Updated: Dec 29, 2019
A great debut historical fiction novel, easy and enjoyable to read.
Beatrice Bordeaux grew up in rural area of Pennsylvania. She’s never felt comfortable among the privileged women summering on Montauk, Long Island. It’s 1938, and New York City’s wealthy elite are staying at the Montauk Manor. Beatrice was hoping this vacation on Montauk would strengthen her five-year marriage with her husband Harry, and possibly result in a baby. But Harry, after depositing Beatrice on Montauk with the other wives, is spending the summer in the city pursuing other interest.
The more Beatrice learns about how the women of New York spend their time on Long Island, the more isolated she feels. She has nothing in common with these women, and doesn’t fit in. Instead she make friends with Elizabeth, the hotel’s laundress who reminds her of her Pennsylvania roots. Beatrice is particularly drawn to the Montauk lighthouse and it’s keeper who shows her the natural beauty and the community spirit of the island. She is torn between the life she has and the life she wants to have.
“No matter how perfect all these lives seemed from a distance, so full of possibilities and promise, we all wanted more.”
Make sure you have plenty of tissues close by when you read this, because it’s a tear-jerker of a story. Author Nicola Harrison has written a beautiful debut novel, a story of love, loss and friendship. Montauk is a well written story in a historical period that allows you to feel and see the social norms of the time. The setting is so beautifully descriptive that I would love to visit to see what the Montauk Manor and the lighthouse are like today.
Beatrice’s makes the perfect character for the story. She is vulnerable and pushes herself to find the strength to do what’s right. She stands up for for herself as well as for the town people. I also liked Beatrice’s best friend, Dolly, who was a smart and intelligent business woman, well ahead of her time. Overall, Montauk is a light, easy and enjoyable read. Great novel for a day at the
“As we drove up the tight and winding road, tree branches reached overhead toward each other like lovers’ hands desperate to connect...”
Publisher St. Martin’s Press
Published June 4, 2019