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The Summer Wives

by Beatriz Williams

The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams X
The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams
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There are currently 41 member reviews
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  • Sandra L. (Delray Beach, FL)
    Summer Wives
    I found this book interesting as far as getting a look into the lives of the 'privileged' set and the 'islanders'. A lot of the story was very predictable although there were some twists and turns. A good beach read.
  • Jeanne W. (Colorado Springs, CO)
    I'm glad I'm not rich!
    This is my first novel by Beatriz Williams and it won't be my last. On tony Winthrop Island the extremely rich spend their summers in the 50s and 60 with the year-round people who support and serve the summer people. In the summer of 1951 Miranda Schuyler and her mother arrive on the island for her mother's wedding to Hugh Fisher. The novel jumps in time from earlier residents' stories in 1931 to the main events during the summer of 1951 to some of the fallout in 1969 when Miranda returns to the island. Usually this can add a lot of suspense to a book, but in this case I found it confusing and had to go back and forth to check what time period we were in. I think Williams' writing is good and she does a fine job evoking the feeling of the island. But I feel a lack of details in time periods kept the book feeling kind of one-note. And I'm very curious about Isobel's fate. I feel she dropped out of the book halfway through and appeared briefly at the end. What happened to her after "that fateful summer?" And why? The title is a bit of a misnomer since none of the major players is a Summer Wife. Marketing decision maybe?
  • Constance C. (Bristol, RI)
    Not Impressed
    This is the first book I have read by Beatriz Williams. I am not impressed, I found writing uneven and characters undeveloped. Very unlikable people, always having conversations that go on and on. I really am not sure which plot is the main plot, so many different stories going on.

    This is not historical fiction and not a mystery. It is a soapy summer romance novel. Every year about this time we get the Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, Maine coast island book. his is going to be a big favorite book club selection. Some readers will really enjoy it.

    I'm sure that my review will be the exception and that's why we have reviews. I'm glad I did not pay for the book, and don't plan on reading the author again.
  • Teresa R. (Evansville, IN)
    Interesting premise
    This novel grabbed my attention immediately. The story is well-written and I like the authors writing style. Somewhere near the middle of the book, it lost its pace for me. Suddenly, it seemed to plod along until close to the end when the pacing picked back up. I felt like the story could have been better if it was 50-75 pages shorter.
  • Rebecca L. (Torrington, CT)
    A little dry but overall a good plot
    I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

    I've read some other novels by this author in the past few years and it can be hit or miss. I have found that I really like the plot lines, as there are always some great twists and turns, and this novel definitely had those. At the same time, there is a lot of information included in the novels and it can be easy to get lost in the weeds. I have found that many of the books share a common theme also, that life is hard and there are trials everyone must go through. Things don't seem to go smoothly for anyone in the story and the main characters usually have to suffer through an unhappy marriage or relationship before they can find a semblance of happiness later on. Its kind of depressing. Also specifically with this novel, while I liked having the three timelines included in the story and I understood why it was presented the way that it was (for dramatic effect), at the same time I had trouble remembering where we were or who the narrator was or what time we were in. Part of my issue I think is that I had a lot going on at work this past week so I couldn't sit and devote my concentration to the novel except for short spurts of time. I would definitely recommend this one to historical fiction fans, especially if you can carve out some time to just sit and read. If you're able to find yourself lost in this novel I think the story would be much easier to read and a bit more enjoyable. I'd still recommend this one but it didn't work out for me personally this week.
  • Sheila S. (Supply, NC)
    The Summer Wives
    I have read other books by Beatriz Williams and thoroughly enjoyed them, but The Summer Wives just didn't work for me. I liked her descriptions of Winthrop Island and felt that I got a good sense of the sights, sounds, and smells of this exclusive enclave. But the non-linear plot line was very chopped up, and I had to keep referring back to previous chapters to be reminded of the characters and where they fit in the island hierarchy. The characters seemed one-dimensional, and most of them were unlikable. This was just too chick lit for my taste. I wouldn't recommend it to my book club.


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