A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams
Putnam Adult, 2013
357 pages, 3 stars
ABOUT THE BOOK: Lily Dane and Nick Greenwald fell in love in 1931-2, but in 1938 they hardly know each other anymore. Nick married Lily’s ex-best friend, Budgie. And Lily is basically a mother to her sister, Kiki (age 6), who has become Lily’s whole life. But when the Greenwalds decide to summer at Seaview—the site of Lily and Budgie’s summers growing up—Lily is faced with the pain of seeing the happy couple together and the dull ache of betrayal.
A Hundred Summers oscillates between 1931-2 and 1938, slowly revealing what went wrong between Lily and Nick, which is the reason I kept turning pages. It was a clever but not so unique plot device. The world of WASPS is one that I don’t find as interesting as I once did, and in spite of the tension about Nick’s Judaism there wasn’t much external conflict. It’s a light read despite the heavy subject matter of broken hearts.
I think that Budgie’s character was the most interesting. She comes off as almost a sociopath, but also a person who is truly scared of being destitute and alone. Lily is just a sad droopy flower that comes off as pathetic. First of all, what is her job? Doesn’t have one. Has she dated anyone since Nick? Nope. Does she completely forgive her friend for stealing the love of her life? Yes….WHAT!!? No, just no. Only a person with a spine of marshmallows would forgive their best friend (that they haven’t talked to in years) for knowingly taking the only thing they ever loved. I mean I know it sounds harsh—and maybe in real life it’s better to forgive—but this is fiction, people, I want to see them hash it out.
All that said, this really was a page turner—a great beach read! The plot development went along very smoothly and didn’t spell everything out, which I appreciated. It’s a quick, engrossing read!
ABOUT THE OUTFIT: My dear little beach bum, slip on these polka dot sailor shorts for a quick jaunt down the beach. Pair them with this anchor printed top that billows prettily in the sea breeze or when you’re playing football with ex-college players.
This yellow slicker will keep you dry-ish in the hurricane winds and it’s a color that stands out against the grey destruction. The hollow insides of these wedges will keep you afloat in the storm.
You know how to turn heads after your Aunt Julie gives you some tips: so put on these over-sized shades for days in the sand and this dark red lipstick for nights out sipping G&Ts.
These green crayon earrings are your nod to the love of your life, Kiki. She loves drawing with Nick and when you see their dark heads bent over the same piece of paper, you can’t help but notice how similar they look. Too similar.