Book Review: The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams

My second book of the Month pick was The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams (the first was The Last Time I Lied). I once again went a little outside of my comfort zone, since it is described as historical fiction and that is typically not my thing. Just like with The Kiss Quotient, I am so glad I did! I loved this book. I suppose I need to step out of my book comfort zone more often.

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Winthrop Island is a secluded island off the coast of New York where wealthy families spend their summers. In the summer of 1951, Miranda Schuyler arrives on Winthrop Island for the wedding of her mother and Hugh Fisher, who owns a summer house on the island. The morning of the wedding, Miranda sees a boating accident and meets Joseph, the son of a lobsterman and the lighthouse keeper, and Miranda is instantly drawn to him.

The wedding transports Miranda into a new life of the elite full of parties and events, guided by her new stepsister Isobel, who has an intense relationship with Joseph that Miranda does not understand. Miranda quickly learns there are two types of people on the Island – the Families, the wealthy people who spend their summers there, and the Islanders who live there year-round and work there.

The book goes back and forth between several time periods. – Miranda’s time on the island in 1951, Miranda’s return to the island in 1969, and then time on the island before Miranda in 1931. I loved the way it bounced back and forth between the time periods.

I will say, I had a little bit of a hard time getting into this one, but it had absolutely nothing to do with the book. It was because I read it after I read The Last Time I Lied, and it just wouldn’t leave my brain. But once I got past that, I really got sucked into the story. When I finished it, I kept thinking, “But now what??”

Even though I typically don’t do much historical fiction, because I loved this book so much, I decided to look into the author Beatriz Williams. She has several books, and they all revolved around the extended Schuyler family, which I love, and it gives me hope that perhaps Miranda and company will make appearances in future books. So I’ve decided to start reading them from the beginning. They can stand alone but I am going to read them in order of publication, so the first one is Overseas, and I’ll be reading that soon! This first book doesn’t involve the Schuylers (her next one A Hundred Summers is the beginning), but I am still starting with this one.

If you are looking for a book that has a little bit of everything – a love story, forbidden love, secrets, a murder, mystery – The Summer Wives is a great pick for you! Or if you want, you can start at the beginning with me!

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