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The Summer Wives

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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 a 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.


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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 a 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.

30 review for The Summer Wives

  1. 4 out of 5

    Meredith

    3.5 stars “Nobody ever says what they really mean. There is this vast fabric of tender little lies, and all the important things are unspoken. Boiling there underneath. We only bother telling the truth when it’s too small to count.” Dark secrets, lies, and betrayals set the stage for The Summer Wives. This chaotic saga is built around exclusive Winthrop Island, where the rich vacation and the locals live modest lives. The class lines create a comfortable divide, but when boundaries are crossed, it 3.5 stars “Nobody ever says what they really mean. There is this vast fabric of tender little lies, and all the important things are unspoken. Boiling there underneath. We only bother telling the truth when it’s too small to count.” Dark secrets, lies, and betrayals set the stage for The Summer Wives. This chaotic saga is built around exclusive Winthrop Island, where the rich vacation and the locals live modest lives. The class lines create a comfortable divide, but when boundaries are crossed, it leads to a great tragedy. Three timelines which take place during the summer months over the course of 40 years divide the narrative. While there are multiple characters and storylines, the main focus is on film actress Miranda Thomas, the stepdaughter of infamous islander Hugh Fisher. The novel begins In 1969 when Miranda returns to her family’s crumbling estate on elite Winthrop Island. It’s been 18 years since Miranda fled the island to build a new life. Is it a coincidence that her first love, Joseph, has recently escaped from prison? Even though there is a lot going on with the many timelines and characters, I didn’t have a difficult time keeping up with the various events. The narrative is structured into an easy to read pattern that is continuously repeated throughout the novel: it begins in 1931, switches to 1951, and then transitions into 1969. I would have liked to have read more about the storyline that takes place in the 1930’s and I found the language of the 1950’s timeline was a bit contrived. I think that there was just too much that Williams was trying to weave in, and as a result, there were too many loose threads that didn’t come together. I also found the ending to be overly dramatic and rushed. What I enjoyed most was reading about Winthrop island; Williams does a beautiful job of bringing the island to life. It’s just too bad that the plot didn’t match the beauty of the setting! I won a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway!

  2. 3 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    THE HAVES AND THE HAVE NOTS......the genesis of many a tome. Here, it is a summer enclave on Long Island Sound, where the wealthy come to their summer mansions, their country club, their parties. The year round people make their living from shops, as servants and from the ocean. Miranda arrives at the age of seventeen, when her mother marries into one of these wealthy families, not used to the ways of the rich. She will fall in love and become entangled in something she little understands. Diffe THE HAVES AND THE HAVE NOTS......the genesis of many a tome. Here, it is a summer enclave on Long Island Sound, where the wealthy come to their summer mansions, their country club, their parties. The year round people make their living from shops, as servants and from the ocean. Miranda arrives at the age of seventeen, when her mother marries into one of these wealthy families, not used to the ways of the rich. She will fall in love and become entangled in something she little understands. Different timelines, one from the past, one in the present, and one when Miranda returns to the island as an adult. Nicely written, but I am not the target reader for this book. As a light summer read it is entertaining, so it will make a good beach read. I am not a fan though, of soap opera type novels, and this one novel would make a great one. Nor am I am fan of dramatic, and the ending of this book contains plenty. So, in essence, a lighter change of pace read, and z great book to take to the beach or on vacation.

  3. 3 out of 5

    Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

    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 li 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.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ 2.5 Stars Before I begin, let me say that this is not a book that normally falls into my wheelhouse when it comes to my “must reads.” So how did I end up with it? Well, there are several reasons. To begin with, where I live . . . . Also, along with my favorite time of year of bulky sweaters that hide my fat, comes my arch nemesis of basic bitches . . . . *shudder* So I figured I might as well read as many “summery” things as possible b Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ 2.5 Stars Before I begin, let me say that this is not a book that normally falls into my wheelhouse when it comes to my “must reads.” So how did I end up with it? Well, there are several reasons. To begin with, where I live . . . . Also, along with my favorite time of year of bulky sweaters that hide my fat, comes my arch nemesis of basic bitches . . . . *shudder* So I figured I might as well read as many “summery” things as possible before the spice of the pumpkin officially invades the universe (a week early, no less, FFS!). This one actually had the dang word in the title so bonus. Second, this book has been all over Satan’s Website Instagram which has made my library checkouts pretty much the equivalent of . . . . And finally, despite the fact that the never-ending blurb there was no chance I was ever going to read probably laid out the entire story to me, in my mind I was convinced that I was getting ready to experience . . . . (And yes I realize I should have just re-read fucking Peyton Place I know, but whatever. I do what I want.) Upon starting, I was crossing my fingers for a bit of Middlesex to be thrown in for good measure. I guess in the most generic way possible this was a teensie bit Peyton Place with a splash of Middlesex. It just wasn’t very page-turny for me and even my husband remarked that he hoped my spending an entire weekend on one book did not result in a rage of the Firestarter variety. But again, this isn’t my usual bag so take my mediocre rating with a grain of salt.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Katie B

