Review: Montauk by Nicola Harrison

This book was on my radar ages ago! As I have mentioned a bunch of times before, I love debut novels and discovering new up and coming authors. This book stood out for me, not just because it was a debut, but also because it had a unique title.

I put this one on my calendar and was excited as the date to start reading it got closer and closer. I also loved the new over design. The original cover art really said ‘chick lit’ or ‘women’s fiction’ to me, but with this new redesign it says more historical fiction.

I love the simple grays of the background and then the stand out teal dress on the woman. It really was a beautiful cover redesign and much more visually eye catching than the original. As I cracked this one open, I was hoping to rad something new and exciting just as summer got underway.

Summary

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 (summary from Goodreads).

Review

I instantly fell in love with this beautiful resort town by the sea. This author truly captured the elegance, and spirit of a summer by the sea as well as the time period. Social status and dated gender roles figured heavily into this novel and I felt that the author did a nice job having that reflect in the time period as well as the characters themselves.

While this book’s cover looked more historical fiction, it was heavy on the romance side which was fine by me. The cover is a little misleading even though I like it better. Though if you are picking this up hoping for historical fiction, you might be a little disappointed as it’s more historical romance than pure historical fiction.In fact, other than setting the gender roles of the period, I didn’t really feel that the historical setting really had any baring on the overall story.

This plot was a little on the predictable side, but I still enjoyed reading about Bea’s romance and her friendships. There was a lot of drama and I felt that the drama kept things interesting. It was an easy read that I found engrossing for the most part. There were times that I felt the book was a little on the longish side, but ultimately I kept reading and eventually looked up to find that it was later than I was expecting! There is something comforting when even if a book has a predictable plot, the predictability of that plot is what keeps things comfortable and enjoyable—I hope that makes sense!

For this being a debut novel, the author should be happy with her story! Her writing is polished and strong, and her story and characters were fun to read. Though as I mentioned some things were obvious in the plot itself, overall I felt that this book was strong in the descriptions and writing which balanced it out for me.

Book Info and Rating

Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published June 4th 2019 by St. Martin’s Press
ASIN B07J4W9CS9
Free review copy provided by publisher, St Martin’s Press, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 4 stars
Genre: romance, historical romance

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