Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
Genres: Women's Fiction
Publication Date: June 4, 2019
Montauk, Long Island, 1938.
A simple town on the brink of a glamorous future.
A marriage drifting apart.
A life on the edge of what is and what could be...
An epic and cinematic novel by debut author Nicola Harrison, Montauk captures the glamour and extravagance of a summer by the sea with the story of a woman torn between the life she chose and the life she desires.
Montauk, Long Island, 1938.
For three months, this humble fishing village will serve as the playground for New York City’s wealthy elite. Beatrice Bordeaux was looking forward to a summer of reigniting the passion between her and her husband, Harry. Instead, tasked with furthering his investment interest in Montauk as a resort destination, she learns she’ll be spending twelve weeks sequestered with the high society wives at The Montauk Manor—a two-hundred room seaside hotel—while Harry pursues other interests in the city.
College educated, but raised a modest country girl in Pennsylvania, Bea has never felt fully comfortable among these privileged women, whose days are devoted not to their children but to leisure activities and charities that seemingly benefit no one but themselves. She longs to be a mother herself, as well as a loving wife, but after five years of marriage she remains childless while Harry is increasingly remote and distracted. Despite lavish parties at the Manor and the Yacht Club, Bea is lost and lonely and befriends the manor’s laundress whose work ethic and family life stir memories of who she once was.
As she drifts further from the society women and their preoccupations and closer toward Montauk’s natural beauty and community spirit, Bea finds herself drawn to a man nothing like her husband –stoic, plain spoken and enigmatic. Inspiring a strength and courage she had almost forgotten, his presence forces her to face a haunting tragedy of her past and question her future.
Desperate to embrace moments of happiness, no matter how fleeting, she soon discovers that such moments may be all she has, when fates conspire to tear her world apart…
My Review Of
Enter into the world of 1938 where women in society were as successful only as their husbands were. A world of yesteryear when Montauk was just starting to become more than a fishing town. Montauk is where the very elite and snobbish Park Avenue families went to spend the summer, that is the ladies and children did during the week while the men, ahem…. worked, in the city all week and joined their families on weekends.
This book reads like a historical romance with some women’s rights issues thrown in as well as briefly touching on the horrible ant-semitism of that particular era.
We meet Bea, a college educated, raised modestly country girl in Pennsylvania who lost her brother Charlie in a tragic accident when she was 15. Bea is not comfortable in this world and I love how Bea constantly stands up to the ladies who tennis and lunch. Bea quickly makes friends with Dolly, a woman ahead of her times, a bit loose,somewhat brash but a true friend when Bea needs her. Now let’s talk about Bea’s faithless cad of a husband Harry, selfish, drinks too much and womanizes whomever he wants because after all Harry feels that this is his right. Dolly shows Bea the ropes and how to pretend to fit in with these snobbish boring women. Bea becomes entangled in the lives of the locals and enters into a forbidden relationship with a mysterious man who seems just a bit familiar to her.
I loved how Bea becomes a woman in her own right, finds her voice and rallies against all that she is supposed to be in this era. While Harry was a horrible husband to Bea, somehow I just coud not bring myself to dislike him, I actually pitied him. This is a very well written historical romance with a lot of drama, a bit of intrigue and just full of scandal and secrets. All of this set against the beautiful backdrop of Montauk’s yesteryear.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: