21 May 2013

Today's Read: A Certain Summer by Patricia Beard

How exactly would you live your life if your husband had been reported missing in action but was not declared dead? In 1948, Helen Wadsworth was lost in just such a limbo. How could she move on while still hoping Arthur will return to her and their son? But even more difficult, should she even be thinking of a life without him?

Nothing ever changed at Wauregan. That was island's purpose, its life force—and its myth. If there were questions, there were answers, either in the Rule Book devised by its founders and unaltered in half a century, or in the collective memory of its summer people.

The colony's traditions had survived two world wars and the Great Depression, yet in the summer of 1948, undercurrents and disruptions caused by the recent conflict swirled and sucked.
A Certain Summer by Patricia Beard (Simon & Schuster / Gallery Books, 2013, p.1)

Quick Facts
  • Setting: Wauregan Island off the New England coast
  • Circumstances: Helen and her son return to the island, looking forward to the comfort of the summer community
  • Characters: Helen and her teenage son, Jack; Frank and Peter, veterans and potential suitors; the island community
  • Genre: historical fiction with a bit of mystery; some romance
  • Themes: effects of war on relationships and marriage; differences between veterans and the loved ones left behind; coming to terms with loss; the magic of summer places
  • Miscellaneous: although billed as women's fiction and a good summer read, the novel examines deeper issues
Want to Know More?

In this short video, Patricia Beard discusses A Certain Summer and what inspired her to write historical fiction.

Buy A Certain Summer at an indie or other bookstore near you.
ISBN-13: 9781476710266

Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy).


bermudaonion 5/21/13, 6:47 AM  

I've heard that not knowing what happened to a loved one is one of the worst things you could go through. This book sounds engrossing.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 5/21/13, 6:55 AM  

The setting sounds perfect for a summer read. Curious to hear more -- I'd read on.

Thanks for joining us this week; I appreciate it.

JoAnn 5/21/13, 8:00 AM  

This is my kind of summer read!

Brona 5/21/13, 8:13 AM  

I've never heard of Beard before, but I enjoy historical fiction...sounds interesting.

Laurel-Rain Snow 5/21/13, 8:21 AM  

I think that the not knowing could eat away at one's very soul.

This sounds like a book I'd enjoy.


Catherine @ Book Club Librarian 5/21/13, 9:20 AM  

This book sounds like the perfect read for me and one of my book clubs. Thanks for sharing it!

Here's my Tuesday intro and teaser: http://www.bookclublibrarian.com/2013/05/first-chapter-first-paragraph-14-and.html

Melissas Eclectic Bookshelf 5/21/13, 9:51 AM  

I can't imagine living with that sort of uncertainty...how do you ever grieve and move on? This sounds like a fantastic read...I can tell just from that snippet that the writing is beautiful.

Alice Audrey 5/21/13, 10:15 AM  

What a predicament, but one thousands of women have lived through.

Beth Hoffman 5/21/13, 10:34 AM  

I really enjoyed watching the video and will definitely put this book on my summer reading list!

Margot 5/21/13, 11:59 AM  

I'd like to read this one if for no other reason than to spend hours on that island in 1948. Sounds like a good summer read.

Heather 5/21/13, 1:18 PM  

Sounds like a good summer read. Might have to seek this one out. My teaser: Wall-to-Wall Dead

Nise' 5/21/13, 10:17 PM  

This book definitely appeals to me!

Alice 5/22/13, 9:47 AM  

I'm not sure how I'd move on if that happens to me. I have a feeling I would stay the way I am until the day I die and always in those waking, living moments imagine him to be still with me. This is something that I'd definitely read.

Leslie (Under My Apple Tree) 5/22/13, 11:55 AM  

Hadn't heard of this book yet. Sounds great.

Tina 5/24/13, 6:56 AM  

This has to go into my to read pile!

Unknown 5/24/13, 5:10 PM  

I know you post these things because I have so little to read :), lovely...now I want to know more of course!

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