Sunday, October 23, 2022

Review: The Sister Wives by: Beatriz Williams


Title: The Sister Wives
Author: Beatriz Williams
Publisher: William Morrow
Format: Hardcover ( 389 p.) Personal Purchase

Description:

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 Vargas, whose father keeps the lighthouse with his mysterious wife. In summer, Joseph helps his father in the lobster boats, 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. 

My Thoughts: 

This book follows Miranda who has come back home having a career as an actress and married a big name in her world but all is not roses and sunshine.  Then we go back to when her mother married Hugh Fisher after Miranda's father died.  There she meets her new stepsister Isobel and also meets Joseph a local man who lives with his mother at the lighthouse.  Instantly she feels connected to him.

In the present the big mystery is why Joseph killed Miranda's stepfather and how she could still side with him.  Miranda knows there is more to this story then anyone knows and the answers seem to lie at the lighthouse.  

This book really grabbed you with the intrigue of the island and what happened so long ago and why.  I really enjoyed entering into Miranda's world and seeing where it would lead which was everywhere.  Definitely a great summer read for that next beach read!

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Review: The Golden Hour by: Beatriz Williams


Title: The Golden Hour
Author: Beatriz Williams
Publisher: William Morrow
Format: Hardcover (480 p.) Personal Purchase

Description:

The New York Times bestselling author of The Summer Wives and A Certain Age creates a dazzling epic of World War II-era Nassau—a hotbed of spies, traitors, and the most infamous couple of the age, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

The Bahamas, 1941. Newly-widowed Leonora “Lulu” Randolph arrives in Nassau to investigate the Governor and his wife for a New York society magazine. After all, American readers have an insatiable appetite for news of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, that glamorous couple whose love affair nearly brought the British monarchy to its knees five years earlier. What more intriguing backdrop for their romance than a wartime Caribbean paradise, a colonial playground for kingpins of ill-gotten empires?

Or so Lulu imagines. But as she infiltrates the Duke and Duchess’s social circle, and the powerful cabal that controls the islands’ political and financial affairs, she uncovers evidence that beneath the glister of Wallis and Edward’s marriage lies an ugly—and even treasonous—reality. In fact, Windsor-era Nassau seethes with spies, financial swindles, and racial tension, and in the middle of it all stands Benedict Thorpe: a scientist of tremendous charm and murky national loyalties. Inevitably, the willful and wounded Lulu falls in love.

Then Nassau’s wealthiest man is murdered in one of the most notorious cases of the century, and the resulting coverup reeks of royal privilege. Benedict Thorpe disappears without a trace, and Lulu embarks on a journey to London and beyond to unpick Thorpe’s complicated family history: a fateful love affair, a wartime tragedy, and a mother from whom all joy is stolen.

The stories of two unforgettable women thread together in this extraordinary epic of espionage, sacrifice, human love, and human courage, set against a shocking true crime . . . and the rise and fall of a legendary royal couple.

My Thoughts: 

This book is intriguing to say the least we meet the King who abdicated his throne for a woman and we need Lulu who is there to write about the couple.  It brings us to Nassau in the Bahamas back during World War II and how the people lived and survived and what happens is so captivating it pulls you in along with a juice murder to boot.

I think anyone who loves historical fiction will love this book as it has you hooked until the last page and we see how it all plays out.

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