    Miranda Schuyler has arrived on Winthrop Island in the summer of 1951. Her mother is set to marry Hugh Fisher, and after the wedding she will be spending the summer in his home with her new stepsister, Isobel. Miranda soon realizes there are two types of people on the island, the wealthy who come to the island to stay in their vacation homes and dine at the country club, and the working class make ends meet by catering to the rich. As Isobel shows her around the island, Miranda is drawn to Josep Miranda Schuyler has arrived on Winthrop Island in the summer of 1951. Her mother is set to marry Hugh Fisher, and after the wedding she will be spending the summer in his home with her new stepsister, Isobel. Miranda soon realizes there are two types of people on the island, the wealthy who come to the island to stay in their vacation homes and dine at the country club, and the working class make ends meet by catering to the rich. As Isobel shows her around the island, Miranda is drawn to Joseph Vargas, who helps his father in the lobster boats and lives in the lighthouse across from the Fisher family home. Before summer's end, Miranda's path changes course and she leaves the island due to tragic circumstances. Decades later when she returns she realizes the island is still full of secrets as she attempts to seek justice. What I enjoyed about this book was due to the alternating timelines, you had an idea of what happened early on but needed the rest of the pieces to the puzzle to see the whole picture. I wouldn't say there were any truly shocking plot twists in this book but I still had a hard time putting the book down. I really enjoyed seeing the people of the island through the perspectives of Miranda and Bianca. The setting of Winthrop Island and how the rich and working class interacted were strong assets and made the book all the more enjoyable. My only disappointment with the book came with the ending. I didn't feel like it was the most satisfying ending. I don't know how to describe it other than when I finished the book I walked away with a "meh" type feeling whereas up until the last few chapters of the book, I had really enjoyed watching the story unfold. It certainly isn't a bad ending but for me it was the weakest part of the book. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher but was under no obligation to post a review. All views expressed are my honest opinion.

  6. 3 out of 5

    ♥ Sandi ❣

    4.5 stars Thanks to BookBrowse and William Morrow for allowing me to read and review this ARC. Publication July 10, 2018. Although I have heard that Beatriz Williams was a good author, I had never read her before. I do have a number of her books on my TBR list however. Now that I have read one of her books, all the rest of them need to be elevated to the top of my reading list. I found her character development to be superb. The story line was well thought out and flowed well, while bouncing bet 4.5 stars Thanks to BookBrowse and William Morrow for allowing me to read and review this ARC. Publication July 10, 2018. Although I have heard that Beatriz Williams was a good author, I had never read her before. I do have a number of her books on my TBR list however. Now that I have read one of her books, all the rest of them need to be elevated to the top of my reading list. I found her character development to be superb. The story line was well thought out and flowed well, while bouncing between the years of 1930, 1951 and 1969 and alternating between Miranda Schuyler Thomas and Bianca Medeiro. An Island of summer homes, where the rich and elite vacationed throughout each summer. Miranda was thrown into the mix when her mother married Hugh and Isobel's father. One of her first acquaintances on the Island was the son of the light house keeper, Joseph, one of the poorer working year-round residents. As the summer draws to a close Miranda is banished from the Island and Joseph is imprisoned for murder. Eighteen years later Miranda returns to the Island, still being dismissed by the social elite. Joseph has escaped from prison - is he back at the Island? Isobel, who had always laid claim to Joseph, is still as spoiled and remains in the inner circle of popularity. Miranda wants to reignite the love she had for Joseph and prove his innocence. It does not take long for the Island's secrets to begin to unravel.

