -  have different personalities, so it is quite easy to follow along. And one thing I found was that with all the characters, no one is insignificant...each character, no matter how small a role they play, is there for a purpose.

This book is filled with a great mystery, lots of secrets, and of course, some romance. The mystery is cleverly set up...Beatriz tells us up front that a murder has taken place, but not how or why. That is slowly pieced together throughout the rest of the book. And along the way there are some interesting secrets revealed. Some secrets I saw coming and some that completely shocked me!

This is a book to savior, not one to rush through. It's a book that you will be thinking about while you are reading it and one that you will be thinking about long after you finish reading it. It's the perfect book to escape with on a hot, summer day!

Beatriz Williams is definitely a must-read author for me...I've read just about every book she's written - I still need to read Overseas, which I have sitting on my shelf. I always know I am in for a treat when I pick up her books. Do you have an author like that - that you must-read?



  1. Sadly there is no way to get this book which sounds entrancing and intriguing.

  2. I discovered Beatriz Williams last year and have been reading as much by her as I could ever since. I love the sound of this one and can't wait to get this one. It sounds amazing!


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