- About the Book
New York Times bestselling author Beatriz Williams brings us the blockbuster novel of the season-a spellbinding novel of romance, murder, class, power, and dark secrets set in the 1950s and '60s among the rarified world of a resort island in the Long Island Sound ...In the summer of 1951, Miranda Schuyler arrives on elite, secretive Winthrop Island in Long Island Sound as a naive eighteen year old, still reeling from the loss of her father in the Second World War. Although a graduate of the exclusive Foxcroft Academy in Virginia, Miranda has always lived on the margins of high society. When her beautiful 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. Isobel Fisher, Miranda's new stepsister-all long legs and world-weary bravado, engaged to a wealthy Island scion-is eager to draw Miranda into the arcane customs of Winthrop society.But beneath the Island's patrician surface, there are really two clans-the summer families with their steadfast ways 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. Uneasy among Isobel's privileged friends, Miranda finds herself drawn to Joseph helps his father in the lobster boat, but in the autumn he returns to Brown University, where he's determined to make something of himself. Since childhood, Joseph has enjoyed an intense, complex friendship with Isobel Fisher, and has a catastrophe that will shatter Winthrop's hard-won tranquility and banish Miranda from the Island for nearly two decades.Now, in the summer of 1969, Miranda returns at last, as a renowned Shakespearean actress hiding a terrible heartbreak. On its surface, the Island remains the same-determined to keep the outside world from its shores, fiercely loyal to those who belong. But the formerly powerful Fisher family is a shadow of itself, and Joseph Vargas has recently escaped the prison where he was incarcerated for the murder of Miranda's stepfather eighteen years earlier. What's more, Miranda herself is no longer a naive teenager, and she begins a fierce, inexorable quest for justice to the man she once loved ... even if it means uncovering every last one of the secrets that bind together the families of Winthrop Island.
...a perfect beach read for those long summer days that will transport the reader to the capricious and stunning Winthrop Island... The intertwined stories of Miranda; Isobel; Isobel's sometime paramour, Clay; Joseph Vargas; and Miranda's half-brother, Hugh Jr., provide a sort of post-war BIG LITTLE LIES.... Fans of Elin Hilderbrand, J. Courtney Sullivan and Fiona Davis will devour THE SUMMER WIVES, and will certainly want to join Beatriz Williams' fan club.
...a satisfying simmer of a read about stepsisters, passion and murder on swanky Winthrop Island, a fictional version of the real-life Fishers island off Long Island Sound.... Some of Williams' lovemaking scenes veer into Bridges of Madison County territory of impassioned prose which is a plus or minus, depending on how you felt crossing that bridge. And a few plot points raise some big questions. But this rich and romantic tale has twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your cabana chair. Just don't forget the sunscreen.