Monday, July 8, 2013

Julie's Review: A Hundred Summers

Summary: 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 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.  

Review: You know when you read a book and finish it and wonder how in the world you are going to review it without spoiling it? Well that's me with A Hundred Summers. I'm afraid if I gush too much I won't stop and I'll ruin it for those of you who haven't read it. Ms. Williams is a gifted storyteller as I found out with Overseas and this novel is no different.

It is a story that continues to build until the big denouement. You love Lily instantly and root for her. You wonder what the hell happened to her and Nick. You find out in brilliant flashbacks to 6 years prior to 1938. When the reveals happen in the book you are stunned. Or at least I was.

Ms. Williams does a great job of taking you down a path and then quickly flipping it around. Everything that Lily knew about her life came crashing down as the big hurricane of 1938 swept in to New England. Ms. Williams always has a way of writing well-developed characters. Even the characters you don't like. She also has a way of making you think something, form and opinion and then flips the script on you. There was more than once that this occurred in the novel.

I finished A Hundred Summers in 2 days. It is the quintessential summer novel. I don't care if you are at the beach, pool or at your desk, A Hundred Summers one not to miss!

 Final Take: 5/5  

Thanks to Putnam Books for my copy of the novel



Beth Hoffman July 8, 2013 at 12:26 PM  

I love it when a back-story is revealed and stuns me. Terrific review, Julie!

Anonymous ,  July 8, 2013 at 2:21 PM  

I am super excited to read this book!!Reading your review has certainly made me every more eager to read this one!!

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