An epic and cinematic novel by debut author Nicola Harrison, Montauk captures the glamour and extravagance of a summer by the sea with the story of a woman torn between the life she chose and the life she desires.
Montauk, Long Island, 1938.
For three months, this humble fishing village will serve as the playground for New York City’s wealthy elite. Beatrice Bordeaux was looking forward to a summer of reigniting the passion between her and her husband, Harry. Instead, tasked with furthering his investment interest in Montauk as a resort destination, she learns she’ll be spending twelve weeks sequestered with the high society wives at The Montauk Manor—a two-hundred room seaside hotel—while Harry pursues other interests in the city.
College educated, but raised a modest country girl in Pennsylvania, Bea has never felt fully comfortable among these privileged women, whose days are devoted not to their children but to leisure activities and charities that seemingly benefit no one but themselves. She longs to be a mother herself, as well as a loving wife, but after five years of marriage she remains childless while Harry is increasingly remote and distracted. Despite lavish parties at the Manor and the Yacht Club, Bea is lost and lonely and befriends the manor’s laundress whose work ethic and family life stir memories of who she once was.
As she drifts further from the society women and their preoccupations and closer toward Montauk’s natural beauty and community spirit, Bea finds herself drawn to a man nothing like her husband –stoic, plain spoken and enigmatic. Inspiring a strength and courage she had almost forgotten, his presence forces her to face a haunting tragedy of her past and question her future.
Desperate to embrace moments of happiness, no matter how fleeting, she soon discovers that such moments may be all she has, when fates conspire to tear her world apart…
Beatrice is to spend the summer on Montauk, a high society resort outside NYC. She is planning on reconnecting with her husband and hopefully becoming pregnant. Nothing goes as planned. She discovers her husbands infidelities and realizes her life is not exactly what she expected.
I enjoyed this time period and the setting. Who doesn’t like leisurely (entitled) ladies spending a summer at the beach? But, I understand why Beatrice started to expand her horizons. These society ladies would get on anybody’s nerves. Beatrice inserts herself into the life of the laundry lady. This leads her to the light house. And to an attraction she never expected.
I applaud Beatrice! She does not let society rule her thoughts and actions. She is smart and uses her abilities to change her stars.
I enjoyed this novel. I just felt it was a little wordy and moved a little slow. But, isn’t this cover wonderful!
I received this novel from St. Martin’s Press for a honest review.