  7. 3 out of 5

    Helene Jeppesen

    I was pretty much bored throughout most of this book, and while it wasn’t bad enough for me to DNF it, I didn’t at any point feel compelled to pick it up. Miranda, a national movie star, returns back to an American island after many years of absence. This island is a closed community where everyone knows each other and their secrets, and Miranda is visibly nervous to go back and reveal herself. The closed and protective community of this island is what drives the plot forward, and I wasn’t buyin I was pretty much bored throughout most of this book, and while it wasn’t bad enough for me to DNF it, I didn’t at any point feel compelled to pick it up. Miranda, a national movie star, returns back to an American island after many years of absence. This island is a closed community where everyone knows each other and their secrets, and Miranda is visibly nervous to go back and reveal herself. The closed and protective community of this island is what drives the plot forward, and I wasn’t buying into it. Many of the characters’ decisions and behaviour were irrational, and combined with a pretty predictable family drama that I feel like I’ve read many times over, I felt a constant disconnect to both the characters and the plot. Beatriz Williams tries to interweave some Shakespeare into the plot which was a feasable try and maybe one of the only things that I liked. If you are new to family dramas and secrets unfolding over 400 pages, this book might be interesting. But if you’ve read your fair share of these, I’m pretty sure you’re going to be able to look through the plot of “The Summer Wives” and pretty much guess how things are going to unfold and how it’s all going to end.

  8. 3 out of 5

    Kate Olson

    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 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!

  9. 3 out of 5

    Renee (itsbooktalk.com)

    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 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.

  10. 3 out of 5

    Sherri Thacker

    The Summer Wives was another book by the wonderful Beatriz Williams. She can tell a story unlike anyone else and I felt like I was right back there in time! I did find myself getting confused because of so many different characters and all the different time periods and because of that I didn’t finish this book. It was just dragging too much for me. I’m very disappointed in this one. I know I’m in the minority for not loving this one.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Umut Rados

    Please find full review on my blog: https://umutreviews.wordpress.com/201... I love a good historical fiction full of family saga, some mysteries of the past and a bit of romance. This book is exactly that! The book is set up in several time frames, and we travel within these times back and forth. I love this type of books in which we travel in time to slowly put the whole picture together. And this book really keeps you on the edge till the VERY end 🙂 Miranda Schuyler is our main character, who a Please find full review on my blog: https://umutreviews.wordpress.com/201... I love a good historical fiction full of family saga, some mysteries of the past and a bit of romance. This book is exactly that! The book is set up in several time frames, and we travel within these times back and forth. I love this type of books in which we travel in time to slowly put the whole picture together. And this book really keeps you on the edge till the VERY end 🙂 Miranda Schuyler is our main character, who arrives to Winthrop Island at the age of 18, in 1951. This island is a secretive community, who like to keep things to themselves, no matter what. Her pretty mother marries Hugh Fisher and they move into his grand summer house overlooking a lighthouse. Soon, we realise the dynamics of the two classes. The island has its rich elite society, who reside in summer. On the other hand, working class like Portuguese fisherman, stuff who serve in the summer houses, etc. The book opens with Miranda stepping foot on the island in 1969, and after that we go back and forth in time to try to understand what really happened to draw her away for so long. I really enjoyed this slow burning mystery. It had a lot of dimension and complexity. We got to know the characters throughout the events, and discover who they really are. Its content is rich with class dynamics, different characters, murder mystery, and romance. The writing was beautiful as well. It kept me turning the pages because I wanted to tie the knots together and see what actually happened. It was a really good summer read. It was a bit short of 5 stars because I would have liked a bit more insight about the historical setting in those times. Plus, it was a bit difficult to understand the characters and time frames at the beginning of the book. So, would be better if there was more structure to it. Thanks a lot to Harper Collins UK for providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

  12. 3 out of 5

    Catherine Faulkenburg

    I have mixed feelings about this book. First, the writing is very pretty. It's sensual, and paints evocative pictures. I forgot I was reading about a fictional place in America, it seems very European all the way through. So it's got that going for it. The conflict is also well thought out. Miranda makes an excellent main character, and the conflict of the well to do summer residents vs. the working class plays out well. The negatives: the plot kind of drags. I am honestly kind of tired of reading I have mixed feelings about this book. First, the writing is very pretty. It's sensual, and paints evocative pictures. I forgot I was reading about a fictional place in America, it seems very European all the way through. So it's got that going for it. The conflict is also well thought out. Miranda makes an excellent main character, and the conflict of the well to do summer residents vs. the working class plays out well. The negatives: the plot kind of drags. I am honestly kind of tired of reading books where the narrative isn't linear. In this case as in many others, the jumps in the timeline as well as in the point of view don't help the plot. And to be honest I wasn't 100 percent sure what the plot was until the last 10 percent of the book. Also, the book is a bit soapier than I would have liked. I'm not sure what I was expecting but with a few of the plot's twists and turns I could hear the organ chords, "Dun Dun DUN!" Anyway, I don't know if I'd recommend. Perhaps my expectations were too high? There are lots of things I'd rather read. I would have quit but I got too far into it.. I ended up skimming lots.

