Beatriz Williams' new book, A Hundred Summers, isn't set to be published until June making it a perfect beach read. However, even though I read it in decidedly un-summer-like weather, I also fell in love with it.
In 1931 two socialite college girls, Lily Dane and Budgie Byrne, attend college football games to watch Budgie's boyfriend play. Lily meets Nicholsen Greenwald at a game, and the two are instantly struck by each other. Their courtship is marred by the fact that Nick is Jewish, and when Lily attempts to introduce him to her parents they are adamant that Lily end the relationship.
Things have always seemed a bit easier for Budgie whose boyfriend, Harrison, is eventually cast aside for a different boyfriend, a pattern that repeats itself often in Budgie's life.
Now 1938, Lily is summering at Seaview, the beach house her family has vacationed at for generations. Budgie will be arriving shortly at her family's beach house, and Lily is nervous for her arrival since the two haven't spoken in years. In addition, Budgie is now Budgie Greenwald, having married Nick, who had once been the love of Lily's life.
The chapters alternate setting between 1931 and 1938 and I raced through each chapter in order to discover what occurred between Lily and Nick that ended what appeared to be a perfect love affair. As I read secrets were revealed - enjoyable especially since I didn't foresee any of them in advance. I fell in love with Nick, a gentleman from the book's beginning and wanted both he and Lily to find happiness.
The cover of this book perfectly captures this time period, which in addition to the 1930s setting, also is marked by the Hurricane of 1938 that swept away entire beach communities like Seaview where Lily and Budgie had summer homes.
A Hundred Summers left me with a book hangover; every title I have picked up since hasn't held much appeal.
On an entirely unrelated side note, if you fell in love with this cover like I have and enjoy the retro look of Lily and Budgie's swimsuits, check out Popina Swimwear. I love the look of these suits, and just might have to get myself something new this year.