Friday, August 31, 2018

The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams

The Summer Wives is a story set on a mysterious small island where the elite vacation each summer on the East coast served by the working-class inhabitants.  Everyone lives seemingly in harmony until one fateful day when murder invades their small community.

The Summer Wives is a historical fiction romance set in 1930, 1951, and 1969.  I am a fan of historical fiction novels that use flash backs and Williams employed the flashbacks seamlessly in this novel.  It was very easy to follow as the story was divided up in chapters for 1930, 1951, and 1969 and the chapters went in order.  The fateful decisions of the past and how they impact the future are masterfully unveiled throughout the three time periods as the novel progresses.  The three plots of the three time periods is as follows.

1930 – Bianca is a young Portuguese girl who lives with her aunt and uncle on the island.  The island has two distinct social classes, the wealthy who come in the summer, and the locals who cater to the wealthy.  When Bianca falls in love with a wealthy young man, will their romance be able to live beyond summer?

1951 – Seventeen-year-old Miranda is going to the island as her widowed mother is marrying the rich and glamorous Hugh.  Miranda meets her new stepsister and is intrigued by the mystery of her step-sister being engaged to one man while secretly meeting the lighthouse keeper’s son.  The ramifications of this summer change her life forever.

1969-Miranda is now a successful movie star and has come back to the island to escape a dying marriage.  What secrets will she uncover?

I enjoyed this novel.  I did wish there was more historical detail.  The Summer Wives seemed a lot like a soap opera set during a historic timeline with it seemed like many different people sleeping together and one surprise or revelation after another.  I loved soap operas as a kid, so I enjoyed it, but for those looking for history with their historical fiction, this is not the book for you.

I thought Williams did a wonderful job of really putting the storyline together and having it all seamlessly work as one cohesive story.

Overall, The Summer Wives was a good summer historical romance drama.

Source:  Review Copy from William Morrow.  Thank-you!


  1. I like flashback stories myself. I also like this author. Thanks for the review.

  2. Thanks for your honest review, Laura. It sounds as if you enjoyed this romance, overall.

  3. I just finished reading the book Williams wrote with Lauren Willig and Karen White - The Glass Ocean. I also read her short story in "Fall of Poppies". Williams is an excellent writer!

  4. I have The Glass Ocean on my kindle and I really want to read it. I need to move it up my list!

    I did enjoy the story and have a great love for flashbacks.