  13. 3 out of 5

    MaryBeth's Bookshelf

    Beatriz Williams is back with another perfect summer read. Miranda Schuyler arrives on Winthrop Island in 1951 with her mother, who is about to marry Hugh Fisher. She is drawn in to a world of high class parties and money, something she knows nothing about. She ends up falling for Joseph Vargas, a fishermen on the island. This is not acceptable as there is a clear distinction between those who live on the island and those who simply spend their summers there. Almost 20 years later, Miranda returns Beatriz Williams is back with another perfect summer read. Miranda Schuyler arrives on Winthrop Island in 1951 with her mother, who is about to marry Hugh Fisher. She is drawn in to a world of high class parties and money, something she knows nothing about. She ends up falling for Joseph Vargas, a fishermen on the island. This is not acceptable as there is a clear distinction between those who live on the island and those who simply spend their summers there. Almost 20 years later, Miranda returns to the island to try and solve unanswered questions and chase away old ghosts. I truly enjoyed this summer read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    This could be my favorite book of 2018 no matter what I read moving forward. This is the book you recommend to a friend when they say to you, " I need a good page turner". It is full of mystery, romance and drama. It captures you from page one and never lets you down. Of course until you finish the book and you want to read more. Don't try to explain to people what it is about just simply tell them to trust you. I do advise readers to pay attention to every character no matter how insignificant This could be my favorite book of 2018 no matter what I read moving forward. This is the book you recommend to a friend when they say to you, " I need a good page turner". It is full of mystery, romance and drama. It captures you from page one and never lets you down. Of course until you finish the book and you want to read more. Don't try to explain to people what it is about just simply tell them to trust you. I do advise readers to pay attention to every character no matter how insignificant they seem. Every character has a part to play and you will understand as you move through the pages. This is the book where you may have to go back to see if you forgot something. I loved Summer Wives and can't wait to read another Beatriz Williams in the future.

  15. 3 out of 5

    RM(Alwaysdaddygirl/Salemwitch) Griffin

    Some reasons for 3 stars: - Many parts were predictable. -I would have like a chart of all the families names. It would not ruin a surprise -The ending I did not like. -However, I did like the time period.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Thekelburrows

    Someone was wrongly accused of murder! And then someone else was impregnated out of wedlock! And then someone else set fire to a building! Also something about a lighthouse! AND EVERYONE INVOLVED WAS INCREDIBLY ATTRACTIVE!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Janelle

    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 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!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede

    What I love about Beatriz Williams books are how they are all connected to the Schuyler family, one way or another. This didn't I know when I started to read the books. So, it was with delight that I discovered that the books even when they are not part of a series are in some way connected. I have yet to read Overseas, Fall of Poppies and The Forgotten Room (there is a Schuyler in this one woohoo), but I will get to them soon I hope! Also, I'm dying to read the upcoming book: The Wicked Redhead What I love about Beatriz Williams books are how they are all connected to the Schuyler family, one way or another. This didn't I know when I started to read the books. So, it was with delight that I discovered that the books even when they are not part of a series are in some way connected. I have yet to read Overseas, Fall of Poppies and The Forgotten Room (there is a Schuyler in this one woohoo), but I will get to them soon I hope! Also, I'm dying to read the upcoming book: The Wicked Redhead! THE SUMMER WIVES have three different storylines, first, we have the 30s with Bianca Medeiro. Then, we have Miranda Schuyler in the 50s and finally Miranda again in the 60s storyline. These three storylines are interwoven in the book, and slowly they will reveal the connection. Bianca Medeiro story is the one that feels a bit like an outsider since both other stories are from Miranda's POV. However, Bianca's story is a vital part of the story. One thing I truly love about THE SUMMER WIVES are all the characters. Williams always writes such wonderful characters and I'm not even a big fan of romance stories. But, I think her ability to write characters with such depth and also her way of creating a story that engrosses you is the key to her success. You like the characters, they have weakness and are portrayed as human. Every time I finish a book is it with a bit of sadness because I just love the characters. This is why I love it when a Schuyler pops up in another book. THE SUMMER WIVES is a marvelous book, and I recommend it warmly. To be honest, I recommend all the book by Williams! I want to thank William Morrow for providing me with a free copy through Edelweiss for an honest review!

