A Hundred Summers

Beatriz Williams. Putnam, $26.95 (368p) ISBN 978-0-399-16216-9
Born into post-Depression New York society, innocent, steadfast Lily Dane and fast, jazzy Budgie Byrne are best friends. It’s through Budgie that Lily meets Nicholson Greenwald, handsome, smart, charming, loyal, and, in that time and place, inconveniently half Jewish. Williams alternates between Lily and Nick’s 1931 courtship and the summer of 1938, when Lily returns to Seaview, the Rhode Island beach redoubt where the Byrnes and Danes have always summered. Only now ex-fiancé Nick and ex-bestie Budgie are Mr. and Mrs. Nick Greenwald. What Williams is good at is love (and, relatedly, sex), which is what powered her debut, Overseas, past what could have been a clunky time-travel setup. But the obstacles between Nick and Lily involve a lot of complicated plotting—by both Williams and her high-society characters—featuring secrets imperfectly kept, misplaced gallantry, blackmail, and, in the case of Lily, a tremendous ability to see things as people paint them rather than as they are. When the great New England hurricane of 1938 makes landfall near the end, it feels less like a natural disaster and more like a convenient way to get the most problematic characters out of the way so true love can prevail. Agent: Alexandra Machinist, Janklow & Nesbit Associates. (June)
Reviewed on: 02/18/2013
Release date: 05/30/2013
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FORMATS
Hardcover - 541 pages - 978-1-4104-6371-5
Ebook - 368 pages - 978-1-101-59651-7
Paperback - 421 pages - 978-0-425-27003-5
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