THE SUMMER WIVES
Williams transports readers to a time and place replete with glamour, drama and secrets. Delving into the inner sanctum of wealthy families to expose the dark sides of their lives is something Williams excels at. Readers are swept away into the opulent three dimensional world where they see and feel along with her believable, engaging characters. As always the backdrop is well drawn and the plot compelling, making this a hard-to-put-down read and one you’ll want to savor.
The summer of 1951 is a turning point for Miranda Schuyler. It is when her mother marries Hugh Fisher and she arrives on Winthrop Island. Isobel Fisher, Miranda’s new step-sister, introduces her into the island’s social whirl where money and status flow like wine. Isobel tutors Miranda in the ways of the summer inhabitants, their rules and long time traditions. Miranda soon discovers the dichotomy of the island’s population, like the wealthy families who summer near the lighthouse and the year-round Portuguese families who maintain the island. Feeling that she doesn’t fit in with willowy Isobel’s friends, Miranda is drawn to the locals and develops a friendship with the lighthouse keeper’s son, Joseph Vargas. She has no idea that Joseph and Isobel share a special bond or that by summer’s end tragedy will strike at the heart of the island. It will be decades until Miranda, now a famous actress, returns to Winthrop Island. The Fishers are no longer the islands’ elite and Joseph has escaped from prison where he was sentenced for murder. Miranda’s determination to prove him innocent may unearth deeply buried secrets that will destroy the island’s fragile peace. (WILLIAM MORROW, Jul., 384 pp., $26.99)