Publication date: June 4, 2019
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Hardcover: 400 Pages
An epic and cinematic novel by debut author Nicola Harrison, Montauk captures the glamour and extravagance of a summer by the sea with the story of a woman torn between the life she chose and the life she desires.
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…
In an enchanting frame with uncontaminated natural beauties penned by Nicola Harrison, Montauk tell about a woman who finds her way to true happiness through losses, new scars, and the most precious gift: love.
Beatrice Bordeaux will spend her first summer in Montauk, surrounded by the wealthy elite of New York, and hopefully, she will reconnect with an always too busy husband, who seems to prefer everyone’s company except hers.
He has promised things will go differently this time, and they will finally give their marriage a second chance.
But she will soon be disappointed again and will find herself spending more time alone or participating in social activities to find good connections for her husband’s business than with the man she once loved.
During the weeks alone, Bea starts to ponder the choices that have made her such a sad woman, trapped in a relationship that brings her all the superficial sparkle, but that does not let her shine as the woman and wife her heart needs.
So, tired of that elite where she now belongs, Bea starts new connections with the locals, and their authenticity and simplicity bring her back to memories of her family and childhood. She finally realizes what she really needs to be happy, but despite her heart, she also knows her status and present rich life comes with a high price.
Nicola Harrison has crafted this story with everything I love to find in a novel: a brilliant and complex main character. Beatrice reveals her strength and altruism page after page, a pure love that will take the reader to enjoy every single moment of the storyline, making the characters so relatable and real and honest friendships.
This was one of my most anticipated books this year, and without a doubt, I’m happy to recommend it.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press. The opinions in this review are entirely my own.
About the author
Born in England, Nicola Harrison moved to CA where she received a BA in Literature at UCLA before moving to NYC and earning an MFA in creative writing at Stony Brook. She is a member of The Writers Room, has short stories published in The Southampton Review and Glimmer Train and articles in Los Angeles Magazine and Orange Coast Magazine. She was the fashion and style staff writer for Forbes, had a weekly column at Lucky Magazine and is the founder of a personal styling business, Harrison Style.
Read more about Nicola ON HER WEBSITE
“Full of substance and delightful characters with intriguing and intricate lives, Harrison’s first novel will be a strong pick for fans of historical fiction featuring strong female leads, such as Kate Alcott’s A Touch of Stardust and Jaqueline Winspear’s popular “Maisie Dobbs” series.” – Library Journal, Starred Review
“A great beach read with just the right amount of suspense to keep the reader rooting for Beatrice and all she holds dear.” – Booklist
“A seductive, enthralling, and beautifully moving debut novel.” – Hampton Sheet