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 Greenwalds decide to take up residence in Seaview.
Nick and Budgie 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 ties that bind Lily to Nick are too strong and intricate to ignore, and the two are drawn back into long-buried dreams, despite their uneasy secrets and many emotional obligations.
Under the scorching summer sun, the unexpected truth of Budgie and Nick’s marriage bubbles to the surface, 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.
A Hundred Summers is a love story, with a bit of mystery and lots of secrets.
The synopsis above does a great job of setting the stage for this story so I will refrain from being repetitive. This book is told in dual timelines, but the timelines are only seven years apart. In 1931 Budgie Byrne and Lily Dane are college students. Several years later the two have grown apart and have not seen each other for years, until 1938 in the coastal town of Seaview, where both of their families vacationed when they were children.
I love the setting of this book. I have a weak spot for seaside stories. At one point I turned to my husband and told him we really need a seaside vacation home. We could go to the club house for dinner, play tennis, and enjoy endless days at the beach. He pointed to the back yard and said, “we have a pool.” Somehow I don’t think we are on the same page here.
I thought the format of this book worked perfectly and kept me intrigued throughout. I loved the way the 1931 storyline progressed, slowly but surely and explained what happened between Budgie and Lily that changed their relationship so dramatically. I kept wondering how in the world Budgie ended up marrying Lily’s former fiancé, when they had seemed so good together.
There were entertaining characters such as Aunt Julie, and five-year-old Kiki was absolutely adorable. There were many moments of humor and sarcasm which I always enjoy in any book.
This is my first Beatriz Williams book and certainly won’t be my last!
My Rating: 4/5
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Putnam Adult
Publication Date: 5/30/2013
Pages: 357 (Hardback)
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