Miranda Schuyler arrives on the elite island of Winthrop in the Long Island Sound. She is a naive 18-year-old recent graduate of the 1951 class at Foxcroft Academy in Virginia and is visiting the island because her mother is marrying wealthy Hugh Fisher, a man of class and power and with a lovely summer house called Greyfriars. Miranda’s new step-sister, Isobel Fisher, greets her and is eager to introduce Miranda to island society. Each summer the privileged fill their days with swimming, sailing yachts, cocktail parties, and clubhouse dinners. On the morning of the wedding, Miranda watches out her window with binoculars as a young man rescues another fisherman who has fallen into the water. Tall, handsome and brave, how can she not fall for Joe Vargas?! Later that evening Isobel and Miranda, having shared two bottles of champagne, decide to paddle a boat across the water to visit Joseph at the lighthouse where he lives and where Isobel and Joseph, often meet. Miranda doesn’t quite understand the relationship between the two because Joseph seems to have shown interest in her also! Later in the early autumn a tragedy occurs that changes the lives of Joseph and Miranda and they are banished from the island. Now twenty years later, Miranda returns as an accomplished actress and finds that nothing stays the same. Trying to find out truths, she learns about hidden secrets in the lives of the two clans that live on this island: the summer families, and the Portuguese families who work for them.
Beatrix Williams has another winning novel to put on your bookshelf. This historical fiction and romance novel is about power, money, class, murder, and dark secrets. The personalities of the major characters in this story are strong. This novel has an unusual setting with it being on an island with populated with elite families. The story is told through various time periods and focuses on the various choices that the characters make. It has a well evolved story line that kept this reader interested and entertained the whole way through. Established Beatriz Williams fans and readers looking for engaging historical fiction novels to dive into will not be disappointed in The Summer Wives.
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