A Hundred Summers

A Hundred Summers

4.3 147
by Beatriz Williams

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As the 1938 hurricane approaches Rhode Island, another storm brews in this novel from the author of The Secret Life of Violet Grant.
“Blends history, romance, and social commentary into...much more than a summer guilty pleasure” (Connecticut Post)

Memorial Day, 1938

Lily Dane has returned to Seaview, Rhode Island,…  See more details below


As the 1938 hurricane approaches Rhode Island, another storm brews in this novel from the author of The Secret Life of Violet Grant.
“Blends history, romance, and social commentary into...much more than a summer guilty pleasure” (Connecticut Post)

Memorial Day, 1938

Lily Dane has returned to Seaview, Rhode Island, where her family has summered for generations. It’s an escape not only from New York’s social scene but from a heartbreak that still haunts her. Here, among the seaside community that has embraced her since childhood, she finds comfort in the familiar rituals of summer.

But this summer is different. Budgie and Nick Greenwald—Lily’s former best friend and former fiancé—have arrived, too, and Seaview’s elite are abuzz. Under Budgie’s glamorous influence, Lily is seduced into a complicated web of renewed friendship and dangerous longing.

As a cataclysmic hurricane churns north through the Atlantic, and uneasy secrets slowly reveal themselves, Lily and Nick must confront an emotional storm that will change their worlds forever…


Includes a Reader's Guide

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In 1938 Lily Dane is summering in Seaview, RI, where her family has vacationed for generations. But her hopes for a quiet, uneventful holiday with her young sister, mother, and aunt are dashed with the appearance of longtime friend Budgie and her husband, Nick Greenwald. Seven years ago it was Lily who fell in love with Nick, and his marriage to Budgie broke Lily's heart. His reappearance forces her to revisit emotional terrain she'd hoped was past. As the summer builds to a cataclysmic event, Lily and Nick's relationship is told through flashbacks. Just how did their love for each other go so wrong? VERDICT While Williams's new novel (after her acclaimed debut, Overseas) starts strongly, it becomes a bit mired in melodrama in the latter third. Lily makes for an appealing protagonist and the setting and period will appeal to fans of Downton Abbey. The problem is that only Lily and Nick are fleshed out as characters. Budgie's motivations are never fully clear, and Lily's mother, who plays a key role, is never present at all. The lack of development of the supporting cast weakens the eventual exploration of just what happened. [See Prepub Alert, 1/6/13.]—Jane Jorgenson, Madison P.L., WI
Publishers Weekly
Born into post-Depression New York society, innocent, steadfast Lily Dane and fast, jazzy Budgie Byrne are best friends. It’s through Budgie that Lily meets Nicholson Greenwald, handsome, smart, charming, loyal, and, in that time and place, inconveniently half Jewish. Williams alternates between Lily and Nick’s 1931 courtship and the summer of 1938, when Lily returns to Seaview, the Rhode Island beach redoubt where the Byrnes and Danes have always summered. Only now ex-fiancé Nick and ex-bestie Budgie are Mr. and Mrs. Nick Greenwald. What Williams is good at is love (and, relatedly, sex), which is what powered her debut, Overseas, past what could have been a clunky time-travel setup. But the obstacles between Nick and Lily involve a lot of complicated plotting—by both Williams and her high-society characters—featuring secrets imperfectly kept, misplaced gallantry, blackmail, and, in the case of Lily, a tremendous ability to see things as people paint them rather than as they are. When the great New England hurricane of 1938 makes landfall near the end, it feels less like a natural disaster and more like a convenient way to get the most problematic characters out of the way so true love can prevail. Agent: Alexandra Machinist, Janklow & Nesbit Associates. (June)
From the Publisher
 Praise for A Hundred Summers

“[A] fast-paced love story…the scorching sun illuminates a friend’s betrayal and reignites a romance.”
                                    — O, The Oprah Magazine

“Perfect for fans of the Gossip Girl series.”  — People

“Summer of 1938: A scandalous love triangle and a famous hurricane converge in a New England beach community. Add in a betrayal between friends, a marriage for money, and a Yankee pitcher, and it’s a perfect storm.”
                        —Good Housekeeping
“A candidate for this year’s big beach read.” —Kirkus

“Novels as masterfully done as A Hundred Summers come along only about that often.  Beatriz Williams delivers an intricately woven tale of friendship, betrayal, old families, and closely guarded secrets.  It is what every beach book should aspire to be – smart and engrossing.”

                                                             —Elin Hilderbrand, author of Beautiful Day and the bestselling Summerland

"Smart, delicious writing... Williams adds a signature touch of historic drama." 

Library Journal 

"Williams' sweeping saga of betrayal, sacrifice, and redemption trenchantly examines the often duplicitous nature of female friendships and family friendships." 

