“I didn’t believe in omens or portents of doom, but I felt strongly that I was being urged to retrace my steps and return to the crew. I walked quickly, the surety of a direct gaze aimed at my back following me until I turned the corner.”Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, Karen White, The Lost Summers of Newport
Title: The Lost Summers of Newport
Authors: Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, and Karen White
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 393 (Hardcover)
Published: May 17th, 2022
My Rating: ★★★½
Read: 7/11/2022 – 7/16/2022
I have a lot of mixed feelings about this one. I wanted to read it as soon as I picked up my copy but chose to save it for whenever I took a drive to Newport. While it successfully captured the ambiance of the seaside town, the plot was lacking for me.
I liked Ellen’s POV the best. I loved imagining the Newport mansions in 1899. The storyline was interesting, too, especially what brought Ellen to work for Maybelle in the first place. Unfortunately, the twist at the end ruined it for me. It was so far-fetched I almost didn’t want to finish the last two chapters.
Lucky and Andie’s stories were also interesting, but given the three are intertwined, the effects of Ellen’s story tainted these two. There were also a number of inconsistencies and minor plot points left forgotten. This goes for the vibes of the book as well. It jumps from hints of a ghost story to a matter of snooping chapter to chapter. Because of this, it became difficult to follow. There’s even a vagueness in the final chapters that made the story feel incomplete.
All of that said, I enjoyed most of the story. It was a good summer read and it was especially fun reading it on a Newport beach. I’m definitely disappointed that it didn’t turn out to be a five-star read for me, but there were redeeming moments.
Likes & Dislikes
What I liked:
- The location! It’s what made me pick up the book in the first place.
- The renovation angle in Andie’s POV. I don’t watch reality shows, but I’d be interested in this one.
- The three-generation timeline. With such a wide gap, there were distinct differences.
What I didn’t like:
- The twist at the end. I can’t go into it further without spoilers.
- The inconsistencies (as I mentioned above).
When I was younger, my family took an end-of-summer trip to Newport every year, so I have an infinity with this place. Even though I didn’t love the book, it was something of a comfort read.