Residents can celebrate summer reading with an author discussion of The Summer Wives, described as “a luminous postwar fable of love, class, power, and redemption set on a New England island,” on Thursday, July 12, at 7 p.m. in the Louise Parker Berry Community Room. Books will be available for purchase, courtesy of Barrett Bookstore. Refreshments will be served.
In the summer of 1951, Miranda Schuyler arrives on exclusive Winthrop Island as a schoolgirl from the margins of high society, still reeling from the loss of her father in the Second World War. When her mother marries Hugh Fisher, whose summer house on Winthrop overlooks the famous lighthouse, Miranda is catapulted into a heady new world of pedigrees and cocktails, status and swimming pools.
Yet beneath the island’s patrician surface there are really two clans: the summer families with their traditional customs and quiet obsessions, and the working class of Portuguese fishermen and domestic workers who earn their living on the water and in the laundries of the summer houses. As the summer winds to its end, Miranda finds herself caught in the island’s web of secrets and a catastrophe that will shatter Winthrop’s hard-won tranquility.
The Summer Wives was written by Beatriz Williams, New York Times bestselling author of A Hundred Summers, The Secret Life of Violet Grant, Along the Infinite Sea, A Certain Age, and several other works of historical fiction. A graduate of Stanford University with an MBA in Finance from Columbia University, Williams worked as a communications and corporate strategy consultant in New York and London before she turned her attention to writing novels that combine her passion for history with an obsessive devotion to voice and characterization. Her books have been translated into more than a dozen languages and appear regularly on bestseller lists around the world.
Born in Seattle, Washington, the author now lives near the Connecticut shore with her husband and four children, where she divides her time between writing and laundry.