A Hundred Summers delivers swoons and intrigue against the backdrop of the 1938 New England hurricane….Williams evokes the era effortlessly and delights in ripping the rug out from under the reader just when the riddles seem easiest to solve. Filled with delicious scandals, catty socialites, and true love, this beach read deserves pride of place in every vacationer’s tote bag.”
                                                — Shelf Awareness

A Hundred Summers sparkles like the New England summer sun.  A brilliantly told tale of love lost and found, of friendship, and of family ties that strangle… Definitely a book for my keeper shelf.

—Karen White New York Times-bestselling author of Sea Change

Kirkus Reviews
A candidate for this year's big beach read--the period story of a derailed love affair seen through a sequence of summers spent at Seaview, R.I. It's not "Whodunit?" that drives Williams' (Overseas, 2012) latest but "What went wrong?" between Lily Dane and good-looking-but-Jewish Nick Greenwald, whose love for each other seemed unstoppable. How, seven years on, can Nick be married to Lily's BFF Budgie Byrne while Lily herself is single and accompanied by her 6-year-old sister, Kiki? The answer is teased out at length via parallel narratives set in 1931 and 1938, both voiced by Lily. In 1931, she meets dashing Nick at a football game when they are both college students. Their passion is mutual, but Lily's father disapproves. Undeterred, the couple elopes. But, in 1938, they are not together. Instead, Lily is confronted by Budgie's apparently idyllic marriage to an oddly distracted Nick. Another old college pal, Graham Pendleton, previously Budgie's lover, tries to woo Lily, but their engagement falls apart. Just when the reader's exasperation with Nick, Lily and the missing link reaches its limit, explanations for their non-togetherness are delivered. And then the weather at Seaview turns distinctly stormy. An elegant if somewhat old-fashioned delayed-gratification seaside romance with a flavor of Daphne du Maurier.

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Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
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Penguin Group
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File size:
659 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“Sparkles like the New England summer sun.”—Karen White

“It is what every beach book should aspire to be—smart and engrossing.”—Elin Hilderbrand

“[A] great summer read.”—People

“Will keep the reader so engrossed, multiple applications of sunscreen will be required.”—USA Today

“A wonderfully evocative atmosphere of hot and hazy days, shimmering parties, and lazy afternoons on the beach. Add in a little romance, a lost love, and a family mystery, and you’ve got the perfect way to spend an afternoon in the hot sand.”—Examiner.com

“A candidate for this year’s big beach read.”—Kirkus Reviews

“[A] fast-paced love story.”—O, The Oprah Magazine

“Summer of 1938: A scandalous love triangle and a famous hurricane converge in a New England beach community. Add in a betrayal between friends, a marriage for money, and a Yankee pitcher, and it’s a perfect storm.”—Good Housekeeping