  19. 3 out of 5

    Book of the Month

    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 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...

  20. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    The fateful summer still lay before me, a reel of film waiting to unspool, and how could I know that I was right now witnessing its first momentous scene? I mean, you never do suspect what inconsequential event will change the course of your life. Miranda Schuyler visits Winthrop Island for her mother’s wedding to Hugh Fisher. She finds herself in a new world of the privileged upper class with her own “tour guide,” her half-sister Isobel Fisher. Miranda soon learns that Winthrop Island consists o The fateful summer still lay before me, a reel of film waiting to unspool, and how could I know that I was right now witnessing its first momentous scene? I mean, you never do suspect what inconsequential event will change the course of your life. Miranda Schuyler visits Winthrop Island for her mother’s wedding to Hugh Fisher. She finds herself in a new world of the privileged upper class with her own “tour guide,” her half-sister Isobel Fisher. Miranda soon learns that Winthrop Island consists of the upper crust who come in the summer months and the poor Portuguese working class who are year-round inhabitants. Her new stepsister schools her in the importance of money and privilege. “Money’s such a lovely thing to have. I don’t know what I’d do without it. Work or something, I guess.” She yawned. “Except what? I’m just like Daddy, no good for anything except decoration and conversation. “But then I’d be poor. I’d be nobody.” She rolled on her side. “Don’t you see? They’ve got us trapped. We can’t live without this, it’s what makes us special. What makes us better than everybody else. We don’t like to admit it, it’s un-American to admit it, but it’s true. When you have money and prestige—especially prestige—you think you deserve it, somehow, and everybody else is just—ordinary. Nobody else matters. Miranda is attracted to Joseph Vargas, a lobster fisherman who works with his father and lives in the Lighthouse. He is trying to improve his life and is attending Brown University. I only thought that he had a warm, beautiful smile, the most beautiful smile I’d ever seen, and in the instant before I ducked my head, I knew I was in love with him. Just imagine. As innocent, as uncomplicated as that. I still remember that moment, that sweet, shy revelation, remember it fondly, because it only comes once in your life, and then it’s gone. You can’t have it back. Miranda, now a well-known actress, returns 18 years later and we slowly learn why she stayed away for so long. Joseph has just escaped prison where he is serving a sentence for killing Miranda’s stepdad. Will Miranda and Joseph reunite? I liked Summer Wives and recommend it as a summer beach book or a light read. It has a little bit of everything — romance, mystery, adventure, and historical fiction. It is a compelling story that kept me reading. Williams does a great job in establishing the setting, making the reader feel as if they have travelled to Winthrop Island. Summer Wives covers three time periods — 1930, 1951 and 1969 and the story moves back and forth between these time periods. The book started off slow for me because it began (after a brief foreword set in 1969) )with the 1930s storyline which I found confusing. It was difficult to get so many characters straight and who was who in the 1930s but it finally came together later in the story.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Camille Maio

    Another stunner by Beatriz Williams. It will probably go down as among my favorites of hers.

  22. 3 out of 5

    Tracy

    I am a die-hard fan of Beatriz Williams! I've read all of her books and love them all. I love the back and forth between different times and characters as a writing style. This story was no different in that I loved the writing, the story, the setting, the time period, the characters, the sassiness of Isobel, etc. I did get a little confused at times on who was who and had to go back and re-read some parts. In the end it did all become clear and I absolutely loved the intensity of the scene with I am a die-hard fan of Beatriz Williams! I've read all of her books and love them all. I love the back and forth between different times and characters as a writing style. This story was no different in that I loved the writing, the story, the setting, the time period, the characters, the sassiness of Isobel, etc. I did get a little confused at times on who was who and had to go back and re-read some parts. In the end it did all become clear and I absolutely loved the intensity of the scene with Joseph and the Coast Guard! I would like to say (in the hopes that Ms. Williams reads this some day) that a list of characters would be helpful to me personally. And I would also love a family tree of the Schuyler family to be printed in the books! Otherwise, I'm counting down to the release of The Glass Ocean.....

