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 fiancee, 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.
©2013 Beatriz Williams (P)2013 Penguin Audio
I read and listen to books. I drink tea. I sleep like a cat and wished I lived in Hawaii.
This book was an easy listen. It had juicy drama that unfolded throughout the book. I appreciated this somewhat soap opera, light beach read. I didn't read it on the beach though, but it was perfect for a long plane ride in which I was somewhat exhausted and didn't have the concentration for a more complicated book. The 1930's New England setting was a nice backdrop for this story. At a time when life appeared to be more conservative, many risque events were taking place. The book is about best friends and love interests and family and the skeletons in their closets. I found myself gasping out loud more than once at what was taking place. The narrator does a fine job with the female voices, but I thought she was pretty mediocre with the male voices. Also, I didn't "love" Nick, the main character, Lily's, love interest. He was too much of a goody-two-shoes and somewhat boring, although he did sound very good-looking. This book is what some might call "chick-lit" and will probably appeal more to women than to men. This genre isn't usually my thing, but I found myself wanting to listen when I wasn't listening to get to the bottom of the story. On a side note, they must have lit up at least 2000 cigarettes in this book. At a certain point, I felt that it was a little bit unnecessary and it started to bug me. All in all, I would recommend this to others, mainly women, and I think it would be a good book club read/discussion.
I haven't read a lot of fiction based on life in the thirties. Literary requirements of college and high school, while great literature, aren't exactly uplifting. I didn't finish "The Grapes of Wrath" and long to read more about those exciting 1930's! Okay, so I shouldn't throw that title around with light Summer reading.
This story is about a group of privileged New Englanders, who with a couple of exceptions, experienced the financial crises of those times only in abstract way. They still summered in picturesque, elite New England seaside communities; mostly ignored prohibition, and attended elite Northeastern universities. The characters were realistic and well developed. Despite their privileged life, they still managed to screw this up royally, as people will. This was NOT the 1930's my stalwart Midwestern grandparents told me about. The writer's descriptions of the idyllic, and ridiculously idle life of summer in an affluent Rhode Island seaside community drew me in completely. The writer skillfully reminds us of the absence of modern day technology (an extremely wealthy man at the mercy of the timer on a payphone because he's out of change....a payphone? I forgot about those) or the heroine's references to an article she just read in Time about this stuff called 'adrenaline'. #1, Time was already around, providing continuity with today and #2 adrenaline was a new discovery, oh how far science has come.
I learned a lesson in selecting this title. I tend to be lazy when choosing my next listen. I have had a rule not to choose titles with less than a 4,0 reader rating. Since this book was new and had only one rating, I clicked on the author's name to see how other titles were rated and was reminded that Ms. Williams also wrote "Overseas", another of my favorites. In doing so, I was very surprised to see that book only carried a 3.something rating now. In looking at the reviews, I see many of the less charitable reviews related to the genre classification (science fiction as well as romance) and the comparison somewhere to "Outlander" (not at all a fair comparison) rather than the story itself.
So, from now on, if a book looks interesting, I'll take the time to see what the negatives are before I disregard it. What other interesting authors have I carelessly overlooked with my silly rule?
I highly recommend this book, this author and this narrator.
The messiness of the characters lives was convincing. The author didn't pull any punches in order to advance the plot. The love of Nick and Lily was heartachingly portrayed.
When she tries to act out the voices (male lead, and small child), she sounds absolutely ridiculous.
I can't wait until this stupid concussion is over and I can READ things again and narrate them in my own head - properly.
I like historical, southern books - southern accents, antiques - The Ole' West, Ghost Towns, Victorian Era, Southern Humor!!
Awesome book! Picked it partially because of the narration, she was super good! I liked the time period of the book and the real life story about Nick and Lily. It held my interest and it was over to fast. Will listen again and highly recommend!
Okay, bought this book because of the ratings and have no doubt that it was a great book, however.....
I listened to this grating, irritating voice as long as I could endure it. I had to stop listening after about 20 minutes. Like finger nails down a blackboard. Wish I had listened to a sample before I spent money on this.
Great summer listen! A little predictable, but good twist and turns. Agree with other readers that I wanted to know what happened to the characters after the ending!
No, because it was one of the most poorly written endings I've ever spent time getting to.
**SPOILER ALERT**the fact that she didn't have a way or creative idea on how to get the main love story characters out of the mess they were in at the end, so she literally used a HURRICANE to wipe out an kill out all the characters that weren't "good" or easy to be in the grossly happy ending.
I was depressed and grieving. But there is a happy ending.
What could have been a romance story, instead is written as a tragedy. The book starts (the first 14 pages) with Nick married to Budgie in 1938. They are spending the summer next door to Lily. Then through flashbacks we see how Lily and Nick met seven years earlier and fell in love. It was a wonderful love story, but we know they will break up, and Lily is alone and grieving and still loves Nick in 1938. So for 85% of the book I am grieving. I am depressed. And the main mystery and suspense is WHY did they split? I can’t enjoy a developing relationship when I know a bad end is coming - like the Titanic. By the way, readers who liked the Titanic love story will probably like this - readers who have a desire for tears. If it were turned around and written as a romance, it could have been wonderful - for me. The couple meets, falls in love, has a separation, and gets together at the end. But this is the story of WHY did the disaster happen, instead of love, hope, and anticipation about a relationship.
Another problem is the flashback method. The author kept jumping back and forth - with cliffhangers. It was artificial suspense - stopping in the middle of scenes. I would have enjoyed this so much more if it were done in chronological order. The flashbacks and jumping around continued for 85% of the book. A cliffhanger example, page 11: Nick is playing football, is injured and on the ground. We don’t know if he’s dead or alive or what happened, and the scene switches to seven years later.
The reasons for the break up and why Nick married Budgie were kind of stupid. This is one of those “if they would have had a conversation there would have been no break up.” They made assumptions and didn’t talk to each other. They were truly in love which meant they should have cared how the other was feeling and at least attempted a conversation, but they did not.
There was also a plot hole (for me) regarding Lily’s parents. I wanted to see the mother more fleshed out - her motivations, actions, and words. There was a lot going on between the parents and between the parents and Lily that I wanted to see.
Lily was a self-sacrificing helper, naive, clueless, and a little stupid in the sense of putting herself in danger or sacrificing her own needs because she believed someone needed her help - which wasn’t really that helpful or necessary. She needed a friend to say “Come on Lily you need to do this” or “Lily don’t do that.” I’m ok with heroines who are not smart, but I was getting a little tired of her worries about and saying “he/she needs me.”
My favorite part was in the epilogue - what Nick did and why during World War II. I had tears of admiration for him.
The narrator Kathleen McInerney was ok, but I did not like her voice for Graham - oddly hard and forced.
Genre: womens fiction
I'd place it about a third-of-the way down the reading list.
Some of the protagonists needed a forgivable flaw or too, perhaps.
Probably the end, of course.
No, but I am somewhat immovable when it comes to listening to books. It has to be a whopper of a story line to get me to really dive into being moved.
This is a good enough read.... maybe a beach or rainy day read.
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