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A Hundred Summers 4.3 out of 5 based on 3 ratings. 147 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the last 150 pages in just a  few hours.   I really just couldn't put this book down.  The first 2/3 of it is a book that I didn't want to finish because I was enjoying  it so much and I didn't want the story to end.  But that last 1/3 is really fast paced.  I don't read much historical fiction so I wasn't sure how I would like it.  I loved it.  I don't want to give any of it away.  It's a great summer vacation book.  The story is gripping, the characters are vivid.  The story switches seamlessly back and forth between two different time periods with each used to enrich the other.  It's just a great story, well told and I loved the historical references.
CandyCain More than 1 year ago
Wow. This is a well-written romance, a page turner, the perfect steamy summer read that won't leave you feeling like you've offended your good standing with literature (not one of those cheesy romance things). I haven't actually finished yet, 60 pages left, but I wanted to leave my feedback before my opinion was affected by the ending (which I am dying to get to). Each chapter jumps back and forth between past and present, giving you just enough of the story without being to revealing, so you are forced to keep reading and anticipating the motives behind the characters' complex behavior and dialogue. There are some points that seem to drag, but I think it's just because I'm trying to race to the finish because I can't take the wait. Each chapter feels like the trailer to the movie that you've been waiting a year to see. Not enough and just enough all at the same time.
Ilovemister More than 1 year ago
Those reviewers are so wrong. This book was one of the bestbooks I have ever read. I wish it hadn't ended. Great book. Don't waste yor money on books like Gone Girl ( stupid and crazy). Invest in this one it is worth every dime.
Rouvi More than 1 year ago
Best ever Beach Read! This book is amazingly well written, drawing you in and taking you for a lush, sinful ride. It's like the best dessert you've ever had, only without the calories. I fell asleep with the book in my hands at 4:00 a.m. and was back up reading it at 7:00 a.m., dying to know what would happen next. I'm so disappointed now to be finished because I want to know what happens to the characters next. Make sure you don't start this book when you don't have the time to read it all the way through or you'll be tormenting yourself. Absolutely the best book I've read in ages. Now please excuse me while I go make a gin and tonic :o)
anovelreview_blogspot_com More than 1 year ago
In 1931, All the boys were crazy for Budgie Byrne. Budgie was the life of the party and knew how to get what she wanted by just batting her eyelashes. Lily Dane was nothing like Budgie, but the two were the best of friends since forever. Lily was used to all the attention being on Budgie, until good looking Nick Greenwald had eyes only for Lily. Fast forward to the summer of 1938 in Seaview, RI. Lily is summering with her 6 year old sister, mother and aunt when Mr. and Mrs. Nick and Budgie Greenwald walk back into Lily's life. Budgie wants to pick up their friendship like she hadn't just married Lily's former fiance. Lily being her sweet self goes right back to being Budgie's faithful friend. Soon Budgie's old self returns with wild parties, but she is determined to help Lily find love, too.  As summer progresses, it's undeniable that the feelings between Nick and Lily are still very present. Before Lily can move on she needs to get to the truth behind what happened between the two of them years ago, unexpected truths emerge changing everything for the two! Just as the truth is revealed a cataclysmic hurricane falls on their beautiful summer town, bringing with it lifetime changes. This is a beach read you need to get your hands on! I loved how the story moves forward in 1931 in one chapter and in the next chapter 1938 moves forward, so you know something has happened but you don't know what or you think you kinda do. So good! I mean you fall in love with Nick and Lily in the 1931 storyline. You can't really imagine how things could pull them apart, but you need to know! And you don't know whose fault it was that they are no longer together. I don't want to say to much more about the story, because I don't want to ruin it at all. I wish I was part of a book club cause I would love to chat about A HUNDRED SUMMERS! I seriously loved this book! A HUNDRED SUMMERS has it all: sex, love, lies, betrayal, cover-up! If you are looking to buy a book for the beach this is the one! Highly recommend! 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read, I could not put it down. 
cupid92 More than 1 year ago
This was such a great book-I could barely put it down-even read it while I was trying to cook dinner! The story flip flops back and forth btwn present and past. I loved the characters. Highly recommend
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a great story! I was hooked from the start and couldn't wait for Lily's happy ending. Well written and truly captivating, this book is a must read!
HollyF More than 1 year ago
Beautifully written, a truly enjoyable read filled with family secrets and love and plenty of warm summer sand. Your heart is constantly  breaking, then filled, then overjoyed. You will be in love with Lily Dane, and you won't quite know what to think of the handsome Nick Greenwald as you learn about their past, and delve in to their present.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I so enjoyed reading this book. It had quite a bit of history about a hurricane in the past. I found that very interesting because I live in a location where there are hurricanes and it is quite scary. So I could empathize with the characters reactions to the hurricane. The characters were very believable and the story was compelling. I did not want to put the book down so it did not take me anytime to read. Would and have highly recommended this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put this book down; the twists and turns and the goodness of the main characters give new meaning to the word nobility. The historical setting also contributed to making this one of the best summer reads ever.
jclc314 More than 1 year ago
Loved it -- I couldn't put it down! A great summer, beach read! Fabulous characters, with an intriguing story line!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A hundred summers is entertaining, it made me want to keep coming back for me. Its not an earth shattering book, nothing truly profound; however, it keeps you interested and is an easy read. I would definitely recommend this as a summer read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this story and I didn't think I would. For one its predictable and the chapters jump years between 1932 and 1938 but that's what makes it so addicting. You already know what happens in 1938 but have no idea how or why. As the charachters develop you get glued into their stories and can't wait to see what happens next. Its a great easy read I would reccomend to anyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A hurricane, secrets, and family lies make this a great read! Enjoy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this story and its throw back to an era gone by.....loved the switch in the time setting.... Great story that keeps you wondering why and how certain things happened.
VirtuousWomanKF More than 1 year ago
Great story, full of mystery, romance, love lost, and historical fiction, all the makings for a great beach read.  I thoroughly enjoyed it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story was very enjoyable. It was true to the 1930's era.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book, it was timely in spite of the pre-WWII setting and describes the beach community very well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story was pretty predictable, but I still enjoyed it. I like the way the author tells the story - it swaps back and forth forth between when Budgie and Lily were in college and 1938 when they meet up again. A good beach read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I finished this book last night and I can't stop thinking about it!  I read it in 3 days-it's a real page-turner.  I think I felt the same anger, devastation, and surprise that the characters did.  It is well-written and the past to future layout is awesome.  I would recommend to anyone and everyone!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoy stories from another era, with believable, Carismatic characters. I also love that the plot outcomes are not predictable. In fact after reading foor a time,the characters and surroundings are presented so well that you can almost visualize both people and places.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The characters are so real. Love the author's voice and descriptions. Am recommending it to everyone!
LibraryLadyKJ More than 1 year ago
Even though this was fairly predictable it did have a couple twists I didnt' expect and it was a good story. I loved the characters, and I enjoyed spending time at the beach with them. I thought the ending was a little unbelievable, but it is always good when the good people live happily ever after and the unlikeable people get what is coming to them. Just perfect for a summer read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow I liked it so much that i read it twice. I have never done that before. I enjoyed it just as much the second time as the first. I was affraid I had maybe missed something the first time because i read it so fast. It was hard to put down.