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jerrie (redwritinghood)

    This had the feel of a daytime soap opera. I’m not a fan of those, so maybe that’s why this didn’t work for me. Additionally, I didn’t feel convinced of the love affairs of the various characters, who all seemed like stereotypes. I thought the writing was ok, but the narration on the audiobook was so-so.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Katy

    I received my copy free through Goodreads Giveaways. An enjoyable read with a few twists in the plot.

  25. 3 out of 5

    Donna Hines

    Miranda Schuyler arrives at Winthrop Island seeking peace after losing her dad WWII. She receives anything but peace as she deals with Elitists who make up the Winthrop Society of the rich and famous. Meanwhile the other group is the Portugese Fishermen who work hard to earn a buck on the water all day. Miranda falls for Joseph Vargas who is facing prison time and has recently escaped on the run. We start in the Summer of '51 and find ourselves on a lovely journey till the Summer of '69 with a deep Miranda Schuyler arrives at Winthrop Island seeking peace after losing her dad WWII. She receives anything but peace as she deals with Elitists who make up the Winthrop Society of the rich and famous. Meanwhile the other group is the Portugese Fishermen who work hard to earn a buck on the water all day. Miranda falls for Joseph Vargas who is facing prison time and has recently escaped on the run. We start in the Summer of '51 and find ourselves on a lovely journey till the Summer of '69 with a deep secret looming overhead. A few romances are brewing with some unlikely characters and pregnancy is obviously a concern. Who killed who and Why? An amazing and different perspective with The Summer Wives. Available Now.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Riva Sciuto

    "There's something about the smells of your childhood, isn't there? Even when that childhood was short and flavored by bitterness and ended in catastrophe, in a disaster of devastating proportions, you still remember those small, sublime joys with an ache of longing. Because there's no going back, is there?" *** This was my first foray into the historical fiction of Beatriz Williams -- and I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. 'The Summer Wives' is, unsurprisingly, a perfect summer read: bu "There's something about the smells of your childhood, isn't there? Even when that childhood was short and flavored by bitterness and ended in catastrophe, in a disaster of devastating proportions, you still remember those small, sublime joys with an ache of longing. Because there's no going back, is there?" *** This was my first foray into the historical fiction of Beatriz Williams -- and I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. 'The Summer Wives' is, unsurprisingly, a perfect summer read: bursting with mystery, suspense, and the palpable nostalgia evoked only by a first love, you will find yourself rushing through the pages until the very last one. The book alternates between multiple perspectives and time periods (from the 1930s to the 1950s to 1969), culminating with a captivating (albeit somewhat predictable) resolution at the end. While the characters aren't overwhelmingly complex and the plot becomes a bit too soap opera-esque toward the end, Williams has mastered the art of creating a scene -- and a distinct feeling that accompanies it -- throughout these pages. "Still, there's something so beautiful about a lighthouse bathed in the light of a full moon," she writes. "It breaks your heart, almost. This brave, lonely silvery thing standing tall in the middle of a hurtling tide ... Sometimes I perch on the end of the dock, sometimes I sit on the bench ... Always my gaze searches the horizon, searching for a particular sail..." Her mastery of the 'mise en scene' will make you feel as if you're on the Long Island Sound, beneath the summer sun, gazing at the lighthouse from the shore... This is a delightful, page-turning summer read that will keep you engaged until the end. "They say human beings are creatures of habit, that we are wont to follow the scripts already written in our heads, the stories we have learned to believe, over and over again in the same implacable, brutal cycle, however much we long to write our own, original verses..." You'll want to know what became of Miranda; what happened with Isobel and Clay; how Hugh was murdered; and what ultimately happened to Joseph after that fateful night at the lighthouse upon which the whole story is centered. But don't expect it to make you think too hard or permanently alter your view of the world. That's OK, though: sometimes we find ourselves in the mood for a nice, light read. 3.5 stars!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tammy

    The Summer Wives is Beatriz Williams best book so far!! I absolutely loved it!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sally Koslow

    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?

  29. 3 out of 5

    Ed

    First half of book is boring. The second half has a lot of profanity and is not suitable for Christian readers or teens and children. I do not recommend this book to anybody.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    3.5 rounding up. A solid, but not thrilling summer read. Thought the author could have explored Isobel's character and psyche more as she was the most interesting to me.

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