I’m not a fan of romance novels at all. Generally speaking, I’m one of those people who tend to judge a book by its cover. If it sounds mushy or has any hint of a “knight in shining armor” motif it’s going right back onto the book shelve where it was originally found. For me, the relationship triangles, poetic musings of love, and predicable story lines all get lost in my head making me question why in the world I ever read a book on romance to begin with. But, like many things in life, there’s a first to everything with mine being finishing a romance novel from cover to cover…
A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams is unquestionably a novel about love, however, it’s not the only thing the book is about making it a bit unfair to straight-up label it as “ROMANCE.” The best way I can describe the book is by calling it a “modern day Great Gatsby.” Like The Great Gatsby, the book focuses on four people wrapped up in a complicated web of lies, betrayal, and unforgotten love. Set in both Rhode Island and New York, the book follows the lives of a small group of college friends with families that hail from the upper crust of New York City society. While all four individuals are no longer as close as they once were back in the college, the summer of 1938 brings them all back to the sandy shores of their childhood vacation spot that creates waves throughout the tightly-knit community. Though the book centers on each respective characters’ fight to win back the love of their lives, there are other incorporated elements that make the book more “dramatic” than “romantic.”
For me, I thought the book was interesting because each chapter bounced between two years – 1931 and 1938. It’s almost as if there were two stories going at one time with the climax marking the part where story one and story two come together answering all of the questions you’ve been accumulating throughout the book. From family scandal to storms on the high sea, Williams book was an awesome beach read with a ending that was the furthest from “expected.” So, pick up the book, a bottle of sunscreen, and head to the nearest sun-chair.