"Give me books, French wine, fruit, fine weather, and a little music played out of doors by somebody I do not know." - John Keats

"You're not allowed to say anything about books because they're books and books are, you know, God." - Nick Hornby

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Review #67: A Hundred Summers, by Beatriz Williams

A Hundred Summers opens in 1938, when we meet Lily Dane, a young woman living with her mother and her much younger sister Kiki on a tiny island off the coast of Rhode Island. Lily discovers that her old friend Budgie Byrne is coming out for the summer, and Budgie isn't coming alone - she's bringing her husband Nick Greenwald. Suddenly we're spun backwards to the fall of 1931, to a football game where Budgie introduces Lily to Nick, and we realize that Nick and Lily are about to fall in love.

From there the chapters alternate, and Williams slowly draws the reader in. There are twists and turns in this story that truly kept me guessing until the end, and even then, she still managed to shock me. Her characters are well developed, and her imagery captures the 1930s perfectly.

Fans of Elin Hildebrand will love A Hundred Summers. I must note, though, that there's some pretty intense anti-Semitism in the book. It's keeping with the time period and never feels extraneous, but in our (hopefully) more enlightened world, it's a bit jarring. Still, though, this is a smart, sharply written novel, and definitely worth a read.

1 comment:

  1. The writing was crisp and I felt as though I were right there in the 30's. I really enjoyed the book and hated for it to end!
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